Rory McIlroy takes from the best

Then again, there's the 2010 Masters. McIlroy had a 4-shot lead through 54 holes ... and imploded. It is a credit to him that he bounced back to win the very next major, but that's not something Woods ever did. That was more Mickelson-esque, as Lefty has had his share of major heartbreak.

And of course there's the inconsistency. McIlroy has been up and down, far more than Woods -- they've both missed 10 cuts in their PGA Tour careers, even though Woods has been a pro nearly 13 years longer. Mickelson has missed 70 cuts.

"I think for me it's all a mental thing," McIlroy said. "If I can get myself in the right frame of mind week in, week out, and give myself some little mental triggers throughout the week like I did at the Open Championship, then hopefully I'll have a lot more of those weeks.

"Everyone's going to have bad weeks. It's inevitable. It's going to happen. We're not machines or robots. We're human beings, and it's just hard to keep that level up for an extended amount of time. Tiger has obviously done it. He was at the top of the game for like 10, 12, 15 years in a row. But he still had bad weeks -- or whatever a bad week was for him ... 10th or whatever.

"I think that's just the thing that I'd like to do a little bit more of, make my bad weeks a little better. So instead of a missed cut, at least grind it out and try to finish in the top 10 or whatever it is."

Sergio Garcia has finished second to McIlroy at each of the last two tournaments, and he has had his duels with Woods over the years.

"Obviously they are both great players," Garcia said. "But when they are both at their best, to me it seems like Rory is less afraid of hitting driver, and when he's hitting as well as he's hitting it now, he'll hit it very far and quite straight. So obviously it makes a lot of holes a lot easier. It's an advantage."

No doubt, McIlroy's strength is his driver. It is clearly the hallmark of his game, and when it's on, everything else seems to fall into place.

When Woods was younger, his strength went beyond the driver. It was never his best club, but his ability to hit laser iron shots, plus chip and putt, helped him stand out.

So does that make McIlroy less like Woods and more like Mickelson? Again, it appears to be a combination of both. Mickelson's short game has been a big part of his success, but so has his ability to drive the ball in play when he's at his best.

"I just think what I saw [McIlroy] doing last week is playing to his strength, which is the driver," Mickelson said. "He's such a great driver of the golf ball. He kept playing the course aggressively and making birdies.

"As long as he continues to play to his strength, he's going to be making birdies and winning golf tournaments. He's just a very good talent. We've been waiting a year, a year and half now for it to turn, and it's really turned for him now."

The comparisons are inevitable, but if you're Rory, taking a little from both isn't such a bad thing.

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