• PGA Tour

Norman: Woods 'really intimidated' by McIlroy

ESPN staff
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Greg Norman believes Tiger Woods is trying too hard © Getty Images
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Former world No. 1 Greg Norman has claimed Tiger Woods is "really intimidated" by Rory McIlroy.

Norman, a two-time major champion during an illustrious career, believes Woods - a player who has never previously been cowed by a rival - suddenly finds himself in awe of the Northern Irishman's prodigious talent and consistently high performances.

"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.

"But I think he knows his time's up and that's normal; these things tend to go in 15-year cycles."

He added: "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."

While McIlroy has won two majors in the last two seasons, Woods is searching for his first major title since 2008. The American has played himself into contention at such tournaments over the past year but has tended to fade over the weekend - and Norman believes that is because he is desperate for success and is pushing too hard to try and make it happen.

"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."

He added: "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."

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