McIlroy, Daly not ruling out Tiger

Rory McIlroy and John Daly have both refused to write Tiger Woods off for next week’s Open Championship.

Tiger Woods may be struggling to recapture his best form, but both Rory McIlroy and John Daly have refused to write him off for next week’s Open Championship.

Woods is warming up for the Open at St Andrews by taking part in the JP McManus Invitational in Ireland, but could only card a seven-over round of 79 on day one of the event.

The 34-year-old has failed to shine in his return to golf, although he did manage a tie for fourth behind Graeme McDowell in the US Open at Pebble Beach.

In the main though Woods’ form has been disappointing, with a 46th place finish at the AT&T National in Pennsylvania at the weekend.

McIlroy spent time with Woods in Ireland during the first day of the event, and he believes Woods is in good spirit ahead of next week’s major in Scotland.

“I think his life is getting back to normal a little bit obviously with everything that went on, but he seems in good mood,” McIlroy told Sky Sports News.

“I think he’s going to go home after this and have a few days with his kids and then come back and prepare for the Open.”

Woods won the Open at St Andrews in 2000 and 2005, and a return to the Old Course could help spring him back into his best form to add to his 14 major titles.

Fellow American John Daly, in the meantime believes Woods is too good to remain amongst the ranks of also-rans, and would not be surprised if he bounced back to claim the Claret Jug once again.

“The greatest players in the world over the years have always had a little bit of a slump, and his might only be two tournaments,” said Daly.

“I think he played great at Augusta and it thought he had it going on at the US Open as well. But he’ll be back.”

McIlroy will be hoping to challenge for the title at St Andrews, and believes it is just his putting that needs to sharpen up before the big one.

“I feel as if my golf’s been as good as it has been all year from tee to green, but I still need to do a bit of work on my putting,” added the young Northern Irishman.

“It wasn’t that great last week and I missed a few chances when I could have made a really good run at the title.”