Debate: Will Rory McIlroy Win Another Major?

Is it a foregone conclusion that McIlroy will win more Majors?

Will Rory McIlroy Win Another Major
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Is it a foregone conclusion that McIlroy will win more Majors?

Debate: Will Rory McIlroy Win Another Major?

Yes - Sam Tremlett

Rory McIlroy will win a Major again.

Yes he hasn’t won one since 2014, and yes he appears to have some final round struggles most recently at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship where he got totally outplayed by Tyrrell Hatton.

But the reaction to that performance, as always with Rory, is totally over the top.

I have seen many comments claiming he will never win a Major again because of that performance.

“He just cannot get it done,” “his putting is the problem,” “there is something in his head going on.”

These are the comments of people who have no idea what is going on and these people underestimate just how hard it is to win a regular professional event, let alone a Major.

The problem is Tiger made winning look so easy that we assume other players can do it too.

So why do I think Rory will win a Major?

Well he is only 31 years old for a start.

It is not outrageous to say that his best golf could be ahead of him.

He can also clearly compete at the highest level but the way he is talked about sometimes, you would think he had totally lost his swing like Jordan Spieth.

McIlroy last won a Major at the 2014 PGA Championship

The third reason is with the truly great players, and no matter how much you try and deny it Rory is a truly great player, you can never say never.

Never is a long time.

The same people who say Rory can never win one are probably the same people who said Michael Jordan couldn’t win after coming back from baseball, or Tom Brady can’t get to a SuperBowl at 43.

You can never count the great players out.

What is interesting about Rory is how quickly people’s opinion of him changes.

Back in 2019 he won four times and everybody picked him to win each Major.

Then he didn’t win in 2020 for a variety of reasons (new baby, Covid, weird year), and now people say he can’t win again.

Totally over the top reaction as per usual.

Does he have some things to sort out? Of course but show me a player who doesn’t.

Trust me, watch Rory go and win at Kiawah. All it takes is for it to click in one week for Rory, for those people to be proven be wrong.

Call me mad but I am going to back the four-time Major winner every time in that scenario.

Related: Rory McIlroy What's in the bag?

No - Elliott Heath

Sam has raised some brilliant points there and I completely agree that we can be a little bit over the top when speaking about Rory.

If any other golfer won four times in 2019, we'd probably still be chatting about how great they are.

If he doesn't win a Major, we, and I'm guilty of this, criticise him - simply because we know how good he is and we're desperate to see the Major-winning Rory of 2011-2014 return.

However, a tweet from former pro Michael Clayton caught my eye recently and it has got me thinking...

"When Palmer walked off the 72nd green at Augusta in ‘64 and Watson the final green at Birkdake in ‘83 what odds would you have got they would be their final major wins? Is Valhalla that moment for Rory? Surely not but that’s what everyone thought in 64 and 83," Clayton tweeted.

What if Rory never wins another Major?

I'd almost completely ruled this out and I think much of the golfing world has, too.

We just assume he'll win another one or two or three or even four Majors, and we've been assuming it for six years now.

In those six years, the likes of DJ, Spieth, Koepka, Day, Rahm, Thomas, DeChambeau, Morikawa and co. have all, at times, announced themselves as Major contenders and Major winners.

Who knows who is going to come over the next decade, but the years ahead are likely going to be even more competitive when it comes to golf's big four.

Now when Rory is on his game, he is a joy to watch - I am a huge fan and there's barely a single player you'd rather watch ahead of him when he is in the zone.

The thing is, though, is that there is a chance that his best golf is behind him.

Hate me for saying it, but there is a chance.

For whatever reasons, his best stuff is coming out less and less in recent years.

Granted, he still finishes in the top 10 in most events he plays in, simply because he is such a talent.

However, when he needs to step up his game or when he needs to shoot a 66 to win on Sunday, or even shoot a 66 on Thursday in a Major, it just hasn't been there for him.

Will he win another Major? Of course it is likely, but as things stand I am struggling to imagine it.

All I'm saying is it is not a foregone conclusion.

Like Sam says, perhaps something needs to change.

I struggle to see what he will look to change, though, as he at least appears to be in such a great place in his life.

He has his best mate on his bag, he has loved working with Brad Faxon on his putting and mental game in recent years, his boyhood coach Michael Bannon knows his swing better than anyone.

He's just become a father for the first time, he loves living in Florida, he's got all the money in the world...what is there to change?

Rory is winning in every single aspect of life...except the Majors right now.

It remains to be seen where he goes or where he doesn't go.

I just genuinely hope that he re-finds that killer instinct from somewhere because right now I am struggling to envisage it.

What do you think? Let us know on social media

Related: McIlroy responds after Weiskopf criticises his determination

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV