Rory McIlroy has been on quite the run since 2011. He won a U.S. Open that summer, torching soggy Congressional Country Club. The next August, he won the PGA Championship in a blowout on Kiawah Island. After a 2013 that was transitional in more ways than one, McIlroy then went back-to-back in 2014 at the Open Championship and PGA Championship.
So, following last year's injury-influenced major campaign, McIlroy has one last chance to get back on that major-per-year pace. It's one McIlroy believes is sustainable.
"If you can win one of the four every year; if you're that good, you can do that. I think it is realistic," he said Tuesday at the PGA Championship. "I think that is achievable. We've seen in the past that is achievable. That's the benchmark. That's what you're trying to get to. It's hard. As you said, it's so deep, but I guess '11, '12, '13, '14, in that stretch of four years, I averaged a major a year."
It shouldn't come as a surprise, then, that McIlroy aspires to continue that pace.
"Obviously that's what my benchmark is, and I feel like I can attain that," he said.
Just doing some mental math here, but McIlroy is 27 now. Win this week, that's five majors. Win for each of the next 13 years after that? Well, that's 18 -- just like Jack Nicklaus.
Or, as McIlroy said, "I could retire at 40 and be very happy."