Rory McIlroy Has Potential to Win 20 Golf Majors – Jack Nicklaus

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By Justin Noel Cudaihl | August 13, 2014 12:47 PM EST

Rory McIlroy is officially on a roll after winning his second straight golf major at the 2014 PGA Championship last week Sunday. One of the greatest golfers of all time, Jack Nicklaus believes that the Northern Irish pro is set for greatness and could win as many as 15 to 20 majors titles by the time his career is over.

Reuters
May 4, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Rory McIlroy tees off on the fourth hole during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club.

Nicklaus made the bold prediction via ESPN Radio.

"I think Rory has an opportunity to win 15 or 20 majors or whatever he wants to do if he wants to keep playing," said Nicklaus in the radio program. “It depends on what he feels his priorities are and that's his call."

McIlroy won the 2014 PGA Championship to become the third player after Nicklaus and Tiger Woods to win three different majors before turning 26 years old. He was the first European to achieve the feat.

McIlroy is a two-time PGA Championship titlist (2012 an 2014) and one-time champion at the US Open (2011) and the British Open (2014). He has a chance to win a missing major—the Masters at Augusta—in April 2015.

The back-to-back majors title in 2014 has put McIlroy in the “greatest golfers of all time” conversation owing to an impressive haul in the early part of his golf career.

McIlroy though still has a lot to work on if he plans to pass the 74-year-old Nicklaus, who has a total of 18 golf Grand Slam titles in his career. To compare, Nicklaus already won titles at the US Open (1962); British Open (1966); PGA Championship (1963) and the Masters Tournament (1963 and 1965) at or before 25 years old.

Not surprisingly, McIlroy is atop the leaderboard in the recent golf rankings.

World Golf Rankings – Top 10 (As of August 12, 2014)
1. Rory McIlroy (Northern Ireland) - 563.50 points
2. Adam Scott (Australia) - 380.64 points
3. Henrik Stenson (Sweden) - 427.17 points
4. Sergio Garcia (Spain) - 379.71 points
5. Justin Rose (England) - 380.17 points
6. Jim Furyk (USA) - 316.03 points
7. Matt Kuchar (USA) - 346.66 points
8. Bubba Watson (USA) - 310.32 points
9. Phil Mickelson (USA) - 301.55 points
10. Jason Day (Australia) - 251.16 points

Can Rory McIlroy indeed pass Jack Nicklaus as an all-time great in golf?

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(Photo: Reuters / Joshua S. Kelly-USA TODAY Sports)
May 4, 2014; Charlotte, NC, USA; Rory McIlroy tees off on the fourth hole during the final round of the Wells Fargo Championship at Quail Hollow Club.
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