On his Golf Channel podcast with Carson Daly, McIlroy said Woods "a hundred percent" does certain things with intimidation in mind.
Tiger Woods, on Sunday, in his signature red and black outfit—for decades, this was the most intimidating sight in the world of golf. That lure dissipated during Woods' decade-plus major championship drought, but the "Tiger Effect," as it came to be known, is back. At least according to Rory McIlroy.
On their Golf Channel podcast, McIlroy and cohost Carson Daly were discussing Woods' Masters victory when Daly noted that Woods was already standing on the green while Francesco Molinari played his third shot into the par-3 12th on Sunday. (Molinari had already dumped his tee shot into the water and wound up making double bogey, while Woods made par.) Daly asked McIlroy if he thought that was intentional: "Does he do little things like that?"
You better believe he does.
"Just sorta having that little glimpse of red in your eye?," McIlroy said. "A hundred percent. I mean, he knows that he intimidates people and it’s like, ‘I’m going to make you feel my presence."
McIlroy also suggested that Woods' Sunday fashion choice may have subconsciously aided his confidence by hearkening back to memories of past dominance.
"One of the things that helped this whole thing is that mock-neck turtleneck thing that he came back with, people correlate that with that ’05 Masters win,” said McIlroy, who revealed in the podcast that he cried when Woods hugged his son Charlie after the victory. “And it probably made him feel good.”
McIlroy, who entered the Masters as the favorite and would have completed the career Grand Slam with a victory, couldn't get anything going until a final-round 68 and finished T21. Woods also beat McIlroy two weeks before the Masters at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play event in Austin.
Woods ended up losing his next match at the tournament to Lucas Bjerregaard, but take a look at just how close he stood to Bjerregaard while the Dane was teeing off. Perhaps McIlroy is onto something.
In a surprising move to some, Woods will not play in this week's Wells Fargo Championship and will all but assuredly make his next start—and his first since winning at Augusta—at the PGA Championship, which begins at Bethpage Black on May 16.