Rory McIlroy is back to being ranked No. 1 in the world thanks to Jordan Spieth missing the cut at last week’s The Barclays.
Just 0.1360 average points separates the two men, which means how they fare in the weeks ahead of the FedEx Cup, and McIlroy in the Race to Dubai, could conceivably see them flip-flop several more times.
McIlroy skipped the Barclays, but will make his FedEx Cup debut at the Deutsche Bank Championship this week in Boston. It’s McIlroy’s 94th total week ranked No. 1. Only three men – Tiger Woods, Greg Norman, and Nick Faldo – have spent more time at No. 1 since the Official World Golf Rankings were created in the 1980s.
With another four weeks atop the charts, McIlroy would catch and pass Faldo (97 weeks) for third place on that list.
Spieth is the fourth golfer to hold the No. 1 spot for two weeks or fewer in his initial stint as No. 1, joining Fred Couples (1 week, 1992); Tom Lehman (1997); Ernie Els (1997); and McIlroy himself (2012) with that odd distinction.
A new face has entered the mix, previously reserved for Spieth and McIlroy. Jason Day’s win at The Barclays saw him stay at No. 3 in the world, but increase his average points to 10.9903.
Mathematically, Day could take over No. 1 as soon as Sunday, if he were to win the Deustche Bank Championship, and neither Spieth nor McIlroy finished second.
There was only one change in the rest of the top 10. Sweden’s Henrik Stenson, the runner-up at The Barclays, moved up to No. 8, pushing American Rickie Fowler down to ninth.
Former No. 1 Adam Scott, who ended 2014 ranked No. 3 in the world, continued his surprising slide, dropping to 13th after missing the cut at The Barclays, and thus being eliminated from the FedEx Cup. With points yet to defend but nowhere to do it, he will drop further in the weeks to come.
On the European Tour, D+D Real Czech Masters winner Thomas Pieters of Belgium rose 104 spots from 245th to 141st.
Tiger Woods, who missed competing in the FedEx Cup, dropped to 266th.