Tiger: Rory will be back soon
Tiger Woods says Rory McIlroy just needs "a little bit more time" before rediscovering his best form again.
McIlroy started 2013 as the world number one, with Woods ranked third behind Luke Donald.
But while Woods has reeled off five victories to return to top spot, the Northern Irishman has fallen to sixth after a troublesome and so far winless campaign.
Speaking at a promotional event for his World Challenge event, Woods said: "I think he's had a lot of change not only in his game, but off‑the‑course management, sponsorships. He's had a lot of things going on this year.
"He hasn't played as well as he has in prior years, but he's still ranked pretty high. I think he's either fifth or sixth in the world. A lot of guys don't even get that high.
"I think give him a little bit more time, I think he's starting to put the pieces together, starting to play a little bit more.
"He showed some really good signs towards the end of the season that the things he's working on are starting to come together."
McIlroy is about to embark on a six-week tournament stretch that starts with this week's Kolon Korea Open and ends with Woods' World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in California (December 5-8).
Also scheduled to appear in Tiger's 18-man event are defending champion Graeme McDowell along with Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter, Ernie Els, Jason Day, Steve Stricker, Bubba Watson, Hunter Mahan, Nick Watney, Matt Kuchar, Brandt Snedeker, Jim Furyk and Keegan Bradley.
Woods, himself, will also be taking part. His only other event in 2013 will be the Turkish Airlines Open in November.
Of his 2013 campaign, Woods reflected: "To have a five‑win season, I've done some pretty positive things to accomplish that.
"As far as some of the things I'd like to get better at, that's obviously peaking at the right times and getting the four big events (majors) next year that I'd like to win. Hopefully I can do that."
Woods hasn't added to his tally of majors since banking his 14th when winning the 2008 US Open at Torry Pines.