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Top 30 Golfers for the 2016 Majors: No. 1 Rory McIlroy

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They’re the cream of the major championship crop, circa 2016 — 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 Gary Williams.

No. 1: Rory McIlroy

Born: May 4, 1989, Holywood, County Down, Northern Ireland | Career PGA Tour Wins: 11 (12 on the European Tour) | 2015 Wins (Worldwide): 4 | 2015 Earnings (PGA Tour): $4,863,312 (7th) | World Ranking: 3

Gary Williams' Take: The former world No. 1 had what he described as a “lost season,” although for most, it would have been a career year — four worldwide wins, including a World Golf Championship win at the Cadillac Match Play. Not being able to defend his Open Championship due to the ankle injury he suffered 12 days beforehand was devastating to him, and you can rest assured that he gets a little agitated when talk of the best player begins with someone other than himself. Even years — 2012 and 2014 — have been very good to him, and I expect him to end 2016 as No. 1 in the world with another major championship on his résumé. That major quite possibly could come at The Masters to complete the career Grand Slam. I polled several players, and the overwhelming majority believe that at his best, McIlroy is the best player in the world. He will prove it this year.

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Major Championship Résumé
Starts
: 28
Wins: 4
2015 Performance:
    Masters – 4
    U.S. Open – T9
    British Open - DNP
    PGA Championship - 17
Best Career Finishes
    Masters – 4 (2015)
    U.S. Open - 1 (2011)
    British Open - 1 (2014)
    PGA Championship - 1 (2012, ’14)
Top-10 Finishes: 12
Top-25 Finishes: 18
Missed Cuts: 4

Athlon's 2016 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, Zach Johnson, also takes you tee to green with full-swing instruction and short game essentials. BUY IT NOW.