McIlroy plays down Woods Ryder rivalry

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Rory McIIroy has tried to play down his comments about Tiger Woods with two days remaining before the Ryder Cup at Celtic Manor begins.

Having claimed that a little of Woods's aura had gone, he went on to say: "You've got to realise I said those things a week after he'd shot 18 over at Akron, so he wasn't playing too well at that time, but he's obviously getting his game together."

McIlroy had said the personal problems Woods had endured in recent months had affected the American's golfing stature. "He's still a fantastic guy and I'm sure he'll get back to winning the way he used to (but) for the meantime I suppose a little bit of that aura is probably gone."

He added he would love to play against Woods at the weekend.

"I've said it this week and last week I don't mind who I play, I just want to win points for the team, if that's against Tiger, against Phil, against Steve Stricker, Hunter Mahan or whoever you just want to go out there and play as best as you can. I feel that if I play to my potential this week I'll be able to win a few points," McIlroy said.

When Woods was pressed for his reaction to Europe's Rory McIlroy saying he would like to play against him in the singles, he said "Me, too." 'Would you like to elaborate?', asked the reporter. "No," replied Woods.