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rory mcilroy europe

Rory McIlroy: I can still be Europe’s most successful player ever

At the US Open, Rory McIlroy said he believes he can bypass the achievements of Sir Nick Faldo and Seve Ballesteros to be Europe’s best-ever golfer…

 

Rory McIlroy has reiterated his goal of becoming Europe’s best-ever golfer.

The Northern Irishman has four major titles and has been stuck on this number since 2014, but he has declared his confidence of winning his fifth major championship is sky high.

If major titles decide the measure of the best players in the men’s game from the continent, he would need to surpass Sir Nick Faldo’s tally of six, and at least match the five-trophy haul of Seve Ballesteros.

The 2024 US Open at Pinehurst will be his next shot at glory in one of golf’s big four events. As well as laying bare his desire to become Europe’s greatest, McIlroy expressed his pride for his current body of work that consists of 26 PGA Tour wins and 17 DP World Tour wins.

“I’ve always said I still feel like being the most successful European in the game is within my reach,” he said at Pinehurst. “I’ve got obviously Seve and Nick Faldo to pass there in terms of major wins. 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, that I’m as close as I’ve ever been. I wouldn’t say I’ve got, like, a particular number of wins. I mean, 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. I think the only thing about trying to pick a number is that you’re setting yourself up for failure or disappointment.

“Tiger wanted to surpass Jack. It looks like he mightn’t 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. There’s always going to be that tinge of what could have been.

“I don’t want to do that to myself. If someone would have told me at 20 years old I’d be sitting here at 35 and this is the career I’ve had, I would not have believed them and I would have been ecstatic.”

rory mcilroy europe

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Rory McIlroy: US Open date set with Scottie Scheffler

During a season in which most of the trophies have gone to Scottie Scheffler, McIlroy managed to force his way to a fourth Wells Fargo Championship in May. Despite being third in the world rankings and being his consistent self on the PGA Tour, McIlroy’s record in 2024 pales into insignificance compared to Scheffler’s.

The American won for the fifth time this year at the Memorial Tournament. The reigning Masters champion has been drawn with McIlroy and PGA Championship winner Xander Schauffele in the first two rounds of the US Open this week.

“Relentless” was the word the 35-year-old used to describe the World No.1 and he is determined to match his standard starting with the third major tournament of the year in North Carolina.

“The fact that the only thing that took him from winning a golf tournament was going into a jail cell for an hour (laughter),” he joked, referencing Scheffler’s arrest at the PGA Championship. “I think just the relentlessness. Look, a lot of stuff went on in his life, as well. They’ve just had a new child.

“He’s been through some struggles in his game, particularly the putter that he’s been able to turn around, as well. It’s not as if he hasn’t had his challenges along the way, or circumstances have been a little bit different for him. But yeah, I mean, the word that I describe it as is “relentless.”

“It seems like every time he shows up, he is the guy to beat, and deservedly so. This run that he’s been on, I think he’s played 14 times this year or 13 times this year, only once out of the top 10. Seems like he’s always in contention.

“The most exciting thing about last week at Memorial was when he made the triple on 9. Everyone was like, oh, looks like he might let people in here, but he finds a way to steady the ship, make a few birdies when he needs to. Undoubtedly the best player in the world at the minute by a long way. It’s up to us to try to get to his level.”

(Headline omage credit: USGA)

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Will we see another Rory McIlroy US Open victory? Will the Rory McIlroy Europe goal come true? Tell us on X!

Matt Chivers

Matt Chivers

Now on the wrong side of 25, Matt has been playing golf since the age of 13 and was largely inspired to take up the game by countless family members who played golf during his childhood.

Matt is a member at Royal Cinque Ports in Deal playing off a 5 handicap, just a pitching wedge away from his hometown of Dover where he went to school and grew up. He has previously been a member at Etchinghill and Walmer and Kingsdown in Kent.

Having studied history at the University of Liverpool, Matt went on to pass his NCTJ Exams in Manchester a year later to fulfil his lifelong ambition of becoming a journalist. He picked up work experience along the way at places such as the Racing Post, the Independent, Sportsbeat and the Lancashire Evening Post.

Matt joined NCG in February 2023 and is the website’s main source of tour news, features and opinion. He has reported live from events such as The Open, the Ryder Cup and The Players Championship, having also interviewed and spoken to the likes of Rory McIlroy, Tommy Fleetwood, Lee Westwood, Graeme McDowell, Henrik Stenson, to name just a few.

Consuming tour golf on what is a 24/7 basis, you can come to Matt for informed views on the game and the latest updates on the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA Tour, Ladies European Tour and LIV Golf.

What’s in Matt’s bag: Cobra LTDx LS driver, Cobra LTDx 3-wood, TaylorMade P7MC irons, Ping Glide 4.0 wedges, Odyssey putter.

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