McIlroy’s victory in the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool in July means he only needs to win the Masters to join Player, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods, Ben Hogan and Gene Sarazen in winning all four of golf’s major titles.
And nine-time major winner Player has no doubts the world number one will do exactly that after the small matter of trying to help Europe defend the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles.
“For Rory to win two majors with a World Golf Championship event back-to-back is an incredible achievement,” Laureus World Sports Academy member Player told Laureus.com.
“When you add the flagship event on the European Tour, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, it’s been an outstanding season so far for him.
“If he can continue to stay happy and healthy, he’ll be the next grand slam winner.
“I told him the day after his first major that I for one truly believe that he can do it.
“I won the grand slam at age 29 when I won the US Open at Bellerive in 1965.
“That will be 50 years ago next year. It would truly be a treat to see Rory complete his grand slam on the 50th anniversary of mine.
“If he does not win the Masters in 2015, I believe it will only be a matter of time.
“He’s on top of the world right now, with tons of confidence. I certainly think that he will be the talisman for the European Ryder Cup team.
“This should be a huge boost for the team because he is the current world number one and the most dominant player in the game right now.”