RORY MCILROY MAJOR SPECIALS 2020
The world number one spot has been occupied twenty-one times by six different golfers since Rory McIlroy’s reascension to the throne. In that time, not one of Jason Day, Jordan Spieth, Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas, Justin Rose or Brooks Koepka managed to rack up more than the 95 cumulative weeks that Rory had achieved by 2015.
This week he made it an astounding 96 weeks on top of the world. A century beckons imminently. However, by the time the Masters swings by in April, talk will have shifted back once more to his quest to complete the career Grand Slam at Augusta.
Going into the fourth day in 2011, we would have offered some fairly eye-bulging odds that Rory would still be chasing his maiden Masters by the end of the decade. Here he is, and here we are. The only unsurprising facet to his career is that he is the current favourite for this year’s renewal at 17/2.
He’s always at the top of the market, whether it be a major or not. Clearly, being favourite doesn’t spook him. He’s won enough mid-season tournaments to prove that. Is it just a twist of fate that the ones that evade him, as if by chance, happen to be the majors? He has won on all types, all conditions, all levels of pressure.
Golf isn’t a sport where the best man wins every tournament (apart from the Tiger years). With such large fields, packed full of quality, it is graft, talent and luck. An exceptional season is to win even a couple of tournaments. Maybe, after all, he’s just been unlucky. Maybe, this is going to finally be his year again.
We’re sticking our neck firmly above the parapet and offering a market-leading 2/1 for Rory to win a major this year. After breaking down the pros and cons of the venues, this perhaps isn’t the smartest of moves.
The Masters, Augusta
9 – 12 April
With course figures of T8th, 4th, T10th, T7th, T5th, T21st, despite never winning this tournament, you’d have to say Rory knows what he is doing around Augusta. It’s a fallacy that you have to be a good putter. Premier drivers of the ball have littered these (unnaturally perfect, green and pristine) pastures since the turn of the millennia. Question: is there really a more complete driver of the ball than Rory? Rory is 17/2 to win the Masters.
USPGA, Harding Park
14 – 16 May
The USPGA has consistently rewarded brawn over brain for the last decade. So what better than another course (Harding Park) which did the very same the last time it hosted a professional event! Rory got the better of Gary Woodland (both, of course, famous for their short straight driving and their exemplary short games) in the 2015 WGC Match Play Final at this venue. The only change to the course since then has been the loss of a few trees, which will do little to quell the usual bomb and gauge tactics the longer players employ. Rory is 9/1 to win the USPGA.
US Open, Winged Foot
18 – 21 June
A chance for the bookies to get a missed cut under our belts! Although, with a win and two T9s in the past decade, his record isn’t exactly shabby! 2006 was the last time Winged Foot hosted an event which heavily favoured the patient and precise. The rough will be knee-deep, the fairways will be narrowed and if the course plays firm and fast it is unlikely to be to Rory’s liking. Rory is 17/2 to win the US Open.
Open Championship, Royal St George’s
16 – 19 July
Hosted this year at Royal St Georges in Sandwich Kent, which was the first course on the open rota outside of Scotland to host the championship. Rory, on his previous visit here, finished an unassuming 25th. With a win and three top 10s since then, he has shown an affinity for links golf that many doubted he had given his naturally high ball flight. Rory is 10/1 to win the Open Championship.