Can Jordan Spieth repeat his two-major success of 2015? Rory McIlroy doubts it
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Can Jordan Spieth repeat his two-major success of 2015? Rory McIlroy doubts it

Rory McIlroy didn't back up his two-major 2014 by adding to his tally in '15. In fact, he missed a title defense at one of the majors, becoming the first British Open winner since Ben Hogan in 1953 not to defend his crown the next year.

In other words, it didn't go as planned for McIlroy. However, the Ulsterman's year didn't go against the grain of history -- and McIlroy doesn't expect Jordan Spieth to have an easy time defying the odds either.

“It will feel completely different for Jordan,” McIlroy said in an interview with The Telegraph. “If you look at the stats at how those who have had a double-major season have performed the next year -- well, it’s hard to back up. It just is. There’s so much expectation, so much attention and focus. And I think it is more self-inflicted pressure really as your expectations are so high.

“This time last year mine were through the roof coming off a great season, winning those back-to-back majors and although I started well I never felt I really got into my stride with the injuries and stuff.”

McIlroy closed 2014 with a stunning major double, winning his first British Open at Royal Liverpool, then taking his second PGA Championship at Valhalla. This year, McIlroy notched four worldwide wins, including the WGC-Cadillac Match Play and the European Tour's DP World Tour Championship. However, the four-time winner didn't win a major. After posting top-10 finishes in the year's first two majors, won by Spieth, a July soccer injury forced him to miss his Open title defense. In his comeback start at the PGA Championship, McIlroy finished in 17th place.


Spieth's 2015 represents the 32nd time a player has won at least two majors in a season. Of the prior 31 times that's happened, only one player has gone on to win multiple majors the next season: Tiger Woods won the 2005 Masters and British Open, then, after his father's death in 2006, defending the Claret Jug at Royal Liverpool and won the PGA Championship.

It's not all bad news for Spieth, however. Another 11 times a player has won multiple majors in a year, they've gone on to win another major the next year.

Players who have won multiple majors in a year, with the number of majors they won the following year:

1922: Gene Sarazen - 1
1924: Walter Hagen - 1
1926: Bobby Jones - 1
1930: Bobby Jones - 0
1932: Gene Sarazen - 1
1941: Craig Wood - 0
1948: Ben Hogan - 0
1949: Sam Snead - 0
1951: Ben Hogan - 0
1953: Ben Hogan - 0
1956: Jack Burke, Jr - 0
1960: Arnold Palmer - 1
1962: Arnold Palmer - 0
1963: Jack Nicklaus - 0
1966: Jack Nicklaus - 1
1971: Lee Trevino - 1
1972: Jack Nicklaus - 1
1974: Gary Player - 0
1975: Jack Nicklaus - 0
1977: Tom Watson - 0
1980: Jack Nicklaus - 0
1982: Tom Watson - 1
1990: Nick Faldo - 0
1994: Nick Price - 0
1998: Mark O'Meara - 0
2000: Tiger Woods - 1
2002: Tiger Woods - 0
2005: Tiger Woods - 2
2006: Tiger Woods - 1
2008: Padraig Harrington - 0
2014: Rory McIlroy - 0
2015: Jordan Spieth - ???

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