Twice major winner Rory McIlroy is a "very special" talent and will lift many championship trophies if he carries on the way he is going, insists European Ryder Cup captain Jose Maria Olazabal.
The 23-year-old Irishman climbed to the top of the world rankings after following up his runaway eight-shot victory at the 2011 US Open by winning last week's US PGA Championship by the same margin. "Rory's performance at (the PGA on) Kiawah Island was outstanding," Olazabal said.
"His focus and passion are very special. It is great to see a young man of his age with two majors under his belt and such a strong mind. If he continues his work ethic and his love for the game he will achieve more major victories."
It is just over a month before the European holders take on Davis Love III's United States team in the Ryder Cup in Illinois.
Olazabal is busy finalising his plans for the biennial team event and declined to confirm whether McIlroy would reprise his successful 2010 pairing with fellow countryman Graeme McDowell at the Medinah Country Club from September 28-30.
"It is too early to say anything about pairings yet," said the 46-year-old Spaniard. "When we are all in the team room we will do our pairings and have our conversations.
"One thing's for sure though, and that is Rory's passion and emotions will be part of the team spirit".
McIlroy's victory at Kiawah Island ended a 13-month wait for a European major winner.
Since Darren Clarke's victory at the 2011 British Open, the big four titles had gone to American trio Keegan Bradley (2011 US PGA), Bubba Watson (US Masters) and Webb Simpson (US Open) and to South African Ernie Els at this year's British Open.
Olazabal, however, is not too worried about the Americans strong form.
"I am not worried about anything, I know how good my players are," he said referring to the likes of McIlroy, world number two Luke Donald, number four Lee Westwood, number seven Justin Rose and 13th-ranked McDowell.