Rory McIlroy to return to World No.1 without even hitting a golf ball

McIlroy will be back to World No.1 next Monday whatever happens on the PGA Tour this week. 

Andy Roberts's picture
Mon, 3 Feb 2020
Rory McIlroy to return to World No.1 without even hitting a golf ball

Rory McIlroy will return to the summit of the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time in four and half years next Monday. 

McIlroy, who last held the World No.1 spot back in September 2015, will oust Brooks Koepka from the top spot due to the vagaries of the OWGR system. 

Neither McIlroy or Koepka are competing at this week's AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am, but an official who runs the rankings has confirmed the Northern Irishman will move approximately three-hundreths of a ranking point ahead of the American come Monday morning. 

McIlroy, who has spent a total of 97 weeks as World No.1 in his career so far, will line up as the new World No.1 when he competes in the Genesis Open at Riviera next week. 

Koepka will also be playing in that event, knowing that if he finishes ahead of McIlroy in that tournament then he assume his position as World No.1. 

The four-time major champion has been the World No.1 golfer for 38 consecutive weeks since defending his US PGA title in May, and he has held the World No.1 spot for a total of 47 weeks. 

World No.3 Jon Rahm will also be competing in the tournament, and he too could move to World No.1 for the first time in his career with a big performance. 

Given the closeness of the trio's ranking points right now - Koepka 9.34, McIlroy 9.15, Rahm 8.59 - we can likely expect a constant shift in World No.1 golfers over the coming months. 

Justin Thomas is currently fourth in the world with 7.77 points, and Dustin Johnson is next with 7.01. 

Tiger Woods is sixth (6.1765) with Phoenix Open winner Webb Simpson (6.1708).