• US Open

Woods: McIlroy will take some beating

ESPN staff
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Rory McIlroy made a cut for the first time in four events at the St Jude Classic last week © Getty Images
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Tiger Woods feels Rory McIlroy is now right back on track, having gone through a rocky period in recent weeks.

McIlroy, who begins his defence of the US Open title later this week, ended a run of three straight missed cuts at the St Jude Classic last week.

The Ulsterman was in contention for the title over the weekend, but late double bogey on the final day saw him finish the tournament in a tie for seventh place.

And Woods believes that restorative performance will give McIlroy a boost as he aims to repeat the phenomenal effort he produced at Congressional in 2011.

"Last week was good for his confidence," added Woods. "He did some work at home from what I hear and went into Memphis and played great. It's going to serve him well this week."

However, Woods did throw out a warning by insisting that defending the US Open title is an onerous task. "It's not easy to do - this is probably the hardest test that we play all year," he said.

"We're playing different venues each and every year. It's not like Augusta National where we're playing the same golf course, so what Curtis [Strange, who retained the title in 1989] did - and then contended again in '90 - is awfully impressive.

"It's such a big test and such a grind. Some venues fit your eye, some don't."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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