Rory McIlroy overtakes Brooks Koepka as world no 1 and closes gap on Nick Faldo record

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Rory McIlroy overtakes Brooks Koepka as world no 1 and closes gap on Nick Faldo record

Rory McIlroy has returned to world No 1 (Image: GETTY)

Rory McIlroy is closing the gap on Nick Faldo in the world No 1 race. McIlroy returns to top spot in golf this week, despite not playing and has now spent the fourth most time as world no 1 – behind only Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Faldo.

This week will be McIlroy’s 96th week in top spot, and his first since September 2015, with Faldo having spent 97 weeks.

However McIlroy is unlikely to catch up with the other two – Norman (331 weeks and Woods (683 weeks) – due to the battle at the top of the game.

McIlroy replaces Brooks Koepka as top dog in the sport, despite neither playing at Pebble Beach this week – where Canadian Nick Taylor was victorious.

However both are in action at the Genesis Invitational, so top spot could change again with Jon Rahm also in contention.

McIlroy went from 0.2 points behind Koepka to 0.03 points in front ahead of this week’s event in California where things could change again.

McIlroy won PGA Tour Player of the Year in 2019 despite struggling in the Majors again.

Rory McIlroy overtakes Brooks Koepka as world no 1 and closes gap on Nick Faldo record

Rory McIlroy has overtaken Brooks Koepka as world no 1 (Image: GETTY)

He finished T21 at the Masters, T8 at the PGA and T9 at the US Open, but missed the cut at the Open in Portrush after a horror opening hole on the first day.

But the Ulsterman insists 2020 is about going for it and playing the aggressive style that suits him best.

In January he said: “It doesn’t serve me as a golfer to play conservatively, carefully. I have my own style to play and most of the time it works, sometimes it doesn’t.

“It’s a mindset I’m going to try to replicate every time I tee up.”

On being world no 1, he added: “It’s all about the process, it’s all about the game, it’s all about trying to make improvements.

“If I do that and I achieve those goals, then hopefully inevitably I get to that position.

“It’s a by-product of playing consistently good golf and I’ve been doing that for a while now.”

And the 30-year-old is looking to win six tournaments this year – to overtake his record of five wins in a season.

“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,” he said.

“I’m not putting myself under any pressure this week to get it done. It was exciting to play the tournament for the first time last year and one year on I feel a bit more comfortable with the golf course.

“I set myself a goal of winning six times last year and I won four. So I didn’t quite achieve it, but I still had a good year.

“Five is the most I’ve ever won so I’d like to top that at some point. Six is something I strive for but there is a lot of stuff goes into winning those tournaments, the stuff I do away from the course.”


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