Bob Harig with Rory McIlroy's Tour Championship press conference report where the lad mentioned that his accomplished elders are, uh, getting old.
From Harig's report:
"They're just getting older," McIlroy said Wednesday at East Lake Golf Club. "Phil's 43 or whatever [actually 44], and Tiger's nearly 40 [39 in December]. So they're getting into the sort of last few holes of their careers, and that's what happens.
"It obviously just gets harder as you get older. I'll be able to tell you in 20 years how it feels."
McIlroy also pointed out that Woods has been injured and hasn't had the opportunity to play.
"When he gets back to full fitness, you'll see him back here," said McIlroy, who also noted that Mickelson nearly won the PGA Championship last month, finishing second behind him.
Naturally, social media feasted as did some headline writers. John Strege with the roundup.
Alex Miceli also defended Rory, noting that the comment came late in the proceedings.
It was the third-to-final question in a Tour Championship news conference that ran for 20 minutes – and subsequently has lit social media on fire.
Ryan Ballengee also felt the need to defend McIlroy's honesty.
McIlroy wasn't lying. He wasn't disrespectful. The Ulsterman was simply acknowledging the career mortality of the game's two biggest figures of the last quarter-century. As you age, injuries take longer to heal. You get tired more quickly. You lose distance. Desire can fade.
So, yeah, they're old and washed up.
McIlroy quickly took to Twitter to clear the air. They're still old.
Got a question today about Tiger and Phil... Gave an honest answer, was very complimentary about the 2 best golfers of this generation— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) September 10, 2014
Golfers on average have a 20-25 year career, both into the back 9 of their careers... Don't think there's anything wrong with saying that.— Rory Mcilroy (@McIlroyRory) September 10, 2014