Chamblee fears for McIlroy – He’s past his ‘statistical prime’

Rory McIlroy (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Golf Channell analyst Brandel Chamblee has sounded the alarm bells on Rory McIlroy’s Major drought, believing the Northern Irishman is past his statistical prime as he chases a fifth Major success of his career.

After McIlroy’s latest disappointment at The Open at Hoylake, next year means his Major drought extends to a decade since he last tasted success in one of men’s golf’s big four championships at the 2014 PGA at Valhalla.

Now 34, McIlroy has amassed a remarkable 20 top-10 finishes at Majors since that last victory and while the Holywood star is swinging it faster than ever, Chamblee fears McIlroy’s prime, which takes in more than just physical conditioning, is firmly behind him.


“I know you think he’s ripped and he is ripped but you reach your physical prime at 26/27, you look at when players are dismissed from teams, it’s far earlier than you would think because they have statistics that show you’ve reached your statistical prime,” Chamblee said.

“I’m talking about mental, I’m talking about optical acuity, all these little things touch nerves, speed.

“I realise he’s ripping it and he looks like a Greek god, but I’m talking about, at 34 he doesn’t have as much runway in front of him as he did when he won his last major.”

There’ll be no escaping the opinions of others as the 2023 chapter of McIlroy’s Major career comes to a close, however, while Chamblee expresses doubt about McIlroy’s ability to get the job done, the man himself retains an outlook of positivity despite a number of near-misses on golf’s biggest stage.

“Over the last two years would I have loved to have picked one of those off that I finished up there? Absolutely,” McIlroy said. “But every time I tee it up or most times I tee it up, I’m right there. I can’t sit here and be too frustrated. My game is in a … you think about my performances in the majors between like 2016 and 2019, it’s a lot better than that.

“Again, I’m optimistic about the future, and just got to keep plugging away.”

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