Rory McIlroy one of Tiger Woods’ ‘biggest fans’

Tiger Woods of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland shake hands on the 18th green during the final round of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Tiger Woods of the United States and Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland shake hands on the 18th green during the final round of the 2015 Masters Tournament at Augusta National Golf Club on April 12, 2015 in Augusta, Georgia. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

When Rory McIlroy talks — or, in this case, types — something interesting often comes out of it.

And since the world’s No. 2 golfer is sidelined by stress fractures in his ribs, he has ample time to dish out several interesting somethings.

He recently participated in a five-day email interview with golf.com’s Michael Bamberger, discussing everything from his fiancee Erica Stoll to Tiger Woods and Tom Brady. Suffice it to say, he’s a fan of all three.

Stoll elicited the most insightful response of the session. McIlroy brought her up when asked which person has made the greatest impact to his off-course life.

“The only way I can describe it is if golf were to disappear tomorrow, I don’t think I’d miss it as much as I would have a few years ago,” McIlroy said. “I felt I needed golf to be complete as a person … I don’t feel like that anymore.”

As for Woods, McIlroy said he was and is “one of his biggest fans.

“I remember [him winning the 1999 Masters] like it was yesterday,” he said. “I think if you ask any fan of golf or tour player around my age, they will give you the exact same answer.”

McIlroy said he didn’t get to know Woods well until 2012, when he inked an endorsement deal with Nike. He credited Woods for handling the public portion of his celebrity “very well for the most part” and noted today’s world makes that a constant challenge.

“Privacy is a very uncommon commodity for most people these days,” McIlroy remarked. “I can see why Tiger longs for it so much.”

While McIlroy is a bigger fan of “football football” than “American football” — the word soccer is “very hard for me to use” — he did correctly predict the Patriots would prevail in Super Bowl LI. But the manner in which it played out, with New England erasing a 25-point deficit in the second half, prompted McIlroy to call it “the most incredible comeback I think I’ve ever witnessed in sports.”

On the health front, McIlory said he is “progressing well” and focused on “building it back up slowly.”