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#pounditTuesday, January 26, 2021

Tiger Woods to Rory McIlroy: Get your finger out of your ass and win

Rory McIlroy is no longer looking like the next Tiger Woods. Instead, Tiger Woods is looking like the next Tiger Woods. After winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill on Monday, Woods has reclaimed the world No. 1 world ranking for the first time since Oct. 30, 2010.

Tiger passed McIlroy in the rankings with his third win of the young season. McIlroy texted his new Nike teammate to congratulate him on recapturing the spot, and Woods fired back with a friendly message for Rory after taking his spot.

With The Masters less than three weeks away, McIlroy would be wise to take Tiger’s advice. It was fun to speculate that Rory may be having relationship troubles that were causing his poor play, but that clearly is not true. Instead, it’s fair to wonder if the 23-year-old’s transition to Nike has not been as seamless and he tried to convince everyone it would be.

Like most great golfers, McIlroy and Woods each go through dominant stretches. Tiger appears to be in the middle of one right now, but he could really send shockwaves through the golf world with a win at Augusta. His driving still needs a lot of work, but Woods has been putting better than he ever has (thanks in part to Steve Stricker’s advice). McIlroy, on the other hand, hasn’t been doing anything right. He can continue to fly under the radar until The Masters, but if he struggles again people will really start talking. It’s time to take the finger out of the butt and focus.

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