Norman - Tiger scared of Rory
Australian feels McIlroy will set standard for years to come
Last Updated: September 20, 2012 10:23am
Rory McIlroy (L) has established himself as World No.1 ahead of Tiger Woods (R)
Greg Norman believes Rory McIlroy has assumed the mantle of the world's best player from Tiger Woods and believes the American is "really intimidated" by golf's new superstar.
Norman - a two-time major champion who is second only to Woods in weeks spent as World No.1 - claims McIlroy is now likely to set the standard in the game for the next decade or so.
The Northern Irishman has hit a purple patch of form in recent months, following his second major triumph at the USPGA Championship with back-to-back victories in the FedEx Cup play-offs.
His wins all came at events in which Woods was competing and Norman claims the American is now struggling to come to terms with McIlroy's talent and consistency.
"What I'm seeing is that Tiger's really intimidated by Rory," Norman told Fox Sports. "When have you ever seen him intimidated by another player? Never.
"What I'm seeing is that Tiger's really intimidated by Rory. When have you ever seen him intimidated by another player? Never.
Greg Norman Quotes of the week
"But I think he knows his time's up and that's normal; these things tend to go in 15-year cycles."
He added of McIlroy: "You've got to beat the guy you're taking over from to feel that you're the top guy, and Rory's starting to do that now."
Norman also believes that Woods' desperation to secure a first major title since 2008 has seen him push too hard in those tournaments and fall out of contention.
At both the US Open and USPGA this year, the 14-time major champion was tied for the halfway lead before losing form and momentum.
Norman is adamant that is because Woods is not the player he was once and is now forcing the issue, in contrast to McIlroy who has claimed two in the last two seasons.
"The more you want something, the more you reach for it, the more it gets pushed away," Norman said. "I know all about that. I had that with the Masters.
"Tiger's pushing himself harder and harder now because he's not the force he used to be, and he knows it.
"Look at Tiger's putting stroke. It used to be rock solid. Now, it changes from Fridays to Saturdays. And that comes from pushing too hard, wanting to win that major so badly."