McIlroy eyes third leg of career Grand Slam at 25


HOYLAKE, England – If Rory McIlroy wins the British Open on Sunday, he will join Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods as the only players to have collected three legs of the career Grand Slam at or before age 25. Nicklaus was 23 and Woods was 24.

McIlroy, 25, eagled Nos. 16 and 18 on Saturday, shot a 4-under 68 and is at 16 under par, six shots ahead of Rickie Fowler. Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson are tied for third place at 9 under.

But back to McIlroy’s pursuit of the career Grand Slam at Royal Liverpool. Both of his major victories came in dominating fashion. The first was at the 2011 U.S. Open at Congressional where McIlroy blitzed the field and won by eight shots. He won by the same margin a year later at the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island. His performance this week seems to mimic the previous two.

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What would it mean for McIlroy?

“It would mean a lot of hype going into Augusta next year,” he joked. “Not a lot of people have achieved the career Grand Slam. And if everything goes the right way tomorrow to get to that three-quarters of the way there is some achievement by the age of 25. I’d be in pretty illustrious company.

“I’m going to try to put all of that out of my head. It would be way too much to think about and way too much to sort of ponder. First things first. Just play a solid round of golf tomorrow.”