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Tiger Woods partners ‘incredible’ and ‘exceptional’ Rory McIlroy on his LA return

Tiger Woods has showered Rory McIlroy with praise. Photo: PA© PA

Brian KeoghIndependent.ie

Tiger Woods believes Rory McIlroy has played “incredible” golf since taking on LIV Golf and hailed the Holywood star’s performance as the face of the PGA Tour as “exceptional”.

Woods was speaking ahead of his return to the $20 million (€18.62m) Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club in Los Angeles, where he partners McIlroy and Justin Thomas in the first two rounds.

The 15-time Major winner insisted that despite his ankle problems, he’s in town to win and break out of a tie with Sam Snead as the PGA Tour’s all-time record winner.

But when it comes to golf’s ongoing civil war, the 15-time Major champion (47) admitted it’s been tough and singled out McIlroy for special praise.

“It’s been an ebb and flow, it really has,” Woods said of the battle with LIV Golf that’s forced the PGA Tour to create 17 “designated” events with massive prize funds in order to compete.

“And it’s been difficult, there’s no lie.”

McIlroy has won three times worldwide since the LIV Golf Series began, winning the FedEx Cup and the Race to Dubai last year, while also speaking out against the Saudi-backed tour at every opportunity.

“You’ve seen our ambassador, Rory, go through it,” Woods said. “It’s been tough on him, but he’s been exceptional.

“To be able to go through all that, I’ve been with him on all those conference calls and side meetings, and for him to go out there and play and win, it’s been incredible.”

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