US PGA: Rory McIlroy can win 20 majors says Jack Nicklaus

US PGA Championship

Venue: Valhalla GC, Kentucky Dates: 7-10 August

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Jack Nicklaus believes that Rory McIlroy has the talent to break his record of 18 major wins.

Tiger Woods has failed to add to his 14 since his 2008 US Open triumph but Nicklaus believes McIlroy, who was won three majors, could better the record.

"I think Rory has an opportunity to win 15 or 20 majors or whatever he wants to do if he wants to keep playing," American Nicklaus, 74, told ESPN Radio.

"It depends on what he feels his priorities are and that's his call."

McIlroy, 25, heads into this week's US PGA Championship as a clear favourite after his successive wins at the Open Championship and last week's World Golf Championship event in Ohio.

Nicklaus has got to know McIlroy well since the Northern Irishman moved to Florida several years ago and the current world number one has sought advice from the veteran on a number occasions.

Jack Nicklaus won a record 18 major titles in his career

Jack Nicklaus is a big admirer of the Northern Irishman's talents

"I think Rory is an unbelievable talent," Nicklaus said.

"I love his swing, I love his rhythm. He's got a little swagger there, it's a little bit cocky but not offensive. I like that. I like the self-confidence in a young man.

"He's got an unbelievable amount of speed in his golf swing, he obviously hits the ball a heck of a long way.

"And he hits in there consistently and how he controls it."

McIlroy will be aiming to win his fourth major title at the Nicklaus-designed Valhalla course this week.