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Masters Golf Tournament 2012: Tiger Woods Discusses Rory McIlroy At Press Conference

The 2012 Masters will hold its opening round on Thursday. On Tuesday, current favorite to win and golf superstar Tiger Woods held a press conference.

While Woods spent some time talking about the course and his approach, several questions from the press centered around next-generation phenom Rory McIlroy, who is also among the favorites to win the tournament.

Related: Complete Masters Coverage

Woods was asked about McIlroy's record-setting win in the 2011 U.S. Open

"I hadn't met Rory at that time and I didn't know much about him. I hadn't played golf with him yet. The first chance I really got to sit down and talk with him was this year at Abu Dhabi, when we played nine holes together ... His recovery, it was cool to see someone learn from their mistakes like that and apply. He had one bad round, it happens to everybody ... That was some pretty impressive playing at the Open"

Woods was asked whether McIlroy reminds him of himself in any way.

"Yeah, the way he can move the ball out there. I used to move it like that, back in yesteryear. The way he plays and the way he handles himself out there ... He has all the makings of being a great champion for a long period of time. He just needs to get more experienced. It seems like every single tournament he's playing in, he's in the top 10. And that's great to see."

Woods has an opportunity to win his fifth Masters this week. If he should win the tournament, it would be his 73rd career win and would tie Jack Nicklaus for second-most wins all-time, behind Sam Snead's 82. The green jacket would also put him one behind Nicklaus' six Masters wins.

For more on the Masters, check out our story stream here. For more on Golf in general check out SB Nation's golf blog Waggle Room and SB Nation's dedicated golf hub.

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Photographs by coka_koehler used in background montage under Creative Commons. Thank you.