Rory McIlroy has ruled out signing up for the Premier Golf League because he wants to be "on the right side of history".

The world number one is opposed to the plans for the breakaway competition, which could see professional golf at its highest level experience a major split.

England's Justin Rose has admitted the move could be financially appealing to many players, with an 18-tournament tour run by the World Golf Group set to offer annual prize-money of $240million.

However, McIlroy wants no part of the proposed new tour, saying it would take away his "autonomy and freedom".

"The more I've thought about it, the more I don't like it," McIlroy said on Wednesday.

McIlroy also believes 15-time major winner Tiger Woods would have no interest in signing up for the league, and without commitment from such star names the project may be a non-starter.

"The one thing as a professional golfer that I value is the fact that I have autonomy and freedom over everything that I do," McIlroy said in a news conference, ahead of this week's WGC-Mexico Championship.

"I pick and choose. This is a perfect example: some guys this week made the choice to not come to Mexico. If you go and play this other golf league, you're not going to have that choice.

"I read a thing the other day where it said if you take the money, they can tell you want to do, so if you don't take the money, they can't tell you what to do.

"And I think that's my thing. I've never been one for being told what to do, and I like to have that autonomy and freedom over my career, and I feel like I would give that up by going to play this other league."

Referring to a bid by Greg Norman to form a new tour in the mid-1990s, McIlroy indicated he was happy with the modern shape of golf's tours.

"People are looking at it purely from a monetary standpoint," McIlroy said. "I would like to be on the right side of history with this one, just like Arnold [Palmer] was with the Greg Norman thing in the nineties.

"I value a lot of other things over money and that's my stance on it at this point."

The Northern Irishman added: "Money's cheap, money's the easy part. It shouldn't be the driving factor.

"For some people it is, and we're professional golfers and we're out here playing golf to earn a living.

"But at the end of the day I value my freedom and my autonomy over everything else.

"Tiger's 44, he's got two young kids, he's openly said last week he wants to play 12 times a year. This league's proposing 18 [tournaments] so he's not going to do it."

Adam Scott ended a four-year wait for victory on the PGA Tour with a two-stroke win at the Genesis Invitational on Sunday.

The Australian secured his 14th PGA Tour win and first since March 2016 with his success at the Riviera Country Club in California.

Scott, 39, carded a one-under 70 in the final round to finish at 11 under.

Winner of the tournament in 2005 and a two-time runner-up, Scott mixed five birdies with two bogeys and a double bogey in the deciding round.

"It's amazing. I've loved this place from day one and it was tough out there today," he told CBS after his win.

"But the crowd is incredible, I feel like they're on my side here believe it or not and I'm stoked with this."

Scott finished two shots clear of Sung Kang (69), Scott Brown (68) and Matt Kuchar (72).

Rory McIlroy and Kuchar faltered after entering the final round in a three-way tie for the lead with Scott.

World number one McIlroy struggled to a two-over 73 that included a triple bogey at the par-four fifth hole.

McIlroy finished tied for fifth alongside Bryson DeChambeau (69), Max Homa (70) and Joel Dahmen (71), while Dustin Johnson (72) was tied for 10th.

Tiger Woods, whose foundation hosted the event, fired a final-round 77 that saw him finish at 11 over and in 68th.

Rory McIlroy shot a three-under 68 to earn a share of the lead at the Genesis Invitational on Saturday.

The Northern Irishman produced four birdies and a bogey to move into a three-way tie for first at the Riviera Country Club in California.

Overnight leader Matt Kuchar let his two-stroke advantage slip in a third-round 70 that included a run of three bogeys in four holes.

Adam Scott, the 2005 champion and two-time runner-up, joins McIlroy and Kuchar atop the leaderboard at 10 under after making six birdies en route to an impressive 67, backing up the blistering 64 he fired on Friday.

Russell Henley (68) and Harold Varner III (69) are a shot behind the leaders, while 2017 winner Dustin Johnson (67) sits alongside Joel Dahmen (66) at eight under.

Defending champion J.B. Holmes carded a disappointing 76 to slip out of contention.

McIlroy, the world number one, will hope to emerge from a competitive field with a 19th PGA Tour victory and first in 2020.

"You just have to worry about yourself," he told a news conference.

"Concentrate on what you're doing, do it well. Set yourself a target. Don't think about anyone else and if that's good enough at the end of the day, then great.

"If not, then someone has just played better than you. Hats off to them."

Rory McIlroy shot a three-under 68 to earn a share of the lead at the Genesis Invitational on Saturday.

The Northern Irishman produced four birdies and a bogey to move into a three-way tie for first at the Riviera Country Club in California.

Overnight leader Matt Kuchar let his two-stroke advantage slip in a third-round 70 that included a run of three bogeys in four holes.

Adam Scott, the 2005 champion and two-time runner-up, joins McIlroy and Kuchar atop the leaderboard at 10 under after making six birdies en route to an impressive 67, backing up the blistering 64 he fired on Friday.

Russell Henley (68) and Harold Varner III (69) are a shot behind the leaders, while 2017 winner Dustin Johnson (67) sits alongside Joel Dahmen (66) at eight under.

Defending champion J.B. Holmes carded a disappointing 76 to slip out of contention.

McIlroy, the world number one, will hope to emerge from a competitive field with a 19th PGA Tour victory and first in 2020.

"You just have to worry about yourself," he told a news conference.

"Concentrate on what you're doing, do it well. Set yourself a target. Don't think about anyone else and if that's good enough at the end of the day, then great.

"If not, then someone has just played better than you. Hats off to them."

Rory McIlroy shot a three-under 68 to earn a share of the lead at the Genesis Invitational on Saturday.

The Northern Irishman produced four birdies and a bogey to move into a three-way tie for first at the Riviera Country Club in California.

Overnight leader Matt Kuchar let his two-stroke advantage slip in a third-round 70 that included a run of three bogeys in four holes.

Adam Scott, the 2005 champion and two-time runner-up, joins McIlroy and Kuchar atop the leaderboard at 10 under after making six birdies en route to an impressive 67, backing up the blistering 64 he fired on Friday.

Russell Henley (68) and Harold Varner III (69) are a shot behind the leaders, while 2017 winner Dustin Johnson (67) sits alongside Joel Dahmen (66) at eight under.

Defending champion J.B. Holmes carded a disappointing 76 to slip out of contention.

McIlroy, the world number one, will hope to emerge from a competitive field with a 19th PGA Tour victory and first in 2020.

"You just have to worry about yourself," he told a news conference.

"Concentrate on what you're doing, do it well. Set yourself a target. Don't think about anyone else and if that's good enough at the end of the day, then great.

"If not, then someone has just played better than you. Hats off to them."

Rory McIlroy shot a three-under 68 to earn a share of the lead at the Genesis Invitational on Saturday.

The Northern Irishman produced four birdies and a bogey to move into a three-way tie for first at the Riviera Country Club in California.

Overnight leader Matt Kuchar let his two-stroke advantage slip in a third-round 70 that included a run of three bogeys in four holes.

Adam Scott, the 2005 champion and two-time runner-up, joins McIlroy and Kuchar atop the leaderboard at 10 under after making six birdies en route to an impressive 67, backing up the blistering 64 he fired on Friday.

Russell Henley (68) and Harold Varner III (69) are a shot behind the leaders, while 2017 winner Dustin Johnson (67) sits alongside Joel Dahmen (66) at eight under.

Defending champion J.B. Holmes carded a disappointing 76 to slip out of contention.

McIlroy, the world number one, will hope to emerge from a competitive field with a 19th PGA Tour victory and first in 2020.

"You just have to worry about yourself," he told a news conference.

"Concentrate on what you're doing, do it well. Set yourself a target. Don't think about anyone else and if that's good enough at the end of the day, then great.

"If not, then someone has just played better than you. Hats off to them."

Rory McIlroy shot a three-under 68 to earn a share of the lead at the Genesis Invitational on Saturday.

The Northern Irishman produced four birdies and a bogey to move into a three-way tie for first at the Riviera Country Club in California.

Overnight leader Matt Kuchar let his two-stroke advantage slip in a third-round 70 that included a run of three bogeys in four holes.

Adam Scott, the 2005 champion and two-time runner-up, joins McIlroy and Kuchar atop the leaderboard at 10 under after making six birdies en route to an impressive 67, backing up the blistering 64 he fired on Friday.

Russell Henley (68) and Harold Varner III (69) are a shot behind the leaders, while 2017 winner Dustin Johnson (67) sits alongside Joel Dahmen (66) at eight under.

Defending champion J.B. Holmes carded a disappointing 76 to slip out of contention.

McIlroy, the world number one, will hope to emerge from a competitive field with a 19th PGA Tour victory and first in 2020.

"You just have to worry about yourself," he told a news conference.

"Concentrate on what you're doing, do it well. Set yourself a target. Don't think about anyone else and if that's good enough at the end of the day, then great.

"If not, then someone has just played better than you. Hats off to them."

Rory McIlroy shot a three-under 68 to earn a share of the lead at the Genesis Invitational on Saturday.

The Northern Irishman produced four birdies and a bogey to move into a three-way tie for first at the Riviera Country Club in California.

Overnight leader Matt Kuchar let his two-stroke advantage slip in a third-round 70 that included a run of three bogeys in four holes.

Adam Scott, the 2005 champion and two-time runner-up, joins McIlroy and Kuchar atop the leaderboard at 10 under after making six birdies en route to an impressive 67, backing up the blistering 64 he fired on Friday.

Russell Henley (68) and Harold Varner III (69) are a shot behind the leaders, while 2017 winner Dustin Johnson (67) sits alongside Joel Dahmen (66) at eight under.

Defending champion J.B. Holmes carded a disappointing 76 to slip out of contention.

McIlroy, the world number one, will hope to emerge from a competitive field with a 19th PGA Tour victory and first in 2020.

"You just have to worry about yourself," he told a news conference.

"Concentrate on what you're doing, do it well. Set yourself a target. Don't think about anyone else and if that's good enough at the end of the day, then great.

"If not, then someone has just played better than you. Hats off to them."

Matt Kuchar is two shots clear at the halfway mark of the Genesis Invitational, while Rory McIlroy remains in contention.

Having opened with a 64, Kuchar carded a two-under 69 to move into nine under at the Riviera Country Club in California on Friday.

The American mixed four birdies with two bogeys and sits ahead of McIlroy (67), Harold Varner III (68) and Wyndham Clark (68).

McIlroy, the world number one, produced another fine round, which included six birdies and two bogeys.

The Northern Irishman capitalised on the three par-fives – the first, 11th and 17th holes – by birdieing each.

It is a congested chasing pack, with Sung Kang (67), Adam Scott (64), Vaughn Taylor (67) and Russell Henley (69) tied for fifth at six under.

The 2005 champion and a two-time runner-up, Scott's round was the day's best as the Australian holed seven birdies – including four on his final six holes.

Tiger Woods, whose foundation hosts the tournament, battled to a two-over 73 to fall back to a tie for 45th.

The 15-time major champion is joined at even par by Jordan Spieth (70) and Brooks Koepka (73).

Dustin Johnson is in a far better position after shooting a five-under 66 that lifted him into a share of 11th place alongside nine others, including defending champion J.B. Holmes (69).

Matt Kuchar earned a three-stroke lead after the opening round of the Genesis Invitational, where Tiger Woods started hot but faded.

American golfer Kuchar carded a seven-under-par 64 to set the early pace at Riviera Country Club in Pacific Palisades on Thursday.

Kuchar – who was part of Tiger Woods' triumphant Presidents Cup team in Melbourne in December – is without a solo victory since the 2019 Sony Open in Hawaii more than a year ago.

But Kuchar made a strong start in California, where the nine-time PGA Tour champion was bogey-free as he holed seven birdies to top the leaderboard ahead of Lee Kyoung-hoon, Russell Henley, Wyndham Clark, Adam Schenk and Harold Varner III.

It is a star-studded field for the invitational event – one of only five tournaments given that status by the PGA Tour – and four-time major champion Rory McIlroy is in contention.

World number one McIlroy recorded two eagles, a pair of bogeys and a birdie for a three-under-par 68 on day one.

McIlroy headlines a group of 10 players tied for seventh, including Jason Day and Patrick Reed.

Woods is a stroke further back after the 15-time major winner faltered following a bright start in his pursuit of a maiden Genesis Invitational trophy.

The American superstar made an eagle on his first hole, opening a tournament with an eagle for just the second time since 2003 – the fourth of his career at Riviera.

Woods holed two birdies on a flawless front nine before fading after the turn, with the veteran bogeying twice – including the last for a two-under-par 69.

Los Angeles Lakers great Kobe Bryant – who tragically died in a helicopter crash along with his 13-year-old daughter Giannia and seven other victims last month – was honoured around the course.

From a flag in Lakers colours and with Bryant's number eight, to Brooks Koepka sporting headcovers inspired by the five-time NBA champion.

Former world number one Koepka, reigning champion J.B. Holmes and Justin Rose are among the players at two under, while the likes of 2018 winner Dustin Johnson, two-time champion Phil Mickelson, three-time victor Bubba Watson and Jordan Spieth ended the day one over the card.

Rory McIlroy is poised to return to the top of the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) for the first time since 2015, dethroning Brooks Koepka in a situation described as "interesting and rare".

The Northern Irishman will move above Koepka when the next edition of the rankings go live next week, even though both he and the American will not be playing at the Pebble Beach Pro Am, which begins in California on Thursday.

McIlroy has had seven spells as the world number one, though he has not held the position since losing it to Jason Day in September 2015.

Koepka is in his fourth spell at the summit and has been on top since May, the longest streak since Dustin Johnson's 64-week run came to an end in May 2018.

Jon Rahm had the chance to move into first place at last week's Phoenix Open but his finish of joint-ninth was not enough and the Spaniard will also not be playing at Pebble Beach.

McIlroy will leapfrog Koepka because he is losing points at a slower rate in the OWGR system that calculates ranking positions.

The OWGR described the quirk by saying: "The current OWGR situation with Brooks is interesting and rare".

Points are allocated over a two-year period, with the previous 13 weeks holding the highest weighting.

A spokesman added: "He has had two extended periods of injury during the last two years and both are working against his OWGR currently.

"He didn't play between Week 48 of 2017 and Week 18 of 2018 because of a wrist injury, so every time he plays for the next three months will add one to his divisor.

"Most of his competitors will maintain a more or less constant divisor over that period. This means Brooks needs to win relatively approximately 2.5 per cent more points each time he plays to maintain his average. 

"He has not won many points within the last three months, mainly due to not playing because of a knee injury. This means he is losing points because all of is performances are in the period of decay, i.e. older than three months. 

"He is losing points at a greater rate than all the other players."

McIlroy, who won the last of his four majors in 2014, finished in a tie for third at the PGA Tour's Farmers Insurance Open last month.

Koepka, meanwhile, has finished outside the top 10 in his two appearances on the European Tour so far in 2020 and concluded last season earlier than his rival as he struggled with a knee injury.

Marc Leishman fired a seven-under 65 to capitalise on Jon Rahm's final-round errors and win the Farmers Insurance Open by a stroke on Sunday.

Leishman produced eight birdies at Torrey Pines, including one at the last, to claim his fifth PGA Tour victory.

Overnight leader Rahm squandered his one-stroke advantage in a poor first five holes that saw him drop four shots.

The Spanish world number three charged back into contention with a strong run beginning at the 13th and threatened to force a playoff.

Leishman's birdie at the par-five 18th left 2017 champion Rahm needing an eagle to be a chance of winning the tournament for the second time.

Rahm's putt pulled up before the cup to hand his 36-year-old opponent a first Tour triumph since the CIMB Classic in 2018.

"Number five, that sounds pretty good, and on Australia Day," Leishman, who finished 15 under, told reporters.

"Playing well helps but I didn't actually hit it that well off the tee today. Putting always [matters]. You're not going to win Tour events if you're not putting well and I putted as good as I've probably ever putted today."

"This feels pretty amazing. I wasn't expecting this at the start of the day," he added.

Rory McIlroy carded a three-under 69 to finish in a tie for third with Brandt Snedeker (68) at 12 under, while Tiger Woods (70) was a further three shots back.

Woods, who learned about friend and NBA great Kobe Bryant's sudden death after completing his round, congratulated Leishman on the victory with a hug and a handshake.

Ryan Palmer fired a superb 10-under 62 to take a two-stroke lead at the Farmers Insurance Open as Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy struggled to make inroads.

Palmer, the 2018 runner-up, capitalised on playing the North Course at Torrey Pines in California to move into 10 under and the outright lead.

The American made five birdies on the front nine and six in eight holes beginning at the 10th, before dropping a shot at the last.

Palmer holds a two-shot lead over Brandt Snedeker, who carded a five-under 67 on the South Course.

The eight best rounds of the day came on the North Course, with Palmer's the highlight.

Woods (71) and McIlroy played the South Course and were left in a tie for 17th at four under.

A seven-time champion of the event, Woods made a double bogey to start his round before following that up with five birdies and two bogeys.

McIlroy struggled to a one-over 73 despite being two under through 11, with bogeys at 12, 15 and 18 hurting his chances.

J.B. Holmes (69), Jhonattan Vegas (68), Sebastian Cappelen (71) and Matthew NeSmith (70) are tied for third at seven under.

Beau Hossler (66), Keegan Bradley (72), Zac Blair (66), Patrick Reed (69) and Harry Higgs (68) are a shot further back.

Jordan Spieth (70) and Jason Day (67) are among the group with Woods and McIlroy at four under, while defending champion Justin Rose (70) missed the cut after being left to rue his opening-round 75.

Keegan Bradley and Sebastian Cappelen share the Farmers Insurance Open lead as Rory McIlroy and Tiger Woods made decent starts on Thursday.

Bradley and Cappelen opened with six-under 66s at Torrey Pines, sharing a one-stroke lead on what is a congested leaderboard in San Diego.

A bogey-free opening round on the North Course set up 2011 US PGA Championship winner Bradley, who made an eagle at the par-five fifth.

Denmark's Cappelen produced his round on the South Course, mixing eight birdies with two bogeys.

Plenty of eyes were on McIlroy and Woods, who made fine starts, with the Northern Irishman particularly impressive.

McIlroy carded a five-under 67 on the North Course in a round featuring seven birdies and two bogeys.

He is in an eight-way tie for third, alongside Byeong Hun An, Joel Dahmen, Kevin Tway, Zhang Xinjun, Matthew NeSmith, Im Sung-jae and 2011 winner Bubba Watson.

A seven-time champion of the event, Woods fired a three-under 69 to be tied for 21st.

Woods made two birdies and two bogeys on his front nine before picking up shots at the first, fifth and ninth.

Jon Rahm, the 2017 winner, is among a group of 10 tied for 11th at four under, with J.B. Holmes alongside him.

Defending champion Justin Rose struggled on the South Course, shooting a three-over 75.

Jordan Spieth, meanwhile, made a solid if unspectacular start with an opening-round 70 that included five birdies.

When the 2010s began, Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Brooks Koepka had a combined major tally of zero.

Tiger Woods boasted 14 but was weathering the storm of a very public scandal and about to endure a barren spell almost as remarkable as his reign of dominance.

The holders of golf's four most prestigious titles were Angel Cabrera, Lucas Glover, Stewart Cink and YE Yang.

Meanwhile, the Ryder Cup resided in the United States, claimed in dominant fashion against Nick Faldo's beleaguered European side at Valhalla. 

Reflecting now on the 11 majors shared by McIlroy, Spieth and Koepka; the stunning return to glory enjoyed by Woods at the 2019 Masters; the relative obscurity of Cabrera, Glover, Cink and Yang; and Europe winning four of the past five Ryder Cups, it becomes apparent just how drastically the golfing landscape has changed.

It ought to be enough to warn anyone off making predictions for the 10 years ahead, but Omnisport's golf experts Russell Greaves and Peter Hanson have gone ahead and done it anyway.

 

CAN TIGER CATCH JACK?

The facts: Woods' victory at Augusta earned him a fifth green jacket and 15th major, leaving him three behind Jack Nicklaus.

RG: This is one of the longest-running debates in sport, up there with the Messi-Ronaldo argument in football.

I suspect in both cases I will take a different view from my colleague (it's Messi, hands down), as I'm of the opinion that Tiger's long pursuit of Nicklaus' haul of 18 majors will prove in vain. He spent most of the 2010s in decline and has left it too late to pull out of that nosedive.

In mid-May 2024 he will hit a significant landmark in becoming older than the oldest major winner in history – the 1968 US PGA Championship victor Julius Boros, who was 48 years, four months and 18 days old. Time is against Tiger and even he doesn't have a club in the bag to fashion a way out of the hazard that is old age. 

PH: Not unlike the Messi-Ronaldo debate (for which Ronaldo is the obvious answer), this discussion has become a little weary and repetitive in recent years.

But here's the thing, we're not discussing your average athlete. This isn't a mere a golfing mortal. Tiger Woods is a once-in-a-generation talent, one who had been consistently written off before his glorious Augusta triumph in April. Such an achievement did admittedly appear beyond him.

Never again should we make the mistake of saying a target is beyond Woods' reach. Time may be against him but if any player is capable of winning a major in their fifties it's Tiger. Simply, Woods can achieve the unthinkable over the next decade.

RORY'S GLORY DAYS OVER?

The facts: McIlroy won his fourth major in 2014 but has not tasted victory since.

RG: It speaks volumes of McIlroy's quality that people look upon his CV – featuring four major wins and 95 weeks at the summit of the world rankings – and consider him to have underachieved.

It is a compliment and insult all at once; an emphatic underlining of how high expectations are, and also a crude dismissal of his already lofty achievements.

But in the decade to come, McIlroy will enjoy a resurgence in majors and cement his place among the all-time greats. 

PH: When McIlroy won major number four, and a second US PGA Championship, at Valhalla in August 2014, you would have been laughed at hysterically for suggesting he would not win another before the close of the decade.

And yet, for one reason or another, it has not quite clicked for McIlroy since. There have been near misses, plenty of 'what ifs' and no shortage of frustrations. We have seen a much more serene McIlroy over the past few years and you do wonder if some of the edge that made him such a formidable talent is gone.

Still, McIlroy is a phenomenal competitor. It is hard to imagine he will not again be a major winner over the next 10 years. But you sense it may be a return of six or seven career majors rather than the double-digit tally many previously predicted.

WHO WILL ENJOY RYDER CUP SUPREMACY?

The facts: Team Europe have claimed eight of the previous 10 Ryder Cups and won the 2018 edition by seven points.

RG: Thomas Bjorn's Europe produced a superb performance to win the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, but do not expect to see similar scenes again any time soon.

That result in France represented a shock that is not likely to be repeated. Team USA boast far greater strength in depth and how much longer can the likes of Sergio Garcia and Ian Poulter continue to defy their relatively lowly ranking to deliver the goods on this stage?

If the USA lacked anything in 2018, it was the sense of togetherness so evident within the hosts, but with that lesson now learned the harsh way they will be raring to go at Whistling Straits and in the tournaments to come this decade, three of which will be Stateside. 

PH: Every time we reach a Ryder Cup it seems as though Europe are written off before a ball has even been struck off a tee. And yet, last year, it was again the Americans preparing for an ugly post-mortem.

There is something about this glorious competition that stirs a response in the Europeans that the Americans just simply cannot seem to replicate – or certainly not on the same consistent basis.

Sure, the likes of Garcia and Poulter are nearing the end of their famous journeys, but the heroics of Francesco Molinari and Tommy Fleetwood in Paris - coupled with the fact the likes of Justin Rose, McIlroy and Jon Rahm have plenty of golf left in them - means there remains a strong nucleus. Home or away, Europe will still have the upper hand when it comes to the Ryder Cup in the 2020s.

AMERICA v REST OF THE WORLD: WHO WILL WIN THE MOST MAJORS?

The facts: Three of the four majors are held by Americans. The most recent US clean sweep was in 1982, while 1994 was the last year that no American won one. In the 2010s, it finished America 21-19 rest of the world. 

RG: There will be another American lockout of the majors in the coming decade, quite probably more than one. It has been a close call in the previous two years and the past eight majors in the US have been won by home hopes.

Consider the five most recent non-Americans who spoiled the party – Danny Willett, Henrik Stenson, Sergio Garcia, Francesco Molinari and Shane Lowry – what odds on any of those repeating the feat? I'll accept Molinari as a 50-50 but wouldn't back any of the others.

With Brooks Koepka (more on him later) such a keen collector of majors, Tiger still prowling (I said he wouldn't get to 18, but I fancy him for another Masters title), Patrick Reed a likely repeat winner, Dustin Johnson surely destined to win another and Justin Thomas a shoo-in, I see a lot of silverware finding its home in the United States.

PH: The Ryder Cup is one thing but the majors are a completely different animal and in that regard the Americans are locked in to dominate.

In each of the previous three years, the United States were missing just once victor to complete a sweep and I just feel it is a feat that is guaranteed to be achieved at some stage in the next decade.

There is enough talent in McIlroy, Rahm, Fleetwood and Rose to keep things close but, I have to agree with Russ here, the strength in depth possessed by America means there is only one outcome to this question.

 

CAN KOEPKA KEEP UP THE PACE?

The facts: Koepka triumphed four times in eight major outings from the 2017 U.S. Open to the 2019 US PGA Championship, while by the end of the latter year his record showed a T6, T4, T2 and outright second-placed finish across the sport's quartet of headline events.

RG: It would be fascinating to see anyone make the case for Koepka failing to add to his impressive major haul, and it's not something I'm willing to attempt.

The guy is a stone-cold winner when it comes to the big tournaments and nothing about him – from his technical brilliance to his mental toughness – suggests he will go off the rails.

He is one victory away from tying with the likes of Seve Ballesteros and Phil Mickelson, and two away from Nick Faldo and Lee Trevino – he will surpass them all.

PH: I have to start my answer here with a caveat. You will not find a bigger Brooks Koepka fanboy in the world than me. I simply love the guy. He is someone who is just unashamedly himself and why would you not be with the success he has had?

What is remarkable is the way Koepka came from relative obscurity to become the best in the world. While McIlroy, Spieth, Thomas and countless others were making claims to be the dominant force, Koepka – who cut his teeth on the European Tour, a rarity for an American – came up on the rails to steal a march on more well-known and, some would argue, marketable names.

But that chip on the shoulder is what I admire most about him and what makes him so difficult to beat. At this stage, I genuinely believe it is just a question of how many majors he will win. I don't think it is a stretch in any way to say he will have at least 10 in 2029.

WHO WILL BE THE FIRST-TIME MAJOR WINNERS?

The facts: There are 40 majors in any given decade and in the 2010s there were 25 first-time winners.

RG: As the numbers above suggest, there is a lot of scope for maiden major winners in the space of 10 years, but let's pick out four who are pretty much nailed on. 

Tony Finau has got everything required to join the club and I'm confident his compatriot Rickie Fowler will finally get off the mark too.

On the European side, Jon Rahm will follow in the footsteps of fellow Spaniards Seve and Sergio, while Ryder Cup star Tommy Fleetwood is also a safe bet.

PH: This is always a fun question and one where you can look like the fount of all knowledge or end up with egg splattered all over your face.

Continuing a theme of predicted American dominance, I think the most obvious candidate to break their duck is Xander Schauffele, a man who has four top-five finishes and another inside the top 10 to his name.

Compatriot Patrick Cantlay is another I expect to see win one of golf's big four, while Bryson DeChambeau and Finau are outside bets. Rahm has all the makings of a major winner too, I just hope it doesn't take him as long as it did Sergio to become one. I also see Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick becoming Open champions.

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