Published Wednesday, 19 September 2012
Rory McIlroy with playing partner Tiger Woods at the recent BMW Championship. (© Getty)
Australian legend Norman said in an interview: "I think he (Woods) knows his time's up."
Apparently Woods has taken to calling his young rival 'The Intimidator', although the nickname is strictly tongue-in-cheek.
"How can I intimidate Tiger Woods?" McIlroy laughed in response to Norman's comments.
"I mean, the guy's got 70-whatever PGA Tour wins, 14 majors ... he's been the biggest thing ever in our sport. It's just not possible. I don't know where he (Norman) got that from, but it's not true."
So is Woods intimidated?
According to the PGA Tour website, he smiled in response to the question and admitted: "It's got to be the hair."
But more seriously, he explained that golf was different from other sports - in that, while you're in competition with others, the focus is on your individual game and they can't physically affect that.
"We go out there and play our own game and see where it falls at the end of the day," Woods said.
"It's not like you go over the middle and some guy is 255 pounds and going to take your block off."
How could some little 23-year-old from Northern Ireland with a few wins come up and intimidate Tiger?
Woods and McIlroy have been paired together in a number of recent tournaments and golf fans are hopeful of a singles clash in the forthcoming Ryder Cup, with both players also open to the prospect.
"It would be very exciting to be a part of," McIlroy said.
"But I just want to win as many points as possible for Europe and that's all I can really do. I'm not going to sit here and lie and say I wouldn't enjoy it, because I would.
"But I think that's up to the captain to decide where I play and where he wants to put me and whatever decision he makes is good with me."
McIlroy has also admitted he's having a re-think over his recent comments about the question of his nationality, if he had to choose Team GB or Team Ireland for the 2016 Olympics.
Although the 23-year-old insisted that he hadn't made up his mind, he did appear to be leaning towards declaring for Team GB - stating that he had "always felt more British than Irish".
But on Wednesday, McIlroy said: "After everything that happened last week, it definitely makes me reconsider my position and reconsider a lot of things.
"I think it just really hit home with me how important it is for a lot of people and how important my success has been to them."
He added: "I've had a lot of support from all sides ... it would be terrible for me to nearly segregate myself from one of those groups that supports me so much.
"It's four years away - I still have a bit of time to decide."