Rory McIlroy has explained how golfers felt about Tiger Woods' form at The Open

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It's fair to say that Tiger Woods received almost as much attention as Francesco Molinari at The Open.

The newly-crowned champion edged ahead of the chasing pack on the final day and won his first major at the age of 35.

However, arguably as dramatic was the surprise return to form of Woods, who finished on -5 and only slipped out of contention in the final few hours.

Chasing the 15th major of his career, the American is suddenly being talked about among the world's elite golfers once again.

Indeed, Rory McIlroy feels that while the 42-year-old is unlikely to ever get back to his peak, he is being seriously talked about by his contemporaries.

For McIlroy, it was a story of coming close, but not close enough as his putting let him down yet again and he finished T2 on the leaderboard.

With one eye on rival Woods, the Northern Irishman made some interesting observations and has given an insight into how other golfers felt about the legend's comeback.

This is a different Woods 

"For a while, I thought Tiger was going to win. My mindset was go and spoil the party here," he said, per ESPN.

"Not the Tiger that Phil (Mickelson) and Ernie (Els) and those guys had to deal with.


"It's a different version. But he's right there. He's getting himself in the mix. He looked good in D.C. a couple weeks back (at the Quicken Loans). He's looked good here.

"He's played a full schedule. 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."

The more time passes, it is naturally going to be all the more difficult for Woods to add to his collection of Claret Jugs and this may well have been his last opportunity.

Regardless of whether he has any more tangible success, however, McIlroy insists it is still good for the sport to have him back.

147th Open Championship - Final Round

"With the Tiger we have to face, he does things that maybe he didn't do 10, 15 years ago,'' he added.

"But it's still great to have him back. It's still great for golf. It will be interesting to see going forward, but this was his first taste of a major championship ... drama, I guess, for quite a while. Even though he's won 14, you have to learn how to get back.

"I'm relearning. I won quite a few recently, but you still have to relearn to deal with it. Today was a good day for both of us, I guess.'' 

Do you think Woods will ever win another major? Have your say in the comments. 

Tiger Woods
Phil Mickleson
Rory McIlroy

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