World no.3 golfer Rory McIlroy has stated that he believes Tiger Woods success at the World Golf Championships (WGC) is down to the no-cut format.
The Northern Irishman was speaking at a press conference on Wednesday, ahead of this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, when asked why he thought Woods had “won so many of these things”.
McIlroy replied, via Golf Digest: “Honestly I think because of the no-cut format. I think that's probably a big thing to do with it. You play with a little more freedom.”
In the prime of his career, between 1999 and 2013, Woods won a staggering 15 WGCs. To put this into perspective, no other golfer has won more than three since the tournaments were introduced in 1999. However, Woods never won the WGC-HSBC championship.
McIlroy added: “I never want to criticise Tiger's game at all, but if there was one thing or one negative you would say about him was that he probably wasn't the fastest starter in the world in normal golf tournaments…So here, you don't really have that pressure of trying to play your way into a tournament. It's a four-round tournament."
The 27-year-old then interrupted a journalist to quickly add, “Can I just add one more thing to why he won so many? Because he was the best”, resulting in laughter from the press in attendance.
McIlroy finished with an opening round 71 in Shanghai, which included two birdies, leaving him seven strokes adrift from current leader Rikard Karlberg.
McIlroy was testing out a new TaylorMade driver and 3-wood for the first time competitively, as he searches for new equipment after the announcement that Nike would be limiting their golf products to only clothing and shoes moving forward.