x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 28 July 2017

Rory McIlroy excited by return to form of Tiger Woods

The Dubai World Championsip contender is pleased the American showed signs of recapturing his best form by winning the Chevron World Challenge.

HONG KONG - DECEMBER 04:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot during the final round of  the UBS Hong Kong Open at The Hong Kong Golf Club on December 4, 2011 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption ***  134850938.jpg
HONG KONG - DECEMBER 04: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland plays a shot during the final round of the UBS Hong Kong Open at The Hong Kong Golf Club on December 4, 2011 in Hong Kong, Hong Kong. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images) *** Local Caption *** 134850938.jpg

Dubai // Rory McIlroy would love the chance to test his skills against a rejuvented Tiger Woods in 2012.

The Northern Irishman and world No 2 was delighted to see that his childhood hero back in the winner’s enclosure for the first time in two years, when the American won the Chevron World Challenge in California on Sunday.

McIlroy is the only player at this week’s Dubai World Championship who can beat Luke Donald to becoming European golf’s order of merit winner after a superb season, which saw him claim the US Open in June.

But the 22-year-old’s rise has coincided with Woods’ decline, caused by injury and his off the course problems.

“Tiger winning again appeals to me because it would be a challenge (to take him on),” said McIlroy. “You want to test yourself against the best in the game and, if I came up against Tiger on a Sunday, it would be the biggest challenge of my career.

“It’s something I would look forward to. It would be a huge experience and learning curve for me, in terms of how I would handle it.

“It’s not something I have experienced, or players or my generation have experienced, so it would be great to have that opportunity at some point next year.”

ncameron@thenational.ae