legendary pals | 

Rory McIlroy opens up on his friendship with Tiger Woods ahead of Masters bid

Rory eager to end his wait for a green jacket at Augusta

Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods walk on the 11th fairway during a practice for the Masters© AP

UK Independent

Rory McIlroy plans to take a leaf out of Tiger Woods’ book for The Masters this week in his quest to win the only major that has eluded him in his career.

This week will mark McIlroy’s 15th attempt to win at Augusta National, and remains all that stands between him and a career grand slam.

The Irishman has struck up a friendship with Woods in recent years, as two of the faces of golf and he spoke of picking the American legend’s brain on how to succeed around a course that has essentially become a second home to the 15-time major champion.

And McIlroy will head into this week’s tournament with a plan to adopt the five-time green jacket winner’s “disciplined” strategy.

"The course can really goad you into taking shots that you don't need to take on and if you look at the two most successful players at Augusta, it's Tiger and Jack [Nicklaus],” he told BBC Sport Northern Ireland. “They are the two most disciplined players in the history of our game.

"Not taking on too much risk. Not getting ahead of yourself. That's the formula to do well at the Masters.”

McIlroy’s last major triumph came in the 2014 PGA Championship and, given the length of his drought, the four-time major champion said that it feels like he’s vying for his first. once again.

As two of the PGA Tour’s most vocal loyalists in golf’s ongoing civil war, McIlroy shares a close bond with Woods and mentioned that they generally talk every day.

Beyond their shared business interests - the two have launched a virtual, stadium-based PGA league - they have come together in their fight against Saudi Arabia-backed LIV Golf.

"I can remember the first time I met him and how I felt and to forge that relationship with him,” added McIlroy. “For him to really take an interest in what I do and take an interest in my game, take an interest in my family.

"I'm unbelievably grateful for his friendship and his guidance but also his leadership through everything that's happened in the past 18 months as well.

"If anyone didn't need to do anything it's Tiger Woods but he's stood up and tried to do what's right for the game of golf. Every single player on the PGA Tour needs to commend him for that."

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