They may not shout it from the hills, but deep down every professional golfer – any athlete, really – usually harbors one goal they hope to accomplish above everything else. It varies from player to player, of course. Some dream of winning on the PGA Tour, or making a Ryder Cup, or landing a solitary major. Rory’s aiming a bit higher.

Via the Irish Telegraph:

“Try and become the best European golfer ever. Try and surpass Nick Faldo. If I had a career goal, it would be to be the best international golfer ever. Gary Player has nine majors. I’d like to think I’m going to give myself a chance to get close to that tally.”

He added that his immediate goal is to win the Career Grand Slam (the Masters is the only tournament standing in his way).

As you can see, there’s no talk of Jack Nicklaus’ 18 major record – the benchmark that dominated Tiger’s career – which is probably a good thing. Tiger and Jack stand alone as the best talents gold has ever seen, and considering how deep golf is now, it’s difficult to see any player matching that total.

Best International Player, however, is certainly a title well within Rory’s reach. Here’s how the major rankings currently stand; Rory and Ernie Els are the only players currently active, though Els is in the tail-end of his career.

Gary Player 9
Nick Faldo 6
Seve Ballesteros 5
James Braid 5
John Henry Taylor 5
Peter Thomson 5
Willie Anderson 4
Ernie Els 4
Jim Barnes 4
Rory McIlroy 4
Bobby Locke 4

At 28 years-old, Rory’s easily got another 10-15 years left at the top level at the game. He tends to win his majors in gluts, and he’s due for another one soon: In his 10 year professional career, all four came within a three-year stretch between 2011 and 2014. Effectively, Rory just needs one more sustained hot streak for him to surpass Faldo. Player’s record should be very much in sight at that point.

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