Like nearly every golf writer, Graeme McDowell was tasked with writing a year-end column that recapped the best moments of his season. He touched on everything – from his personal highlight (rallying to beat Jordan Spieth at the Ryder Cup) to the best achievement (Rory McIlroy winning at Hoylake) to the Next Big Thing (Brooks Koepka) to his favorite non-golf moment (watching the Super Bowl with his dad) – but one section in particular stood out:
How long will Rory Mcllroy remain world No. 1, and how many majors will he win?
As usual, McDowell answered thoughtfully, and his response should sound the alarms for McIlroy’s biggest challengers.
“I think we are witnessing at least a five-year spell as world number one,” McDowell wrote. “I think he is going to dominate in the fashion of Tiger Woods.
“The question of how many majors he will win is more a question of how many does he want to win? The most special thing about Tiger was his drive and desire. Of course, a lot can happen in the next five years, but, looking at Rory, he could win three, four or maybe five more majors in that time. He could then be close to the 10 in total and whether he wants to go beyond that is entirely up to him.”
Only Jack Nicklaus (18), Woods (14) and Walter Hagan (11) have reached double-digit majors. Next April, McIlroy will attempt to become only the third player to complete the career Grand Slam by the age of 25.