Woods sets sights on McIlroy rivalry over next five to ten years
Fourteen-time major winner Tiger Woods has said Rory McIlroy deserved to win the Player of the Year award, and added he has set sights on rivaling the world number one over the next five to 10 years.
Northern Ireland's McIlroy was confirmed as the year-end No. 1 earlier this week, after a landmark year which saw him win his second major and become only the second player to finish top of both the European and PGA Tour money lists.
Woods, who spent a record 281 consecutive weeks at the top of the world rankings before details of extra-marital affairs caused his personal life to implode in November 2009, wants to once again challenge for top honors after three PGA Tour wins in 2012.
"Rory McIlroy had a wonderful year and my hat is off to him," CNN quoted Woods, as saying on his official website.
"He deserved Player of the Year. Whether we develop a rivalry remains to be seen. Let's just let it play out and see where it takes us," he added.
In order for their rivalry to develop, Woods claimed he and McIlroy need to go head-to-head in the closing stages of the sport's biggest tournaments.
It happened just once in 2012, with McIlroy beating Woods by two strokes at the 5.7 million dollar Honda Classic.
Woods said: "We'll look at the results (over) the next five or 10 years and see if it becomes a rivalry or not. We'll have to win big events and play each other down the stretch."
"That hasn't happened yet. We've only played each other at Honda down the stretch. We need a lot more of those type of battles, but in bigger events," he added.