Rory McIlroy: He's a different Tiger Woods, but a serious contender

Updated: Jul 24, 2018, 10:48 IST | PA Sport

Woods was so close to a fairytale return to the Open after a three-year absence, eventually coming up three short of eventual winner Francesco Molinari, having led around the turn in his final round

Rory McIlroy: He's a different Tiger Woods, but a serious contender
Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods at the British Open

Rory McIlroy believes he and his rivals have to learn to deal with a different version of Tiger Woods after he returned to contending in majors again.

Woods was so close to a fairytale return to the Open after a three-year absence, eventually coming up three short of eventual winner Francesco Molinari, having led around the turn in his final round. But the performance at least showed he can contend again after four back operations which threatened to end his career.

"It's not the Tiger that you know. Phil Mickelson and Ernie Els and those guys had to deal with. It's a different version," said world No. 8 McIlroy, whose charge came too late as he finished in a share of second two shots back.

"But he's right there. He's getting himself in the mix. He looked good in Washington a couple weeks back where he tied fourth at the Quicken Loans National. He's looked good here. He does things that maybe he didn't do 10, 15 years ago, but it's still great to have him back. It's still great for golf. He's healthy. I wouldn't say we're worried about him, but he's one of those guys that's always in with a shot," he added.

Woods is expecting to hear from Williams, who lost the Wimbledon final to Angelique Kerber earlier this month, where they will discuss how their respective comebacks are going. "I'm sure she'll talk to me about it," Woods said.

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