How Rory McIlroy Can Reclaim The World No.1 Spot This Week

The 33-year-old has an opportunity to regain the position he last held in 2020 - but he'll need some help

Rory McIlroy takes a shot at the 2022 Alfred Dunhill Links Championship
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Rory McIlroy has been a mainstay in the world’s top 10 throughout 2022 following some impressive form that has included five top-ten finishes in succession. 

Of those, he won the Tour Championship to claim his third FedEx Cup, while his three DP World Tour appearances since included a tie for second in its flagship tournament, the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. This week, the 33-year-old is taking part in the PGA Tour's CJ Cup where there's a chance the current World No.2 could reclaim the top spot he relinquished in 2020. 

McIlroy has enjoyed several spells as World No.1 since first achieving the feat in 2012 and, in total, he has been at the summit for 106 weeks in a career that has included four Major wins. While the last of those came in 2014, his form this year has been among the best of his career to date. The reward for that is the chance to claim the World No.1 position for the ninth time. However, to do so he will need some help from current incumbent Scottie Scheffler

Scheffler has been World No.1 since he claimed his first Major win in April's Masters at Augusta National. Although further wins have proved elusive for the American, his form has still been largely impressive, with three more top-ten finishes including a tie for second in the US Open. 

However, if McIlroy wins the CJ Cup and Scheffler doesn't finish either outright runner-up or in a two-way tie for second, he will bring the 26-year-old's 30-week run at the top to an end. There's another way McIlroy can reclaim the top position, too - by finishing outright runner-up if Scheffler finishes lower than outright 34th. 

A strong field, which includes six of the world's top 10, will participate in this week’s tournament, meaning McIlroy's task will not be straightforward. However, last year, he edged out Collin Morikawa by one shot to claim his 20th PGA Tour title, so he will be confident of defending the trophy and with it, the chance to reclaim that coveted position at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking.

Mike Hall
News Writer

Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories. 

He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game. 

Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course. 

Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.