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No-fan perk: Tiger Woods explains Giants-Dodgers rivalry to Rory McIlroy

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SAN FRANCISCO – One of the beneficial aspects of not having fans this week at the PGA Championship is the relative silence that allows viewers to eavesdrop into conversations between players that normally would be hidden behind background noise.

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The best example of this came at the fourth hole on Thursday when Rory McIlroy asked Tiger Woods about the TaylorMade staff bags this week which are designed as a tribute to the San Francisco Giants. Woods, an avid Los Angeles Dodgers fan, didn’t hold back.

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“Giants’ colors, couldn’t do it,” Woods said.

“I don’t know enough about baseball,” McIlroy said.

“What team do you root for back home? Soccer?” Woods asked.

The Northern Irishman is a Manchester United fan.

“So, Liverpool. It would be like having Liverpool colors on your bag,” Woods said. “That’s how much we hate the Giants. I wouldn’t do it.”

Then the conversation turned to football (the American variety) and Woods’ affinity for the Raiders before he added, “If we have football ...” alluding to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“I can’t see it in this state [California] with how strict they are [with social distancing protocols],” McIlroy said.

“If one person gets it in the locker room, they’re all going to get it,” Woods added.

“MLB’s doing well to hang on at the minute,” McIlroy said.

“For now,” Woods said, “if they have one more outbreak on any team they’re done.”

Everyone wants fans back as soon as it’s safely possible, but if the lack of galleries gives fans a glimpse into conversations like this then at least there’s a silver lining.