When he was 9 years old, Rory McIlroy wrote Tiger Woods a letter. He was putting Woods on notice.
In 1998, McIlroy had just won the prestigious Doral-Publix Junior Golf Classic. After he returned home to Northern Ireland, McIlroy decided he’d let Woods, who was working through a swing change at the time, that he was on the prowl.
Paraphrasing to the New York Times Magazine, McIlroy’s uncle, Brian, recalled the letter saying something to the effect of, “I’m coming to get you. This is the beginning. Watch this space.”
Asked about the letter and the wording his uncle recalled, McIlroy shyly said, “A lot of those memories have kind of blurred together. But, yeah, it went something like that.”
McIlroy’s letter probably never made it into Woods’ hands, but the fate of the sort-of fan mail is unknown. Of course, now the two are friends and both Nike staffers. McIlroy is No. 1 in the world, has four majors and is a Masters title away from becoming the sixth man to complete the modern career Grand Slam. Were McIlroy to win the Masters, he’d then have a chance, with a U.S. Open win, to match Woods and become just the second golfer in history to hold all four major titles at once.
Watch this space.