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Rory McIlroy regrets infecting Tiger Woods with Covid ahead of The Open

Despite being unwell, Mcllroy grabbed the third place at The Open whereas Woods couldn’t make the cut.

Golfers Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods (AP)

Despite having a wonderful season with the clubs, one thing that makes Rory McIlroy regret is getting infected with Covid-19.

“I’m like, ‘F—ing hell, I’ve just given Tiger COVID!'”

Speaking to the Sunday Independent, Mcllroy revealed the circumstances that led to both Tiger Woods and him getting infected with COVID-19 prior to The Open.

A week and a half before The Open at St. Andrews, he felt the symptoms for the first time, while playing in the JP McManus Pro-Am in Ireland, McIlroy said.

Nine of the top 10 golfers in the world played in the two-day, 36-hole tournament at Adare Manor, along with Woods, and McIlroy claimed, “everyone had COVID.”

After playing Monday and Tuesday, “Tiger needed a rest on Wednesday. We had played two days of golf at Adare, and the plan was to play Ballybunion on Thursday,” McIlroy said.

“I woke up that morning feeling a bit achy but didn’t really think anything of it. JP [McManus] gave us his chopper, and we went down with (my manager) Sean [O’Flaherty] and Tiger’s manager, Rob [McNamara]. We got around fine, flew back to Adare for lunch and as I’m getting up from the table, I’m sore and stiff and super tired. I said to (my wife) Erica, ‘I’m feeling a bit weird. I’m just going upstairs to lie down for a bit.’ I slept for maybe two hours and the sweat was just pouring off me, then Erica took my temperature and it was sky high. I rang Tiger: ‘I’m not feeling so good here.’ And he goes, ‘Oh, I feel OK.’ But he texted me at 10 o’clock that night, chills, fever, and I’m like, ‘F—ing hell, I’ve just given Tiger COVID! This is horrendous!’ So we both had COVID going into The Open.”


Though, McIlroy spoke of attending The Open for the full week without being able to taste anything but he never said that he tested positive for Covid-19.

“On Tuesday night I went to the Champions Dinner and it was lovely. I was sitting there drinking water and they poured a glass of wine, a lovely 2005 Bordeaux, and I was like, ‘Ahh, I’ll just have a little sip,’ but I couldn’t taste it,” McIlroy said. “The whole week of The Open I didn’t have any taste, and everything smelled like vinegar to me. Everything. It was really strange.”

Despite being unwell, Mcllroy grabbed the third place at The Open whereas Woods couldn’t make the cut.

McIlroy kept up his strong play throughout the season, earning the FedEx Cup for a record third time, winning two other tournaments and getting back to No. 1 in the world ranking. Additionally, he was the strongest and most frequent voice in support of the PGA Tour’s challenge from Saudi-funded LIV Golf.

Woods has not played since The Open, but he took home a $15 million bonus from the PGA Tour’s Player Impact Program, designed to reward members “shown to generate the most positive interest in the PGA Tour.” He was scheduled to play again this weekend at the 20-man Hero World Challenge, which benefits Woods’ foundation, but said Monday that plantar fasciitis will keep him from playing.


McIlroy and Woods will team up together on Dec. 10 for The Match, where they will play against the team of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth in the made-for-TV event.

Woods was scheduled to play the 20-man Hero World Challenge, which benefits Woods’ foundation. But on Monday, he announced that plantar fasciitis would avert him from competing.

On December 10, McIlroy and Woods are set to play together in the made-for-TV competition against Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.

First published on: 29-11-2022 at 14:11 IST
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