PARIS -- Rory McIlroy says Europe's Ryder Cup team will not be paying Tiger Woods any special attention, adding that it would be "silly" to earmark individual threats as the buildup continues ahead of Friday's start at Le Golf National.
Despite the hype over Woods' involvement in the Ryder Cup going into overdrive following his first tour win in five years at the Tour Championship in Atlanta last weekend, McIlroy is playing down any notion Europe will be paying him special attention.
"This week, he's one of 12," McIlroy said Wednesday. "We're not looking at any individuals. We're just trying to beat the U.S. team."
McIlroy played alongside Woods on Sunday as the final pairing, but his title challenge fell apart in the final round as he finished six shots behind Woods. He gave short shrift to a question during a news conference Wednesday over whether the pressure had got to him, and grouped Woods as part of America's collective threat rather than earmarking him as Europe's greatest challenge.
This is Woods' first Ryder Cup since 2012 in a playing role; he was one of Jim Furyk's captain's picks. And though he is hitting some of his best form in recent memory, McIlroy believes it would be "silly" to merely focus on Woods.
"It's great what he did on Sunday," McIlroy said. "It was great for golf. It brings a lot of excitement to the game.
"I think to focus on one player is silly, especially when I might not even see him this week at any point this week because I mightn't be on the course with him or play against him.
"I don't really want to speculate how he's going to play or what he's going to do. I think it's great for the U.S. team that he's in the mix, and it's great that it's given their team a little bit of momentum coming over here.
"You know, we're looking to beat the U.S. team. We're not looking to just beat Tiger Woods."
McIlroy's Europe teammate Justin Rose landed a $10 million windfall over the weekend after securing the FedEx Cup, and he joined Woods in celebrating their respective triumphs in Atlanta.
"I was happy for Tiger last week," Rose said. "I think the golf world was. He's had an immense struggle the last few years, and I think it's brilliant to see him back, and I think it's good for our sport."