Rory McIlroy Becomes New World Number One

The four-time Major winner has overtaken Brooks Koepka to return to the World No.1 spot

Rory McIlroy Becomes New World Number One
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The four-time Major winner has overtaken Brooks Koepka to return to the World No.1 spot

Rory McIlroy To Return To World Number One Spot Next Week

Rory McIlroy has returned to the top of the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in over 1,600 days.

The Northern Irishman was last World No.1 on 13th September 2015 and spends his 96th week and eighth spell at the top.

That's partly because of Brooks Koepka's inactivity due to injury and Rory's great play, with McIlroy winning twice since Koepka's last victory to close the gap on his American counterpart.

McIlroy got back to the top without even playing due to his divisor dropping last week because he played in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am two years ago.

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Brooks Koepka divisor stayed the same.

With Rory's divisor dropping, his average points per start increases.

It has been a slow-but-steady rise to the top for Rory who ended 2017 ranked 11th and ended 2018 ranked 8th.

His four-win 2019, featuring 19 top-10s from 25 starts, propelled him back up to second.

Brooks Koepka's reign ends at 47 weeks, having been ranked #1 for the last 38-consecutive weeks.

Rory McIlroy has spent 95 weeks as World Number One and needs just three more weeks at the top to overtake Nick Faldo's total of 97.

If he manages that, he'll become the third-most successful golfer in Official World Golf Ranking history in terms of time spent as World No.1.

As it stands, Tiger Woods has spent 683 weeks at the top of the rankings with Greg Norman in second at 331 weeks.

Dustin Johnson is just behind McIlroy with 91 weeks spent at the top.

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McIlroy makes his second start of 2020 this week at the Genesis Invitational at Riviera, where Tiger Woods and Brooks Koepka are also be playing.

"It is a by-product of playing consistently good golf and I feel like I’ve done that for quite a while now," McIlroy said a couple of weeks ago when asked about the prospect of becoming World Number One again.

“So I don’t want to say it feels like it’s just a matter of time, but if I just keep doing what I’m doing, if it isn’t this week, then hopefully it’s a couple weeks down the line and I’ll have my chances."

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Elliott Heath
Senior Staff Writer

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news, features, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as four Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats anywhere between 2-6. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5 4-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x