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Rory McIlroy opens up on reasons behind eight-year major drought

By Joshua Lees

Rory McIlroy has opened up on the reasons behind his major drought, which has seen him go eight years without winning one of golf ’s four flagship events. McIlroy’s last major triumph came back in 2014, when he saw off Phil Mickelson by one shot to win the PGA Championship at Valhalla.

After adding to his collection in Kentucky, many tipped the Northern Irishman to challenge the major hauls of the likes of Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, especially after joining the illustrious pairing in being the only three players to win four major titles before the age of 25.

Things however have not worked out on the biggest stage for McIlroy, and he has revealed the reason why he feels he hasn’t added to his four titles.

He told 5 Live Sport's All About: The Open podcast : "I think I haven't given myself enough chances. I think if I would have had more chances, and realistic chances, it's a bit like tournaments as well - the more you just keep putting yourself in those positions, the more comfortable you're going to feel up there. And sooner or later, if you keep knocking on the door, one of those doors is going to open for you."

Despite this, there have no doubt been some opportunities for the 20-time PGA Tour winner to add to his tally, however McIlroy believes he ‘hasn’t capitalised’ when it matters most. Discussing some of his near misses he commented: “I had a chance at Carnoustie in 2018. I played the final group with Patrick Reed in 2018 at Augusta.

Rory McIlroy won the PGA Championship in 2014 (Jeff Moreland/Icon SMI/Corbis/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

“I was tied for the lead with nine holes to go at the US Open last year at Torrey Pines. I've had a few chances, and I just haven't capitalised." Another aspect that the Northern Irishman believes has hindered his major hunt is the sheer increase in competition across the PGA Tour.

Highlighting the likes of Jon Rahm and Colin Morikawa, he said: “I think players are getting better and better. Whenever I won my last Major in 2014 I had never heard of Collin Morikawa, I'd never heard of Jon Rahm, a lot of these young guys that are coming through are playing unbelievably good golf."

Do you think McIlroy can win a major in 2022? Let us know in the comments section below.

McIlroy discussed the increased competition on the tour (Getty Images)

In spite of his major drought, McIlroy hasn’t been short of success and has won 11 times since his Valhalla victory, including the Players Championship, two FedEx Cups and two Race to Dubai crowns. Following this run, the 33-year-old revealed he is ‘staying patient’ when it comes to adding that illustrious fifth major to his CV.

“I haven't won a Major in the last seven years but I've basically won everything else there is to win in golf,” he added. “I've won the Players Championship, I've won FedEx Cups, I've won Race to Dubai titles, World Golf Championships, I've won National Opens. I've done a lot in the last seven years.

"Yes, that hasn't included a Major championship but I've played good enough golf in those seven years to win one. I'm staying as patient as I possibly can and to just keep giving myself chances. If I do keep giving myself chances, hopefully those chances end up turning into wins."

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Dive Deeper:
Rory McIlroy opens up on reasons behind eight-year major drought
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Jordan Spieth looking for career grand slam at US PGA Championship
The presence or absence of defending champion Phil Mickelson which will dominate the conversation at Southern Hills.
5 contenders to win the US PGA Championship
Tiger Woods could contend for victory in Tulsa.
One subscription that gives you access to news from hundreds of sites
Defending champion Phil Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship as absence continues
Six-time major champion Phil Mickelson - who spectacularly won the 2021 event - has withdrawn from the upcoming PGA Championship
Reigning champ Mickelson withdraws from PGA Championship
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Get all your news in one place