Tiger Woods may have 14 major championships to Rory McIlroy’s four, but Monday night on Jimmy Fallon’s Tonight Show, the kid let the old man know his time at the top of the game was over.
"I’ve gotten to know Tiger for the last few years. I guess this little run that I’m on makes me appreciate what he’s done in the past. Just phenomenal, just to keep a run like this going and he’s done like way more than me," McIlroy told Fallon as a stone-faced Woods, biceps bulging under a skin-tight black T-shirt, looked on.
Rory set Tiger up like a bowling pin and then boom!
"Makes me appreciate how hard he worked, and how dominant a figure he was in our game," said McIlroy.
One past tense may have been accidental but two, in the same sentence?
Tonight's #JimmyFallon appearance might have been just the inspiration Tiger needed to come back to challenge Rory. #pasttense #dude #really— Scott Michaux (@ScottMichaux) August 19, 2014
Of course, with Woods confirming to Fallon that he was unable to swing a club for the rest of the year because of his bad back, the winner of this year’s British Open and PGA Championship pretty much summed up the state of Tiger’s game.
Even Fallon piled on, reminding Woods of the time, four years ago, when he beat the former EA Sports star at his own video game.
"I always love seeing you man, because you remember when you were healthy?" Fallon began, only to have Woods chime in, "No, I don’t remember, no."
Undeterred, Fallon helped Woods recollect.
"And you came on the show and I played you in a video game, your own video game, your face is on the box of the video game and I think I won. I don’t even remember but I think I beat you," Fallon said, before again kicking the injured superstar while he was down.
"You can play a lot of video games now," he said. "You can warm up and get better."
Woods, who seemed to be enjoying himself despite the razzing, got in a few zingers of his own, even at his own expense. While Fallon and McIlroy rhapsodized about how dark it was when the heir apparent won at Valhalla, Woods, who missed the cut a week after withdrawing from Firestone because of his back, remarked, "It was really bright on TV, though, from my couch."
With Woods helpfully "caddying" for Fallon, the host and the Boy Wonder played "Facebreakers," a game that involved chipping golf balls at glass panels painted with their faces.
Oh yeah, the two Nike pitchmen appeared with Fallon to introduce the golf supplier’s new Vapor irons, available in a store near you on Oct. 31.