Who will win more majors – Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy?


Who will win more majors – Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy? 

Let's examine the evidence...

What their fellow pros think

The question of whether Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy would end up with most majors was put to more than 150 tour pros across the PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour in Sports Illustrated's Anonymous Player Poll. 

Tour opinion rests in favour of the 22-year-old Texan. 

56% of PGA Tour pros are backing Spieth to finish his career with a greater major tally than McIlroy.

When players on the Champions Tour were asked the same question, the margins were tighter, but Spieth still had the vote. Of those veteran players, 48% are backing Spieth, 45% back McIlroy, and 7% are not really getting into the spirit of things by saying they didn't know. 

Their total so far

McIlroy has four major victories under his belt – the 2011 US Open, 2012 PGA Championship, 2014 Open Championship and the 2014 PGA Championship. 

Spieth has half that number, having won the Masters and US Open in 2015. 

Time on their side

Both players still have plenty of time to collect more majors, especially when you consider that the average age of a major winner is 32. 

But Spieth has five years on McIlroy. If they were to both retire at the same age, or at least cease to be genuine contenders at the same age, that means 22-year-old Spieth has 20 more majors left to play for than 27-year-old McIlroy. 

There's still a long way to go in the race for most majors

Their ratio so far

Jordan Spieth has won two of the 13 majors he has played in so far, giving him a win ratio of 15.3%.

Rory McIlroy has won four of the 29 he has played in, giving him a win ratio of 13.7%.

Let's do the maths

Let's say they both remain genuine contenders in majors until they are 45 (only three majors have ever been won by players 46 or over), avoid any football injuries (ahem, Rory) and maintain the same win ratio they have managed so far. 

That would give McIlroy 74 more majors to play for. If he wins 13.7% of those, he'd bag another 10 majors, giving him a total of 14. That would tie him with Tiger Woods' current major total. 

Spieth, meanwhile, would have 94 majors to play for. If he wins 15.3% of those, he'd add 14 more to the two he has so far, giving him a total of 16. That would put him ahead of Tiger – assuming Tiger doesn't win two more in the meantime, of course – but still leave him two shy of Jack Nicklaus' incredible record of 18 majors. 

The result

The information we have available would suggest that Spieth may just edge out McIlroy in terms of total majors. This is all conjecture, of course, and no one can say for certain that either one of them won't break Jack Nicklaus' record – or fail to win another major. That's the beauty of golf and its unpredictability. 

One thing is for certain: it'll be fun watching them try.