The Ryder Cup is a little more than a month away, but the gloves are already off.
Rory McIlroy threw the year's first jab — albeit a playful one — in advance of The Barclays this weekend, and Tigers Woods was the recipient.
"Yeah, I'd love to go out there. I'd love Tiger to go out first and kick his ass," McIlroy joked during a news conference.
McIlroy won't have to wait long if he'd like to tell Woods personally. The two will be paired up for the first two rounds of The Barclays this weekend, which is something the jocular McIlroy admits he's excited about.
"It's hard for me to sit up here and say that I'm the best player in the world or Tiger is," McIlroy said. "Sure, I feel like I'm the best and Tiger feels like he's the best. It's a hard one for me to come up here and say. Tiger's been the best player in the world for the past 15 years. Just the people that mention my name with the likes of him is a huge compliment."
McIlroy also said, "Hi," to someone in the audience before laying the smackdown on Woods. It came after he mentioned Woods was waiting for him to finish up, so it's possible Woods was actually on hand for McIlroy's crowd-pleasing comment.
Present or not, though, it doesn't really matter. What matters is that we'll get to see these two superstars playing alongside each other this weekend. That's something people should be excited about.
Check out the clip from McIlroy's news conference below.