Fellow Major Champions have singled out Rory McIlroy as their ‘Player of the Decade’.
The Holywood golfing starlet was the choice of fellow four-time Major winner Ernie Els along with the Masters winning trio of Adam Scott, Sergio Garcia and Mike Weir plus the last Major winner of the 2010-19 decade – Shane Lowry.
In the past 10-years, McIlroy has won four Majors and 23 other tournaments around the globe while current World No. 1 Brooks Koepka equals McIlroy in terms of Major victories but the American has won just 10 other events and four of those were a two-year spell on the secondary European Challenge Tour.
In the 40 Majors held this past decade McIlroy captured four (2011 US Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship and 2014 PGA Championship).
Koepka won his four Majors in a two-year spell (2017 & ’18 US Open, 2018 & ’19 PGA Championship) while Jordan Spieth bagged three (2015 US Open & ’15 US Open, 2017 Open Championship).
Bubba Watson is a double Masters winner (2012 and 2014) while Phil Mickelson captured a third Augusta National green jacket in 2010 and a first Open Championship in 2013 in the past decade to take his individual haul to five majors after Lefty’s first three Majors in the decade 2000-2009.
Of course, Tiger Woods captured an emotionally-charged 15th Major in winning a fifth Masters earlier this year for a 15th Major Championship but then it had been 11-years and back in 2008 when Woods had last won a Major.
Then there’s Dustin Johnson who claimed 22 victories, including the 2016 US Open, from February 2010 to February 2019.
This means that the remaining 23 Majors in decade 2010-19 have been shared by 23 different players.
When this journalist quizzed five fellow Major Champions who they thought has been the most dominant player in the past decade their was only one – McIlroy.
And in singling out McIlroy they were unanimous in their praise of the 30-year’s demeamour both on and off the championship golf courses of the world.
Ernie Els – Four-time Major winner
“For the time being you cannot split Rory or Brooks for the number of Majors they’ve won but for sheer talent and dominance over the past 10-years, it is clearly Rory who is my choice for ‘Player of the Decade’.
“Rory has won many more tournaments than Brooks and what I like about Rory is that he has won around the world whereas Brooks has won all but a couple of his early career victories in the States.
“I like that a lot in Rory that he is a global player.
“And then there’s Rory’s golf game because when Rory’s on, well daylight is in second place. He has wavered a little bit when he’s led but when he’s on, he is the best player who has ever played.”
Adam Scott – 2013 Master winner
“When you take in the whole decade, the most dominant player has been Rory and this despite the efforts of Dustin (Johnson), Brooks (Koepka) and Jordan (Spieth).
“Rory’s consistently been a strong player and the thing is also, I just like everything about him. He’s very popular both inside, among his peers, and very popular outside the ropes among the fans around the world.
“Rory, in my opinion, is now the biggest global drawcard in the game. There is something about him I like. He’s incredibly honest with his comments and that is whether he’s played good or he’s played bad.
“I like the fact he’s not afraid the say the stuff he believes in and being honest, as he is, is what is endearing to people.
“Rory is probably the guy to lead the ancient game into the new decade and he will continue to do a superb job in that role.”
Sergio Garcia – 2017 Masters winner
“If you look at Rory and Brooks, they have each won four majors but over the past decade Rory has easily been the most dominant.
“I’ve also got to know Rory quite well this past decade and he’s an unbelievable golfer and great fun to be around.
“Yes, Rory is a good friend of mine and we get along well with both my wife, Angela and his wife, Erica also very good friends.”
Mike Weir – 2003 Masters winner
“The best player in my mind the last decade is Rory. Yes, Brooks (Koepka) has won four Majors over the past two years but in terms of a decade-long dominance it’s been Rory. He blew everyone away in winning the US Open at Congressional and then the next year he blew everyone away in winning the PGA Championship at Kiawah.
“There’s also so much to like about Rory. He’s got a complete game. He’s worked hard on his putting with Brad Faxon. Rory’s also fun to watch. He’s got a good swagger about him. He drives the ball a long way and just hits it so solid. Aesthetically, it is a nice swing to watch whereas if you look at Brooks it is more of a power swing whereas Rory generates a lot of power but it is just an aesthetically pleasing swing. Rory has a Bobby Jones-esk flow to his swing.
“The great thing also about Rory is he is a great young man. He’s a great guy we have at the top of the rankings.”
Shane Lowry – 2019 Open Champion
“It goes without saying Rory has easily been the most-dominant player over the past decade.
“In my view, he’s the best player in the world and while Tiger (Woods) remains a very influential figure in continuing to raise the profile of the game, Rory has dominated the past 10-years.
“There has been plenty of guys who have had good spells such as Jordan Spieth, who looked like he would be the best player in the world while Jason Day also looked as though he may dominate and then there’s been Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka who’ve each had their short period where they’ve looked the best.
“Though looking back on the last 10-years Rory’s been the best and he’s the player to lead the game into the next decade and who’s to say he won’t also dominate this next decade.”