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Top 20 Golfers for 2012 Majors: No. 2 Rory McIlroy


They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2012 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Throughout the month of March, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 20 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 2:Rory McIlroy

Born: May 4, 1989, Holywood, Northern Ireland| Career PGA Tour Wins: 3 (2 on European Tour)|2011 Wins (Worldwide): 2| 2011 Earnings (PGA Tour): $1,905,609 World Ranking: 2

Brandel Chamblee's Take:

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Winning a major at a young age is proof of uncommon maturity and gives a player decades of opportunities armed with the confidence that he has what it takes to win on golf’s biggest stage. Winning a major by a wide margin says that a player has another gear that few have ever known in this game, and it follows that he can win with less than his best stuff. Rory McIlroy did both when he won the 2011 U.S. Open, a victory made more impressive by the fact that it was on the heels of a horrific Sunday meltdown at Augusta. 
The Northern Irishman has his peers predicting stratospheric accomplishments, and I see no reason why those predictions won’t come true. In my opinion there are three distinct levels of talent in the game: Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and the rest of the world.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 13
Wins: 1

2011 Performance:
Masters - T15
U.S. Open - Won
British Open - T25
PGA Championship - T64

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T15 (2011)
U.S. Open - 1st (2011)
British Open - T3 (2010)
PGA Championship - T64 (2009)
Top-10 Finishes: 5
Top-25 Finishes: 8
Missed Cuts: 2

—Brandel Chamblee is lead analyst for the Golf Channel. Be sure to follow him @ChambleeBrandel on Twitter.