LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Unlike You Know Who, Rory McIlroy never put a number on his major-championship aspirations. He didn’t want the pressure of trying to live up to his own expectations.
Jack Nicklaus, the winningest major champion of them all, appeared earlier this week on ESPN Radio’s “Mike & Mike,” and he may have unwittingly set a target.
“I think Rory has an opportunity to win 15 or 20 majors or whatever he wants to do if he wants to keep playing,” Nicklaus said. “But you just don’t know what the guy’s priorities are going to be in life 10 years from now.”
When asked his reaction to Nicklaus’ comments after his opening round at Valhalla, McIlroy replied, “If that’s Jack’s opinion of me, he has a high opinion of me. I’ve always said I’m on three, and I want to get to four. Hopefully I can get to four this week and then keep going from there.”
McIlroy, 25, is playing in his 25th career major this week at the PGA Championship. Tiger Woods was 24 when he won his fourth major at the 2000 Open Championship, a victory that completed the career grand slam.