When Rory McIlroy was 9 years old in 1998, the current world number 1 penned a letter intended for Woods that put the then-one-time major winner on notice.
What did the letter say? Paraphrasing to the New York Times Magazine, McIlroy’s uncle, Brian, said it read: “I’m coming to get you. This is the beginning. Watch this space.”
McIlroy had just won the prestigious Doral-Publix Junior Golf Classic – a sign that the Ulsterman might have a distinguished future in the game. So he had plenty of reason to be confident, but writing that letter to the world’s best golfer took some gall.
Asked about the accuracy of his uncle’s recollection of the letter, McIlroy shyly said, “A lot of those memories have kind of blurred together. But, yeah, it went something like that.”
A Masters title would be the next step for McIlroy on the path to matching Woods’ career. The 25-year-old would complete the career Grand Slam, becoming just the sixth man to accomplish the feat. It would also set up McIlroy for an opportunity to hold all four majors simultaneously were he to win the US Open in June.