After winning the CJ Cup, Rory McIlroy is number one golfer on Earth…again.
With his 23rd PGA Tour win, the Northern Irishman became the No. 1 player on the official world golf rankings for the ninth time, trailing only Tiger Woods and Greg Norman for the most (11).
It’s been ten years since McIlroy first achieved this feat, and he hasn’t fallen out of the OWGR top 15 since.
Let’s remember all nine times when McIlroy became the best player in the world.
I. March 2012 Honda Classic
Rory heard a roar.
As McIlroy stood at 13th in the PGA National, the crowd erupted. Why? Tiger Woods made an eagle for 18 and was within striking distance of McIlroy after the lowest final round (62) of his career.
The Northern Irishman, however, held on with all his might and achieved a two-shot victory, his first win since the 2011 US Open.
With this victory, McIlroy, who replaced Luke Donald, became the second youngest world number one after Woods, who took the throne at the age of 21 after the 1997 US Open.
II. April 2012
McIlroy’s first run to number one only lasted two weeks, but it didn’t take long for him to win it back. After a month at number 2, he returned to first place. However, this run only lasted two weeks, but a week later he was back at the top of OWGR.
III. May 2012 Wells Fargo Championship.
Although McIlroy lost to Ricky Fowler in his first PGA Tour playoff, the Northern Irishman returned to the top spot in the OWGR with a Quail Hollow runner-up. It will fall again, just a few weeks later.
IV. August 2012 PGA Championship.
Dropping to No. 3 by August, McIlroy crushed eight shots at Kiawah Island, breaking Jack Nicklaus’ record for the most wins in the PGA, and was not only his second big win, but the world’s best player for the fourth time. months. McIlroy held the position for 32 weeks.
V. August 2014, WGC Bridgestone Invitational
Two weeks after his uncompromising victory at The Open, McIlroy came out for an encore.
In just three holes, McIlroy wiped out Sergio Garcia’s lead with three strokes and closed out with 66 to win at Firestone and claim world number one again, passing Adam Scott.
In 2013, McIlroy finished 50th on the FedExCup standings and missed out on the top 10 in the world as he adjusted to a new equipment deal and went through a change in management. But in 2014, he went on a more impressive run than his heater in 2012.
“It’s better (than ’12),” McIlroy said after winning the Firestone. “Psychologically, I’m very smart.”
Indeed, it was, because next week he will win the PGA and remain in first place for another 54 weeks.
VI and VII. Aug. Sept 2015
McIlroy, who was in first place after his hot stretch in 14th, was pushed out to second by Jordan Spieth after the PGA Championship. A few weeks later, McIlroy returned to number one behind The Barclays, although he did not compete in that tournament.
The following week, McIlroy needed to finish in the top 10 at the Deutsche Bank Championship to have a chance of retaining the No. 1 spot in the rankings. But with the T-29, McIlroy fell back to 2nd, and Spit, despite not passing, went back to number 1.
The Tour had a week off between the Deutsche Bank and BMW championships. And due to the difficulties of OWGR, McIlroy returned to first place after a week-long break. However, even with the T-4 on the BMW, McIlroy still fell to 2nd as Jason Day took his third win in five starts, the first being the PGA Championship.
McIlroy has a long way to go back to the top.
VIII. February 2020
Inspired by his 2019 FedExCup victory, McIlroy returned to second place and was world number one by the end of the year.
Then, a month after a tumultuous 2020s, the four-time world champion ended Brooks Kepka’s 38-week reign ahead of the Genesis Invitational to become world No. 1 for the first time in half a century.
McIlroy’s 53-month gap set a new record for the longest time between losing a player and returning to number one in the rankings.
He held the spot for 11 weeks, losing it after the 2020 Memorial, weeks after the Tour restarted due to COVID.
IX. October 2022, CJ Cup
It has been an extraordinary year for McIlroy.
Although he hasn’t ended his eight-year drought of big wins, the 33-year-old CJ Cup won the FedExCup and finished in the top 10 11 times since the Masters on both the PGA and DP world tours.
Yet despite all his strong play, McIlroy was out of the spotlight for a full year, taking the mic as the loudest defenseman on the PGA Tour in a year in which LIV Golf split the sport like never before.
After completing his year on the PGA Tour, McIlroy successfully defended his CJ Cup title and returned to world number one. his victory at Kongari.
“I’ve been working so hard for the last 12 months to get back to this place,” McIlroy said after winning the world number one spot for the ninth time. “I feel like I’m enjoying the game as much as ever.”