It has been four years since the former world number one has won a major


Rory McIlroy: ‘My Goal This Year Wasn’t To Win Majors’

Rory McIlory hosts the Irish Open at Ballyliffin this week and, as usual, all eyes are on him as he attempts to win his national Open for the second time.

The 29-year-old has been a pro for over 10 years now and has won four majors with 23 professional victories in total, but it has been almost four years since his last major victory at the 2014 USPGA.

That came after successive victories at the Open at Hoylake and then the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational.

In those three starts, McIlroy was on his own at the top of the world rankings and looked to have been on the road to double-figure majors.

It hasn’t transpired that way, however, with Rory struggling with his putting in particular, and perhaps confidence, in recent years.

He enters this week off the back of a missed cut at the US Open and a better T12th finish at the Travelers.

After a win-less 2017, he picked up a victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational at Bay Hill and has played in the final group on Sunday on three occasions, in Dubai (2nd), at Augusta (T5th) and at Wentworth (2nd).

The Northern Irishman says he is right where he needs to be heading into this week and The Open in two weeks, but spoke in his pre-Irish Open press conference on the topic of his four-year major drought and believes that he hasn’t yet fulfilled his potential.

“Look, if I didn’t win another major for the rest of my career, nothing is going to change in my life whether I win one or not, but obviously I don’t feel like I’ll have fulfilled my potential,” he said.

“But at the same time, you know, there’s other things in my life that are more important than golf.

“I’d be disappointed but again, it’s not going to change things. I don’t panic. It doesn’t keep me up at night.

“I just need to give myself chances. I was proud of myself just to get into the final group at the Masters this year. I didn’t have a good Sunday. But I would have needed something pretty special to beat Patrick, anyway.”

McIlroy also revealed that his goal for 2018 wasn’t even to win a major.

“US Open was the US Open. I’ve got two more chances this year to hopefully play myself into contention. That was my goal. My goal this year, it wasn’t to win majors.

“It was just to give myself a chance and to put myself in positions to see how I fair. I did that at Augusta. I felt like I learned a bit from it and then hopefully going into Carnoustie and Bellerive, I can put myself in similar positions.”

This week at the Irish will be McIlroy’s final tune-up before The Open where he returns to Carnoustie, the scene of his Silver Medal victory and Open debut in 2007.