Rory McIlroy explains why he is not chasing Jack Nicklaus
Rory McIlroy won his third career major when he captured The Open Championship at the end of July. The 25-year-old has won the U.S. Open, the PGA Championship and The Open, and he’s looking like the most dominant golfer in the world.
Though Rory is young and poised to be one of the next greats of the game — only he, Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods won three majors by 25 — he is not setting a goal for a specific amount of majors he wants to win.
“I’m taking it one (major) at a time. I’ve always been reluctant to put a number on it,” McIlroy said in an interview with ESPN’s Tom Rinaldi.
Rinaldi asked McIlroy why the Irishman does not have a set amount of majors he wants to win, such as breaking Nicklaus’ record of 18.
“I don’t want to put that pressure on myself. I don’t want to put the burden of trying to achieve something. And I said it at The Open Championship — if I set myself a number and I have one of the best careers ever but I come up a couple short of that number, is that a disappointment? Is that a success? I just don’t see the point of putting a number on it.
“I’m at three, I want to get to four. Hopefully when I get to four I want to get to five. I just want to keep doing it like that.”
Though McIlroy undoubtedly wants to top Nicklaus, it’s probably for the best that he hasn’t set a specific number of majors as his goal. Remember what Charles Barkley said about Tiger Woods? Chuck said Tiger’s sole focus in life was beating Nicklaus’ record. That left him unable to enjoy life, and now look at him since his career went awry.
McIlroy might not top Nicklaus, but we know he’ll be up there when his career is over. And at least he’ll be able to enjoy and appreciate his success as he piles up the honors.