Despite the best efforts of golf fans, we can't inject any animosity into a potential Rory McIlroy-Tiger Woods rivalry. The two have settled into a regular group throughout the FedEx Cup playoffs, and, it seems, shared many more laughs than bogeys. (Though fewer laughs than birdies. So many birdies.)
Now, as this rivalry edges deeper into bromance, Matt Dickinson of the Times gives us into the Big Bro/Lil' Bro cheap shots between the two best golfers in world, as McIlroy tells it:
"Tiger gives me stick about being short. He always asks me, 'Seriously, how tall are you?'" McIlroy said. "I'll say, 'five nine.'
"'Yeah, but without the hair? That's five seven, right?' He'll ask me, 'What do you do when Caroline [Wozniacki, McIlroy's girlfriend] wears heels?' But I give him grief about all sorts. Getting old, getting bald.
"He doesn't take himself too seriously, certainly not when I'm around."
Apparently not. There are serious moments, though. McIlroy continues:
"I've been seeing loads of Tiger and I've got to know the person.
"Every time I ask him, 'What are you doing next week?' [and] he's like, 'I've got the kids and I can't wait to do this, to do that.' I can tell you he's a very committed father, which is probably all because of what happened and wanting to make up for what he did.
When you spend as much time on a golf course as McIlroy has with Woods lately, it's no wonder he's gleaned such deductions into Tiger's soul. It goes beyond competition, too. As McIlroy explains in one telling anecdote:
"There was a great moment before the pro-am at Crooked Stick," McIlroy said. "It was early morning, so early it was still dark, and Tiger and me were the only two on the range hitting balls.
"It was pretty cool. Just the two of us hitting balls on our own, no one else there. And I couldn't help thinking, with us being out there so early, 'Maybe this is why we are the best two golfers in the world.'"
If that's all it takes, I'll see you there. McIlroy and Woods will play together again during the first two rounds of the Tour Championship on Thursday and Friday.
Of course, if the Golfing Gods will it so, they'll might meet on opposite sides during the Ryder Cup next week. McIlroy has already said that he wants to face Tiger in the Sunday Singles, according to ESPN.co.uk.
"It would be great fun to be part of," McIlroy told the Times. "The atmosphere would be absolutely incredible. I might say to Tiger, 'I'll have a word with Jose, you have a word with Davis — and I'll see you on the first tee.'"
On that day, bald jokes will fly fast and furious.