Rory McIlroy still harbours hopes of an elusive fifth major title as the US Open awaits at Pinehurst's famed Number Two course in North Carolina.

The Northern Irishman will start the tournament on Friday aiming to end a decade-long wait for another major crown.

McIlroy has won three times this year, defending his Hero Dubai Desert Classic title on the DP World Tour before consecutive PGA Tour victories at the Zurich Classic and Wells Fargo Championship.

The world number three has not tasted major success since his PGA Championship glory back in 2014, but McIlroy believes further joy on the biggest golfing stage could be on the cards this week.

"I've always said I still feel like being the most successful European in the game is within my reach," McIlroy said in his pre-tournament press conference.

"I've got obviously Seve [Ballesteros] and Nick Faldo to pass there in terms of major wins.

"I'm really proud of my body of work over the past 15 years and everything that I have achieved, whether it be season-long titles or individual tournaments or majors.

"Getting my hands on a fifth major has taken quite a while, but I'm more confident than ever that I'm right there, that I'm as close as I've ever been."

Despite enjoying consistent success in various PGA Tour and DP World Tour competitions, major success has remained a challenge for the 35-year-old since his one-shot victory at Valhalla 10 years ago.

McIlroy finished tied for 22nd and 12th at the first two majors this year, The Masters and PGA Championship respectively.

Therefore, the four-time major winner refused to put a target on how many such victories he continues to aim for.

"I wouldn't say I have a particular number of wins [as a target]," he added. "I think the only thing about trying to pick a number is that you're setting yourself up for failure or disappointment.

"Tiger [Woods] wanted to surpass Jack [Nicklaus]. It looks like he might not get there, but are we going to call Tiger's career a failure? Absolutely not. It's arguably the best. He's played the best golf anyone's ever seen.

"There's always going to be that tinge of what could have been. I don't want to do that to myself. If someone had told me at 20 years old I'd be sitting here at 35 and this is the career I've had, I would not have believed them and I would have been ecstatic.

"I still have a good little bit of time here, hopefully for the next 10 years. I still like to think I've got a good run ahead of me.

"Whatever those numbers are, whatever the totals add up to, I'll accept that and feel like I've done pretty well for a little boy from Northern Ireland who dreamed of playing golf for a living one day."