McIlroy’s Return To Number One Is No Fluck

11 February 2020 Uncategorized

It might feel somewhat unsatisfactory to go to the top of the rankings without playing a tournament, but Rory McIlroy‘s return to world number one is no statistical fluke.

McIlroy is back on top of the world because he is the best player on the planet. The official ranking system does a fine job rating the relative merits of the best players.

No one argued with the formula that confirmed Tiger Woods’ undisputed status during the 683 weeks he has spent as world number one and few, if any, have questioned Brooks Koepka’s right to hold the position for the past 38 weeks.

The 29-year-old Floridian went to the top of the tree with his victory in last May’s PGA Championship. Thereafter though, he has won only one tournament and since that victory in Memphis in July, has secured only one more top-10 finish.

In that period, he took time off because of a debilitating left knee injury, but when questioned last October about his rivalry with McIlroy, said: “I’ve got an open road in front of me, I’m not looking in my rear-view mirror.”

Well if that was the case, Koepka would not have seen the 30-year-old closing in on his status as golf’s top dog.

McIlroy has done it with relentless consistency against decent fields, rather than spectacular wins in the majors. His statistics are extraordinary, particularly since his failure to win any of last year’s big four titles.

After missing the cut in The Open at Royal Portrush in July, he has played 11 tournaments and finished outside the top six only twice.

He won the Tour Championship in September and followed it up with victory in the World Golf Championships event in Shanghai. Indeed, his past four results have been as follows: tied third, first, fourth and tied third.

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