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Jokes not barbs traded by Tiger and Rory

Despite all the talk of the next big golf rivalry, young superstar Rory McIlory and 14-time major winner Tiger Woods have been sharing laughs and compliments at the opening event of the FedEx Cup.

"He's a nice kid, he really is," 14-times major champion Woods told reporters about the Northern Irishman. "I played with him in Abu Dhabi. We struck up a friendship back then, and it's continued. I think it's only going to get better."

Even when media tried to incite McIlroy into making an inflammatory statement and ask him whether he'd like to take on Woods one-on-one at Medinah at the Ryder Cup, his answer was tongue-in-cheek and said with a smile.

"Yeah, I'd love to go out there. I'd love Tiger to go out first and (I'd) kick his ass."

Woods laughed it off and the two are enjoying the banter.

"He just said, 'There's no way in hell you're kicking my ass.' Obviously it was just a joke, and it was funny. We had a laugh out of it, so it was good," McIlroy grinned.

The love-in continued at the press conference as Woods was fulsome in his praise of the two-time major winner from Northern Ireland.

"What an amazing talent he really is," said Woods. "I just hope that everyone just lets him grow and develop as a player because it's going to be fun to see over the next 20 years how this kid's career is going to pan out."

When it comes to talk of rivalries, McIlroy dismisses the notion and  prefers to focus on scores.

"There have been rivalries built up in golf before, but our main objective is breaking par on the course," McIlroy said. "If we were playing match play every week, of course we could build up some sort of rivalries.

"Or players could. I'm not just saying Tiger and myself. We're trying to shoot three under, four under, five under, we're not trying to beat each other. Of course it's nice, but you're playing the course first and foremost.

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