(Theo Wargo / NBC / Getty Images for “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon”)

The present state of golf was never more evident than it was Monday night, when Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods stopped by “The Tonight Show starring Jimmy Fallon.”

McIlroy joined Fallon for a spirited game of “Face Breakers,” with Woods reduced to watching because of his back, and, possibly innocently, the winner of four major tournaments at the age of 25 referred to Woods’s stardom in the past tense.

“I’ve gotten to know Tiger for the last few years. I guess this little run that I’m on makes me appreciate what he’s done in the past,” McIlroy said. “Just phenomenal, just to keep a run like this going and he’s done like way more than me.”

And then came the “oof” moments …

“Makes me appreciate how hard he worked,” McIlroy said, “and how dominant a figure he was in our game.”


Woods, who is making joint appearances with McIlroy for Nike, was pretty chipper about it all and even — gasp — poked fun at himself when Fallon and McIlroy talked about how dark it was when he won the PGA championship. By that time, Woods was back at home after missing the cut Friday.

“It was really bright on TV, though, from my couch.”

Woods had a little more fun at his own expense when, during “Face Breakers,” he was reduced to the role of ball-liner-upper for Fallon because of his balky back.