Paul McGinley believes Rory McIlroy will win more majors but, now seven years since his last, it will be ‘hard won’.
McGinley was up bright-and-early in his role as SKY Sports Golf analyst at Sky’s customary main commentary position located between the back of the 16th green and 17th tee at TPC Sawgrass. McIlroy had yet to tee-off in the two-year COVID-19 related delay to defend his Players Championship title.
It was around 6.30am local US time and some 30-minutes from McIlroy’s horrendous double-bogey ‘6’ start to the Tour’s premier event when McGinley, the 2014 victorious Ryder Cup captain, was asked to comment, and not for a first time in recent years, whether McIlroy can still break clear of having won ‘just’ four major championships.
This year will mark seven years since a mop-haired McIlroy won the 2014 PGA Championship along the shores of Kiawah Island. And bizarrely St. Patrick’s Day next Wednesday will mark 500-days since McIlroy last won anywhere in capturing the 2019 WGC -HSBC Champions title in Shanghai.
McGinley responded to the question, saying: “It’s hard to say for sure when he’ll win a fifth major. He’s won four major championships and hasn’t won one since 2014
“It’s a big leap of faith to say he’s going to win five major championships from now in. The thing now is that the competition is a lot tougher than it than it was when Rory came on the scene in the early 2010s and took the game of golf by storm in winning a number of majors and racing to the top of the World Rankings.
“As I say, the competition is a lot tougher now. He’s moved on. He’s in a different place in his life right now. He has different responsibilities outside of the game. He has a lot of business interests that are going very strongly. He’s married and is settled down in West Palm Beach, as well as having a baby
“So, these things come into your life and a little bit of the focus you have that he might have had earlier in his career. So, it’s hard to definitively say his best years are ahead of him but if you ask me if he’s going to win more major championships? Absolutely! There is no doubt about it. But it’s going to be hard won as the competition is so much tougher now.”
What does delight McGinley is that McIlroy is back working with putting guru, Brad Faxon.
“He’s been working a lot again these few weeks with Brad Faxon, and normally when Rory works with Brad that’s a good indication as he goes on to normally putt quite well,” said McGinley.
“So, I would not be surprised to see him contending this week. He’s coming into this week off the back of two top-10s and his game is not a million miles away. The main thing with Rory (with McGinley raising his hand to touch his forehead) and with all these players, is confidence and for him particularly.”
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