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Rory Mcllroy is the picture of athleticism - 2023 should bring major drought to end

Cast your mind back to 2014 when Rory Mcllroy won his last major at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky, how many did you think he would win over the nine years that would follow?

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 13.03.2023
Rory Mcllroy is the picture of athleticism 2023 should bring major drought to end

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Cast your mind back to 2014 when Rory Mcllroy won his last major at Valhalla in Louisville, Kentucky, how many did you think he would win over the nine years that would follow? Most people were under the impression that he would win between five and ten, all the while chasing down Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships.

Tellingly, this prediction was shared by Nicklaus himself who famously remarked following Rory’s PGA Championship win in 2014: “Rory is an unbelievable talent. I think Rory has an opportunity to win 15 or 20 majors or whatever he wants to do if he wants to keep playing.”

Fast forward to 2023 and the Northern Irishman hasn’t even added a single major championship to his collection. It has been one of the biggest surprises in sports history but there is reason to believe that this will be the year that the 33-year-old ends his major drought.

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Mcllroy tipped to go all the way in 2023

To start with, the latest Masters odds price Mcllroy at just 15/2 to win the year’s first major at Augusta National. 

The most recent golf odds for the Open in July set to be hosted at Royal Liverpool Golf Club price Mcllroy as the outright favourite at 8/1.

This is particularly significant as the last time the Open was played at Royal Liverpool in 2014, Mcllroy managed to win it. As you can see, the overriding prediction is that the Northern Irishman will get back into the major winner’s circle this year and there is a reason that confidence levels are high with regards to what this year has in store for one of golf's most influential players.

— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 5, 2023

Mcllory will be returning to some of the courses where he has enjoyed remarkable success but crucially, the 33-year-old is also in the best shape of his life physically.

A transformation of body and mind

In essence, it is no coincidence that owing to his backbreaking work in the gym over the last five years, Mcllroy has now given himself the best chance of adding to his major tally. 

The four-time major champion has been working on increasing his upper body and core strength. Perhaps what is most interesting about this is that this particular regime in the gym has coincided with a change of approach to his game. Indeed, Mcllroy is no longer trying to increase his distance off the tee, with the new onus now focusing on being more consistent in terms of staying on the fairway, even if it means using smaller clubs like a 3-wood when starting the hole.

A player can only really adopt this strategy if they possess the strength needed to get around the world’s longest courses without the use of the biggest clubs in the bag. In other words, sacrificing distance for accuracy still requires Herculean strength in the modern game.

The last 12 months have provided unequivocal proof that this is a game plan that works after the Northern Irishman recorded four wins in 2022. Furthermore, Mcllroy was able to hit the ground running in 2023 when he won the Hero Dubai Desert Classic for the third time in his career.

— Rory McIlroy (@McIlroyRory) January 30, 2023

Mcllroy could not be going into the 2023 major season with better form or more confidence. It has, admittedly, been a barren run in the majors over the last decade but thanks to a dedicated training schedule that Mcllroy has rigorously stuck to, the charge to greatness looks set to pick up again in 2023.

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