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Intimidated by Rory? Not me says Tiger

Australian legend Greg Norman's comments that Tiger Woods is scared of up-and-coming golf superstar Rory McIlroy have been summarily dismissed by the 14-time-major winner.

"No one is the size of (linebacker) Ray Lewis who is going to hit me coming over the middle, so this is a different kind of sport," Woods said at a press conference. "We go out there and play our own game and see where it falls at the end of the day."

Norman had earlier insisted this week that Woods was struggling in the wake of the form golf of the moment, as McIlroy notched up three wins his last four starts, which included his second major, the PGA Championship.

"What I'm seeing is that Tiger's really intimidated by Rory," Norman said. "When have you ever seen him intimidated by another player? Never. But I think he knows his time's up and that's normal; these things tend to go in 15-year cycles."

While McIlroy has been talked about as "the man to target" during the Ryder Cup by Woods' fellow Team USA member Jim Furyk, Woods and McIlroy are known to have a friendly relationship, and the man still seen as the most iconic golfer in the game does not subscribe to any ideas of intimidation on the course.

"It's not like you go over the middle and some guy is 255 pounds and going to take your block off," Woods added. "This is about executing and going about your own business and see where it ends up at the end of the day. It's just the nature of our sport, which is different than some sports. ... Here, no one is affecting any shots.''

In McIlroy's defence, he has never subscribed to the view propagated by Norman and is often described as the most affable and self-effacing person on Tour.

"How can I intimidate Tiger Woods?'' McIlroy said. "I mean, the guy's got 70-whatever (74) PGA tour wins, 14 majors. He's been the biggest thing ever in our sport. I mean, how could some little 23-year-old from Northern Ireland with a few wins come up and intimidate him? It's just not possible. I don't know where he (Norman) got that from, but it's not true.''

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