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Top 20 Golfers for 2013 Majors: No. 1 Rory McIlroy


They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2013 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, 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. 1: Rory McIlroy

Born: May 4, 1989, Holywood, Northern Ireland | Career PGA Tour Wins: 6 (5 on European Tour)|2012 Wins (Worldwide): 5| 2012 Earnings (PGA Tour): $8,047,952 (1st) World Ranking: 2

Brandel Chamblee's Take

Rory McIlroy’s length and high ball flight are enough to separate him from the pack, but it’s his further ability to work shots comfortably left to right or right to left and his overall sense and feel for the game that make him destined to be one of the greatest players of all time. He is not without weaknesses — both off of the tee, where he misses in both directions, or on the greens, where he didn’t rank in the top 20 in a single putting stat for 2012. But those weaknesses are overcome by his ability to self-correct. Taught by a former player in Michael Bannon, Rory possesses a swing that is unfettered with complexities and is distinguished by a freedom of movement and rhythm that is as good as the game has ever seen. His talent appears to be matched by a maturity and perspective that will make him one of the most marketable athletes in the world for years to come.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 17
Wins: 2

2012 Performance:
Masters - T40
U.S. Open - Cut
British Open - T60
PGA Championship - 1

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T15 (2011)
U.S. Open - 1 (2011)
British Open - T3 (2010)
PGA Championship - 1 (2012)
Top-10 Finishes: 6
Top-25 Finishes: 9
Missed Cuts: 3

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

Athlon's 2013 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 20 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, reigning FedExCup champion Brandt Snedeker, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.