Rory McIlroy insists it would be foolish to write off the chances of Tiger Woods capturing a 15th major championship at next week's British Open at Royal Liverpool.
McIlroy was responding to recent comments, including those of double US Open winner Curtis Strange, who suggested Woods 'would be lying to himself' if he went into next week's championship saying he could win.
Woods has contested just one event since undergoing back surgery and that saw him miss the halfway cut in the recent Quicken Loans National at Congressional.
He is returning to Royal Liverpool at Hoylake for a first time since capturing an emotional third British Open Championship and just weeks after the death of his father and mentor, Earl.
But while Woods has contested only five events all season McIlroy, who is contesting this week's Scottish Open at Royal Aberdeen, would not agree with Strange.
"We have all witnessed what Tiger has been able to do over his career, whether that's come back from injury and win, come back from any sort of off-course stuff and win," McIlroy said.
"I mean, he won the (2008) US Open on one leg, really on one leg.
"So it is foolish for people to write him off? I would say so. If he's playing and he's competing, he's got as good a chance as any."
If McIlroy had any doubts on Woods it was the long-time former World number one's decision to contest last month's Quicken Loans National.
"If it was me, would I want to start back at a Major, under that amount of pressure?
"But he's done it for so many years and knows how to deal with it well.
"So if he feels healthy, his doctors give him the go ahead, then why not."
McIlroy joins defending champion Phil Mickelson as 10 Major winners teeing up on the Aberdeen links gem.
It's the first occasion McIlroy has elected to play the Scottish Open since 2009 and citing the event's move to the Castle Stuart course for three years from 2010-12 as a decision not to compete in the event.
"But now that the Scottish Open is here at Royal Aberdeen and it's a true links test, I think a lot of guys have came to the realisation that to play competitive golf and to play it on a course like this, could really benefit you going into next week."