Rory McIlroy says being the ‘most successful European golfer’ is still in his reach, exudes confidence to win fifth major

U.S. Open - Preview Day Two
Rory McIlroy at US Open 2024 (Image via Getty)

Rory McIlroy remains confident about his career. The 35-year-old golfer on Tuesday revealed that he still sets career goals and added that “being the most successful European in the game” is still within his reach.

McIlroy addressed the fact that he trails Seve Ballesteros and Nick Faldo in terms of major championship wins. The Northern Irishman has won four majors so far, while Faldo has six and Seve has 5. Being the only active golfer among the three, McIlroy stands a chance to beat the two legends.

The ace golfer, who is yet to complete a career grand slam, added that he’s more “confident than ever” to win his fifth major.

Speaking in his press conference at Pinehurst ahead of the US Open 2024, Rory McIlroy said (at 11:14):

“I still feel like ‘being the most successful European in the game’ is within my reach. I've got obviously Seve (Ballesteros) and Nick Faldo to pass, in terms of major wins. But I'm really proud of my body of work over the past 15 years and everything that I have achieved whether it be season long titles or individual tournaments or majors.
"Obviously getting my hands on a fifth major has taken quite a while, but I'm more confident than ever that I'm right there and that I'm as close that as I've ever been. But I wouldn't say I've got like a particular number of wins or I want to win as many golf tournaments as I can, I want to try to compete and win as many majors as I can.”

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It is pertinent to note that Rory McIlroy has not won a major since the 2014 PGA Championship at Valhalla. The 26-time PGA Tour winner has come close to winning on multiple occasions, but is yet to achieve his fifth title.


Rory McIlroy says setting a major goal doesn’t ‘set you up for failure or disappointment’

Rory McIlroy also addressed the added pressure of playing with a major championship target. He claimed that the set target doesn’t always ‘setting yourself up for failure or disappointment.’

McIlroy cited his close friend and 15-time major champion Tiger Woods as an example and said that the latter wanted to surpass Jack Nicklaus’ 18 titles record. The Irishman opined that Woods failing to make the Golden Bear’s record doesn’t make his career any less successful than it is.

McIlroy added in the presser on Tuesday:

“I think the only thing about trying to pick a number (of major wins) is that you're setting yourself up for failure or disappointment. Tiger (Woods) wanted to surpass Jack (Nicklaus) and it looks like he might not get there but are we going to call Tiger’s career a failure? Absolutely not.
"It's arguably the best he's played, the best golf anyone's ever seen. But there's always going to be that tinge of what could have been.”

McIlroy reiterated he’s “still got a good little bit of time” ahead of him to compete for more major titles. The golfer further claimed that he’s ‘got a good run’ of 10 years ahead of him.

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Edited by Vishnu Mohan
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