DUBAI, United Arab Emirates (AP) – Tiger Woods is the best golfer Luke Donald has ever played against and Rory McIlroy is the most talented.
The No.1-ranked Englishman had compared the two players on Wednesday ahead of the start of the Dubai World Championship, but he backtracked on his assessment a day later and said on Twitter that he had meant no “disrespect'' to Woods.
“A few people aren't understanding what I meant. The word 'talent' and Rory, to me, means a free-flowing swing who makes everything look so easy,'' Donald tweeted. “TW (Woods) has always been the best at getting the ball in the hole when it mattered the most. That's not just talent that something else, too.''
Donald tweeted again a short time later that Woods “is still the greatest player I played with.''
But on Wednesday, Donald seemed to have a different take. Asked if McIlroy was the best player he ever played with, including Woods, Donald said the 22-year-old Northern Irishman topped the list.
“I believe so, yeah. Just in pure talent,'' Donald said. “I think Tiger's work ethic has always been tremendous and his mindset as well. I think his mindset is what has separated him from the field when he was really at the top of his game. But in terms of talent, I think Rory has more talent.''
Donald's comments comes after Woods won the Chevron World Challenge on Sunday to end a two-year title drought.
His victory was welcomed by many top golfers, including McIlroy, who said he would relish the chance to face Woods now that he is showing signs of returning to his old form. The third-ranked Lee Westwood also welcomed back Woods, calling him “the biggest name in golf and probably one of the biggest names in world sports.''