Tweet{SCGoogle..." />Can McIlroy bounce back after a disappointing 2016?
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Friday, 04 November 2016 12:29

Can McIlroy bounce back after a disappointing 2016?

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"Rory McIlroy" (CC BY 2.0) by TourProGolfClubs "Rory McIlroy" (CC BY 2.0) by TourProGolfClubs
Rory McIlroy, currently ranked number 2 in the world of golf, is desperately looking for more silverware to set himself back on the path towards becoming one of the all-time greats.

After doing the double in 2014 in winning the Open Championship and PGA Championship, he failed to pick up any Major trophies in the two subsequent years. Professionals in the sport including his former Ryder Cup captain, Paul McGinley, are backing the 27-year-old to bounce back and outdo his rivals in the year ahead.

Along with Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, McIlroy is one of only three players to have won a trio of Majors before the age of 25. Woods went on to win 14 Majors and Nicklaus 18, so the Northern Irishman has a long way to go before he can cement his position among these legends in the sport. Fortunately for the 2014 double winner, he still has his best years ahead of him.

  

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McGinley believes that of the big four names battling for supremacy at the top of the golfing hierarchy- the others being Jason Day, Dustin Johnson, and Jordan Spieth- McIlroy is the standout leader. The 49-year-old said- “he is the man. He has four majors. The others don’t…Only Tiger and Jack Nicklaus have won more at that age.” The bookies seem to agree with the Irishman, and as of early November, the Bet365 golf betting on the Mastershas McIlroy placed at 8/1 to lift the trophy.

McIlroy will certainly be spurred on by the recent successes of his main rivals. Their achievements have served to raise the standard, and the 4-time Major winner knows he must be playing at the top of his game to brush the other members of golf’s Fab Four aside. The current World Number One, Day, has an average of 12.42 across 41 events, superior to McIlroy’s average of 10.77 across 43. The Australian’s stats are helped by his record-breaking achievement in the 2015 PGA Championship, though, where he scored 20 strokes under par (see video below). Day has also missed his last two tournaments with a back injury, which could mean he will not be at full strength in April. Spieth is well favoured by bookies in the upcoming Masters at 8/1 along with McIlroy, as he seeks to atone for suffering one of the biggest collapses in the tournament’s history after having led by five strokes in 2016.

 

 

The current equilibrium at the summit could yet be upset by the return of a giant. One of the sport’s most successful and renowned players ever, Woods has announced that he will be making a comeback at the Hero World Challenge in the Bahamas in December. The 11-time PGA Player of the Year has stated in recent interviews that he is still chasing the Major record set by Nicklaus, and firmly believes he will get more silverware before his career ends. The 40-year-old can be backed at 50/1 to claim a shock win in the Masters.

McIlroy, who famously replaced Woods on EA Sports’ acclaimed PGA Tour console games last year, needs to come out in 2017 and make a big statement. The competition at the top is set to only get fiercer.

 
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