Rory: Tiger, Phil in 'last few holes of their career'


Phil Mickelson and Tiger Woods in Round 1 of the 2014 PGA Championship. (Getty)

ATLANTA – On Wednesday at the Tour Championship Rory McIlroy was asked if the absence of Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson from East Lake – it’s the first time since 1992 that at least one of the two didn’t qualify for the finale – symbolized a changing of the guard on the PGA Tour?

The world No. 1 explained that Mickelson has played well at times this season but has appeared “a little tired” the last few weeks and that Woods has been injured.

“You’ll see him back here again,” McIlroy said of Woods.

It was the Northern Irishman’s final thought, however, that caught the attention of some observers.

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“They’re just getting older,” he said. “Phil’s 43 (Lefty is 44) and Tiger’s nearly 40 (he will be 39 in December). So they’re getting into the sort of last few holes of their career, and that’s what happens.”

McIlroy and Woods have become friends over the last few years and both players appeared on “The Tonight Show” together last month. During that appearance McIlroy was asked what he thinks about when he’s preparing to hit a shot.

“I just try to pretend to be Tiger Woods,” he laughed.