In this video, produced by Nike, we see how Tiger Woods inspired Rory McIlroy on his path to professional glory


In the build up to the 2015 Masters at Augusta National, a video from Nike has emerged that underlines the importance of role models. For Rory McIlory, growing up at Holywood GC in Northern Ireland, there was only one player he wanted to be.


Watching Tiger Woods win his first major at Augusta and then continue on his march to 14 of the biggest titles in the game, Rory McIlroy was inspired to achieve greatness.


“As a kid, I looked up to Tiger,” said McIlroy. “When I first saw him on TV, I remember being completely enamored by the energy he brought to the sport. His will to win. His determination. His fight.”


The Rory McIlroy we see competing today is the product of that early connection with the former World Number One.


“I’ve been in that same situation,” said Woods. “Growing up, Jack was my idol. My first recollection of The Masters was 1986, when Jack won. I remember him making a putt at 17 and lifting that putter up. Fourteen years later at the 2000 PGA Championship, I got to play with and against him – someone I looked up to.”


The film, produced by Nike, begins with a reenactment of a young McIlroy intensely watching Woods win his first U.S. Amateur Championship on TV in 1994. A few years later, still from his hometown in Holywood, Northern Ireland, McIlroy witnessed Woods’s electrifying performance of winning his first Masters title by an astounding 12 shots. As the film progresses, we see McIlroy emulating Woods’s work ethic, perfecting his game in the rain, working on his putting stroke on a putting green at his house (filmed at his actual childhood home), with his mother Rosie and father Gerry supporting him all the way.


The film culminates with the two professionals competing against each other, walking side by side down the fairway.


What this film serves to underline is how important the likes of Woods and McIlroy are to the game of golf. This year Rory McIlroy will try to become the first player since Woods to capture all four of the major titles. If he does one thing is for sure, there will be young players all around the world inspired to follow in the footsteps of the Northern Irishman.