McIlroy targets twin major wins before year-end

Wed Jun 11, 2014 2:25pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

PINEHURST North Carolina (Reuters) - Having regained his love of golf after enduring a turbulent 2013 campaign on and off the course, Rory McIlroy has set his sights on winning at least two of the last three majors this year.

The Northern Irishman is in good form heading into this week's U.S. Open, buoyed by his victory in the European Tour's flagship BMW Championship last month, and hopes he can also take advantage of a few tips given to him by Jack Nicklaus.

"It's definitely a reasonable goal," world number six McIlroy told reporters on a hot and humid Wednesday at Pinehurst Resort about his target of clinching two major wins this season.

"You have to go back to probably Padraig Harrington in '08 to have a multiple major champion in a single year. It doesn't happen that often.

"But I feel like my game is in a good enough place where I can definitely give myself a chance to do that. I've got three majors left this season and I do feel like my game is good enough to be able to contend in all of them."

Irishman Harrington was the most recent multiple major winner in a single season, clinching the British Open and PGA Championship in 2008, and McIlroy believes he is capable of following suit based on the way his form has improved.

"My game has been feeling pretty good, and it was nice to get a win a few weeks ago in Europe," said the 25-year-old from Holywood, who is already a double major champion.

"I felt like my game was trending ... it was building up to something like that. It was nice to see some of the hard work that I put in pay off. It's been a much more consistent year for me, which has been great.   Continued...

Rory McIlroy of Ireland speaks during a news conference ahead of Thursday's first round of the U.S. Open Championship golf tournament in Pinehurst, North Carolina, June 11, 2014. REUTERS/Mike Segar