Greg Norman tips Rory McIlroy to break major record ahead of Woods

Rory McIlroy shakes hands with Tiger Woods. Picture: AP
Rory McIlroy shakes hands with Tiger Woods. Picture: AP
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Former world No 1 Greg Norman believes Rory McIlroy is more likely to break Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major championships than Tiger Woods.

Woods claimed his 14th major at the 2008 US Open in a dramatic 19-hole play-off with Rocco Mediate but has not won one since after seeing his career set back by the sex scandal which led to the breakdown of his marriage. Norman, revealed that he would prefer to see McIlroy – who already has two majors to his name – be the man to surpass Nicklaus instead.

“I don’t think so, no,” Norman said when asked if Woods was capable of winning the five majors he requires to pass Nicklaus.

“Every year that passes by that he hasn’t won a major it just gets that much harder to win a major. I don’t care how many you have won, it just becomes more and more difficult. He might win one or two more but I don’t think he will win the four or five more that he needs to win to break the record.”

McIlroy won the US Open in 2011 and this year’s US PGA Championship and Norman says the sky is the limit for the talented 23-year-old.

“I think if anybody can break Nicklaus’ record I think he could, because he is young, he is ahead of the game, he is ahead of the curve on a lot of things and he has a very balanced life across the board,” Norman said.

“So I will keep my fingers crossed for him because I would love to see that happen. Somebody will do it one day and it could be Rory. I am a big fan of Rory’s. He can be as big as he wants to be.”

Norman was talking before the Australian PGA Championship, which lasted just two holes for him. He withdrew from the event at the Palmer Coolum resort on the Sunshine Coast.

The PGA of Australia said in a statement last night that Norman, who had been playing with fellow Australians Stuart Appleby and Jake Higginbottom and started on the tenth tee, bogeyed the tenth and 11th holes before withdrawing.

Meanwhile, three-times major champion Padraig Harrington has re-signed with Wilson Golf in a multi-year deal.

The 41-year-old has been with the company since 1998 and said: “I’m delighted to have renewed my relationship with Wilson Golf and for us to continue our long association.”