The Northern Irishman only played in 18 tournaments in 2017, with a rib problem which first surfaced while finishing second in January’s South African Open hampering him throughout the year.
Although it was a winless season for McIlroy, it wasn’t exactly a disastrous year, with him securing a share of fourth place at The Open (having been five over par after only six holes), finishing runner-up in two tournaments and claiming seven top-10 finishes. It’s just that we expect so much more from a man of McIlroy’s prestigious talents.
At the age of 25, McIlroy had already amassed four major title wins and it seemed inevitable that there would be many more to come. However, the last of those titles was the U.S. PGA Championship back in August 2014.
His problems probably began just ahead of The Open in 2015, when he totally ruptured an ankle ligament playing football with friends, since when it would be fair to say he’s never been quite the same player as a series of niggling injuries have disrupted his game.
McIlroy still has plenty of support in the golf betting markets, as his odds for the four majors in 2018 will testify. The current best available prices for the four tournaments in question are:
- Masters Tournament 11-1 (Bet Victor)
- US Open 14-1 (888sport)
- The Open Championship 14-1 (Coral)
- S. PGA Championship 12-1 (Paddy Power)
According to the online bookies, McIlroy remains among the leading handful of contenders for all the majors, so there is clearly still plenty of belief in his abilities out there (or at least an acknowledgement that McIlroy will still be heavily backed).
It’s worth noting that, whether you want to bet on Rory McIlroy or any other player, you can get an online free bet to bet on all major golfing events.
It’s McIlroy’s stated aim to surpass Gary Player’s total of nine major titles, so becoming the game’s most successful non-American golfer in history. Still aged only 28, there’s plenty of time left to achieve that goal, but the competition is now probably tougher than ever.
That’s because there are now a number of talented young players challenging for honours at the big tournaments, with the American trio of Brooks Koepka (27 years old), Jordan Spieth (24) and Justin Thomas (24) winning the last three majors of 2017. You can also add the names of Spain’s Jon Rahm (23) and Japan’s Hideki Matsuyama (25) to that list.
McIlroy will be hoping that spending the latter months of 2017 in the gym and doing rehabilitation work will help him both physically and mentally going into the New Year. He has said that he will be ready to return to competitive golf at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on the 18th January.
Another aim for McIlroy is a career Grand Slam, with only the Masters Tournament required to complete the set. The first major of the year takes place at the Augusta National Golf Club in early April, so there would be no better time for McIlroy to return to the form of old.
Most golf fans would love to see the McIlroy of old too, as he remains one of the finest natural talents in the game on his day.