This article is part of our Weekly Recap series.
Rory McIlroy won the RBC Canadian Open by seven strokes in dominating fashion on Sunday. That would seem to be the perfect prelude for McIlroy to this week's U.S. Open, right?
Well, yes. And no.
Yes, because, duh, winning by seven strokes anytime anywhere, much less in a field that includes the Nos. 1 and 2 players in the world, Brooks Koepka and Dustin Johnson, is indisputable evidence that your game is on form. (And McIlroy is now third in the rankings, his highest standing in two years, since after the 2017 U.S. Open.)
But winning the week before a major and then winning the major? That just doesn't happen very often. How often? Well, it seems that it's happened only 12 times in the 85 years. We spotted a story on PGATour.com from 2008 saying it had happened 10 times since 1934. And then we checked from 2008 onward and found it has happened two more times.
Interestingly, the last player to do it was none other than … Rory McIlroy. That's right, McIlroy won the 2014 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and then the next week captured the PGA Championship. (Those wins completed what actually was a three-wins-in-four-week stretch, as McIlroy won the Open Championship two weeks before the Bridgestone.)
So, not only can it be done, albeit sparingly, it can and has been done by McIlroy.
There are some similarities between Hamilton Golf and Country Club and Pebble Beach, which bodes well for McIlroy. Both are short tracks