McIlroy inspired by Mickelson, Bland: I've 'got another 18 years'

Harry How / Getty Images Sport / Getty

Rory McIlroy is reflecting on the potential length of his career after witnessing the recent success of Phil Mickelson and Englishman Richard Bland, who holds the clubhouse lead at the U.S. Open.

"You've got (Bland) winning his first event at 48, you've got Phil winning the PGA at 50. That's the great thing about golf," McIlroy said, according to The Action Network's Jason Sobel. "It bodes well for the next 18 years for me. When I turned pro, I thought I'd give up by 40. Guess I've still got another 18 years left."

The 32-year-old trails Bland by six shots going into the weekend. Despite the deficit, McIlroy isn't counting himself out.

"(Bland's) up there at 5-under, 1-over is right in it," McIlroy said, according to ASAP Sports. "So, yeah, in for the weekend and still feel like I've got a really good chance."

Bland - who collected his first European Tour victory in his 478th start in May - moved to the top of a stout leaderboard with his 4-under 67 on Friday. It's only his fourth appearance at a major, and he's not letting his lack of experience on golf's biggest stage detract from the week.

"I could have maybe played closer to double-figure majors, but it's not quite to be, and I'm not going to lose any sleep over that," Bland said, according to ASAP Sports. "I'm just enjoying this one right now."

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McIlroy inspired by Mickelson, Bland: I've 'got another 18 years'
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