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Top 30 Golfers for the 2014 Majors: No. 12 Rory McIlroy


They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2014 — the Athlon Major Championship Dream Team. Leading up to The Masters, we'll be unveiling Athlon Sports’ 30 players to watch for majors season, with commentary on each from the Golf Channel’s Brandel Chamblee.

No. 12: Rory McIlroy

Born: May 4, 1989, Holywood, Northern Ireland | Career PGA Tour Wins: 6 (5 on European Tour) |2013 Wins (Worldwide): 1| 2013 Earnings (PGA Tour): $1,802,443 (41st) World Ranking: 7

Brandel Chamblee's Take

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Rory McIlroy had a lot of distractions in 2013. In changing equipment, it is best to change one thing at a time so that one can control the variables and can point the finger at the exact cause for any fall-off or gain in form. Rory changed clubs and balls, and while his ball-striking only fell off negligibly from the year before, his game fell off sharply. Perhaps it was the equipment adjustment, or perhaps it was the lawsuit brought on by a management change; regardless of the cause, he wasn't the player who won two majors by eight shots. However, towards the end of the year, he showed signs that he was more settled in his life and his game. The one thing he didn't change was his swing. Good thing. In grace and power there is no equal to Rory’s move, and with the equipment changes behind him and the lawsuit winding down, he can go back to building what may well be, when he is through playing, one of the great careers in history.

Major Championship Résumé
Starts: 21
Wins: 2

2013 Performance:
Masters - T25
U.S. Open - T41
British Open - Cut
PGA Championship - T8

Best Career Finishes: 
Masters - T15 (2011)
U.S. Open - 1 (2011)
British Open - T3 (2010)
PGA Championship - 1 (2012)
Top-10 Finishes: 7
Top-25 Finishes: 11
Missed Cuts: 4

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

Athlon's 2014 Golf annual provides in-depth previews of this year's four majors, including the top 30 players to watch this season. One of these elite players, Dustin Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.