Jack Nicklaus praises US Open winner Rory McIlroy

Jack Nicklaus had to laugh last night when reminded that new US Open champion Rory McIlroy was a few months younger than him when he landed the first of his record 18 majors in 1962.

"He's ahead - and his score is way ahead of my pace," said Nicklaus, who only two weeks ago chatted to the Northern Irishman about his Masters flop in April.

"I think this kid's going to have a great career - I don't think there's any question about it.

"He's humble when he needs to be humble and confident when he needs to be confident. I like his moxie - he's cocksure and I like that. You've got to have that.

"He obviously had a couple if disappointments at The Masters and last year's Open (McIlroy started 63-80 at St Andrews and finished with an 80 at Augusta), but I didn't think that was going to happen again and it hasn't."