He may have lost out on the BBC’s top sporting award, but in chasing a career Grand Slam at the age of just 25, golfing sensation Rory McIlory will have more major success in mind for 2015, it’s just a question of how many?
Having added a second PGA Championship crown to his maiden Open Championship triumph this summer, the SPOTY runner-up became only the third player to have scooped three of the sport’s flagship tournaments by his 25th birthday.
This has prompted Ladbrokes into drawing up a series of special bets on the projected number of majors McIlroy may add to his burgeoning collection of four next year.
The firm have opted for no wins as the 5/4 favourite, exactly one at 6/5, two is 5/1, three takes a leap to 25/1 and an unprecedented clean sweep of the Masters, the US Open, The Open and the PGA is a 50/1 shot.
Only Tiger Woods, second in the overall list of multiple major winners with 14, has managed to win three in one calendar year, only missing out on the Masters in 2000.
If the great Jack Nicklaus, leading the way with an incredible 18 all-told, could not piece together three in the same season then the weight of history suggests a trio for Wee-Mac will be a risky bet also.
Four seems bonkers, however, the prevalence of double major wins in the same twelve-month period between the sport’s elite makes the 5/1 stand out.
En-route to 18 overall, The Bear achieved the feat no fewer than five times, Woods another three times post his bumper millennium haul, plus a host of others to.
Gary Player, Tom Watson, Arnold Palmer, Sir Nick Faldo, Lee Trevino, Padraig Harrington, Nick Price and Mark O’Meara all own a membership to the double club.
Despite McIlory’s tender years, surpassing the 18 majors Nicklaus achieved during his glittering career is a shaky 4/1 shot in the same specials market.
But considering the Masters is the missing piece of the Grand Slam jigsaw, the 1/4 about him collecting the Green Jacket at some point in his career should be grabbed with both hands.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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