Truth and Rumors: Rory McIlroy Visits Haiti as Unicef Ambassador

Truth and Rumors: Rory McIlroy Visits Haiti as Unicef Ambassador

While most professional golfers are preparing for the U.S. Open, 22-year old superstar Rory McIlroy is in Haiti to see the relief efforts first hand. McIlroy spent his first day at a school in Port au Prince that was devastated by last year's earthquake, but has since been reconstructed. He also visited a nutrition and health clinic, which left quite an impression on the young Ulsterman. 

“The chance that these children are getting to be kids and enjoy themselves is so important for their well-being. Being here at this child-friendly space gives them the chance to play with their friends and enjoy themselves – helping them escape for a little while every day from the difficult situations they are growing up in. Nothing could prepare me for meeting the children in Haiti and I am truly amazed by how happy they are. The everyday things that we take for granted at home in Ireland are so longed for in Haiti.”

Stricker Says Tiger and Phil are Still Top Draws in Golf He's the No. 4-ranked player in the world, but Steve Stricker still doesn't feel he's ready to take the spotlight from the game's biggest stars. Having just won his 10th PGA Tour event at the Memorial, Stricker has a better perspective than most on the state of the game and what the fans want to see. 

“I think where Tiger and Phil are at, they’re still the biggest draws in golf. We can’t take that away from them,” he said. “I think we all still tune in to golf – I know I do – just to see how Tiger and Phil are going to play. To see whether Tiger’s going to get his game back, see what he’s doing. I still think that provides a lot of interest, and it also opens up the door, like you said, for a lot of other people. I think it was good when Tiger was winning because people wanted to see that, but I think also, on this end of it too, they’re still tuning in to see what those two guys are going to do.”

Stricker also showed he has at least a bit of a sense of humor when asked about Tiger's slip to 15th in the latest world rankings. 

“I really want to text Tiger and say, where are you? What happened? I haven’t got the courage to do that yet.”

To Play or Not to Play … In a recent phone conversation before the Memorial Tournament, Tiger Woods told Jack Nicklaus he might not be able to play in this year's U.S. Open at Congressional after all. According to the Golden Bear, this is how it went: 

“Tiger called me” on May 27th, Nicklaus said. “He said, ‘I’m still hobbling, and I don’t know whether I’m going to make the U.S. Open or not.’ ”

Obviously golf fans around the world, and the multitude of sponsors who are involved with the event and the TV broadcast, want to see the world's former No. 1 player sweating it out with the rest of the field. But is it really worth it for Woods to risk further injury in an attempt to rush back to competition? Think about it this way – he's got an injured Achilles tendon, a bad knee, a bad calf, a balky putter, and a golf swing that's in the midst of a major change. All things considered, it seems Tiger's best bet is to skip the Open and hope to maybe be back in time for the PGA Championship in August, at the earliest.  Tell us what you think: Should Tiger Woods make getting his health back to 100% his priority, or should he do everything he can to compete in the U.S. Open? Please leave comments below. Tweet of the Day: