Rory McIlroy is back in Ireland to play in what will be his first Irish Open since 2017.

The World No. 10 is making a much-awaited return to Mount Juliet, a course that he has never played before, but it is where he watched the World Golf Championships in 2002 and 2004.

But one of his most memorable moments was watching his golfing hero Tiger Woods at the age of 13.

Rory shared the story, "The last time I was on the 18th green here was during the prize ceremony when Tiger won."

He even revealed that the first time he saw Tiger Woods hit was during a drive off the fifth tee.

Rory said in amazement, "He hit a 2-iron into the green. It was so cool. I idolized him growing up and to see him in the flesh was pretty exciting."

He was so excited and enamored at a young age as he was close to Tiger that he almost did something illegal.

The golfing champ revealed that he was close to stealing one of Tiger Woods' possessions.

"I sneaked under the ropes and got myself a spot right behind Tiger. His glove was still in his back pocket, and I was so close I could have grabbed it and ran off. Which would have been a good story to tell him."

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Are Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods' Friends?

A couple of years ago, Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy had the chance to play three rounds together, and they both battled for the lead at the 2012 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.

At the time, Rory was only 23 years old. He was bushy-haired and was making a name for himself with his impeccable golf swing. He started gaining the attention of golf fans around the world after winning some majors.

However, during the time, Rory won second place, and Tiger, who was 37, won third.

Since then, they have competed against each other, but they are now best friends, according to reports.

There aren't many reports about it, but when Tiger Woods had a car crash early this year, he was one of the few who reassured fans that the golf legend was "doing better" and believed he would be discharged from the hospital.

Rory previously said in an interview, "Hopefully if things go well over the next week or so he might be able to get home and start recovery at home, which will be great for him, see his kids see his family."

At the time, Tiger was also said to be in good spirit as he continued to send Rory "words of encouragement" for the PGA Tour happening that time.

Rory said, "Even from the hospital bed, he's still giving me some heat."

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