Rory McIlroy will win majors again but it will take time, assures Padraig Harrington
The two-time Open champion reckons Rory is "well on pace to get into double digits with majors"
Padraig Harrington claims it is only a matter of time before Rory McIlroy starts winning Majors again despite rivals having caught him up.
McIlroy, the former World No.1, has not added to his Major tally since winning The Open and USPGA Championship back to back in 2014.
Harrington puts this down to increased competition in the elite game but has no doubt the Holywood man, who bids for a second Open title at Carnoustie this week, will eventually end his drought.
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Speaking on his return to the scene of his 2007 Open success, Harrington said: "Rory's obviously played well this year and yet seems to be getting a lot of press saying he's not playing so well.
"Clearly, his career is now solely based on how he does in the Majors. There seems to be no other yardstick for Rory, and that's probably the yardstick he uses himself. I think back in 2011 he had stolen a march on the field when it came to driving the golf ball, which brought tremendous confidence to his game.
"I think players have caught up. There are many players who drive the ball (to a) comparable (standard) and have certainly eaten into that advantage.
"Instead of in 2011 he was competing against himself, similar to how Tiger would have been for most of his career, I think there are many guys he's competing against now, and it's just a tougher ask. The beauty for Rory is he's still very young, he's still very capable, and with patience those majors will come."
Harrington, however, reckons that could take time - and says there's nothing wrong with that.
"If we look at history, when you start in the modern era, start trying to get to seven, eight majors, nine majors, let alone getting up to 14 and 18 majors, it took 20 years for Jack (Nicklaus) to get 18 majors. And for the eights and the nines there with (Tom) Watson and (Gary) Player, you'll find it took 20 years too, certainly 15 years. And you're judging Rory over seven years. Give him another seven years and see if he's got eight in the bag. Are we disappointed with that then?
"There's no doubt at four you want Rory to have more majors, but in the scheme of things, even in Tiger's best years - so he started in '95, turned pro, and say if he finished winning the majors in 2008, so like that's 14 majors over basically 14 years, 14 years at that stage. That's one a year. It doesn't happen as often as people think.
"Rory is well on pace to get into double digits with majors, but it has got harder. There's no doubt there's more players out there who are capable of having a big week and a big game for a major. It makes it tough.
"But the reality, when you start looking at some of even the best players, some of the best players have still got one or no major or two majors. So Rory's doing pretty well at four."
The 14-time Major winner Tiger Woods will be in the field at Carnoustie, which will be his first Open appearance since 2015.
"He's good enough to win this championship," added two-time Open winner Harrington, 46.
"I don't think he could play golf like the way he played in 2006 at Hoylake. Nobody else could have tried to play the golf course the way he did, and nobody else could have played the way he did. I suspect he couldn't play that way now. He's definitely capable of winning this week. His game is good enough. I don't know if that's the strategy this week to lay up that far back."