Originally posted on Larry Brown Sports  |  Last updated 9/18/12

PONTE VEDRA BEACH, FL - MAY 05: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland smiles during a practice round prior to the start of THE PLAYERS Championship held at THE PLAYERS Stadium course at TPC Sawgrass on May 5, 2010 in Ponte Vedra Beach, Florida. (Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy is the best golfer in the world. Never has that been more evident than over the past couple of months, as McIlroy has dominated the sport and put himself in a prime position to win the FedEx Cup this weekend. One man who knows how it feels to own the game is Tiger Woods.

McIlroy and Woods will once again be paired together on Thursday and Friday at the Tour Championship. Rory grew up idolizing Tiger, but golf legend Greg Norman feels as though Tiger may be the one with all the admiration now.

“What I’m seeing is that Tiger’s really intimidated by Rory,” Norman told FOXSports.com. “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.”

Tiger is 36, has won 14 majors and may have already played his best golf. McIlroy is 23, has won two majors and is just getting started. The passing of the torch is common in golf, but it is interesting to think about the man who was once feared by every player in golf as someone who is intimated by a kid.

“Jack took it from Arnold (Palmer),” Norman explained. “I took it from Jack, Tiger from me and now it looks like Rory’s taking it from Tiger. And I don’t mean that as a negative to Tiger, because he’s got 14, but the years are in Rory’s favor.”

As someone who spent 331 weeks as the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world, Norman knows of what he speaks. Many believe the off-the-course issues Tiger has had to deal with over the past several games have hurt his focus, and it’s quite possible a kid from Northern Ireland — one who has been known to talk about kicking Woods’ ass — has played a role in that too.

This article first appeared on Larry Brown Sports and was syndicated with permission.

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