X

Rory McIlroy Would Be Disappointed If He Doesn't Win a Major This Year

Kathy BissellCorrespondent IMay 22, 2015

Rory McIlroy dominated at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Rory McIlroy dominated at the Wells Fargo Championship.Associated Press

Rory McIlroy already has three victories in 2015, but he said at the BMW PGA Championship that he will be "disappointed if I wasn't to win one of the next three majors."

At his most recent PGA Tour victory, the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, North Carolina, his play wasn't superior. It was astonishing. It was the amazing kind of golf that McIlroy produces when he is on. When he's off, he can miss the cut—as he did Friday at the BMW PGA Championship. When he's middle-of-the-road, as he seemed to be at the WGC-Cadillac Match Play, he can still beat whomever he has to beat.

At the Wells Fargo Championship, however, he played seemingly effortless golf. When world-class athletes perform at a high level, it does tend to look effortless, even when what they are doing is hard to duplicate.

McIlroy's week was so good in Charlotte that he set a course record of 61 in the third round. His 21-under total broke the tournament record by five shots.

He dominated the course off the tee, turning the 493-yard, par-four 18th into a driver-wedge hole. He nearly drove the 345-yard 14th hole. His average driving distance was 321 yards.

Video Play Button
Videos you might like

According to CBS, McIlroy had more than 40 drives longer than 300 yards. With 72 tournament holes and 16 of those being par threes, that's 56 holes remaining. So he drove longer than 300 yards on over 70 percent of the non-par-three holes. And it was in places where he could find it. Mainly the fairway. That's strong.

McIlroy also set the record for the number of birdies in tournament history with 27. This was all on a golf course that is supposed to be tough.

As McIlroy carved up the Quail Hollow track, it begged the question, what will the PGA of America need to do to put some teeth into it for the PGA Championship in August?

If McIlroy was taking apart par fives like they were par fours and nearly driving the greens on short par fours, what can a tournament organizer hope to do to offer a challenge? And will it matter in McIlroy's case?

If he's on, it probably won't.

Since last year's British Open, he's finished in first place six times. In the past, he's won on links courses, parkland courses, desert courses and seaside courses.

It seems the only time he has difficulty is if he's in an average playing streak and it is windy. Those conditions bother McIlroy because he is a high ball-hitter and his shots get bashed around in the air before they have a chance to reach their intended target.

Coming up on the rest of this year's majors, McIlroy has an advantage in at least one of them.

At Chambers Bay for the U.S. Open, no one will have an advantage because no one has played it in competition. In those cases, the best talent usually rises to the surface. But it's likely to be a windy spot close to the water near Tacoma, Washington, and that could be an issue for McIlroy.

At the British Open, McIlroy is the defending champ. He has already tied the record score there with his 63 at St. Andrews in 2010. He certainly has a leg up with a record score during a major.

Finally, the PGA returns to Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wisconsin, where Martin Kaymer won in a playoff with Bubba Watson the last time the course hosted that event. That year, McIlroy was in contention in a major for the first time.

"I was feeling it on the first tee and it was a new experience for me," he admitted after posting an even-par 72.  

As far as conditions go, it's the upper Midwest in August. It's likely to be hot. It's unlikely to be really windy, unless something blows in the wrong direction from Lake Michigan or a storm rolls through from the western plains.

McIlroy has already won at a difficult Pete Dye design, Kiawah Island's Ocean Course, so there's nothing for him to fear.

And he's clearly over the first-tee jitters.

"There's three majors left this season, and I'd love to add to my tally," he said about the upcoming events.

Playing the way he has for the last eight or nine months, it would be hard to believe that McIlroy would fail to capture one if not two major titles in June, July and August. He has the skill for the triple.

The challenge for the rest of the field will be trying to take him down if McIlroy is at his best. At his best, can anyone beat him? From what we have seen, when McIlroy's game is on, he is very similar to the old Tiger Woods. In short, unbeatable.

Kathy Bissell is a Golf Writer for Bleacher Report. Unless otherwise noted, all quotes were obtained firsthand or from official interview materials from the PGA Tour, USGA, R&A or PGA of America. 

🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.