Blog Entry

Rory McIlroy's world ranking by the numbers

Posted on: March 4, 2012 5:37 pm
Rory McIlroy walking into the history books at the Honda Classic. (Getty Images)

By Steve Elling

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. -- In the United Kingdom, they call it a CV, which is shorthand for curriculum vitae.

In the United States, we'd more commonly call it a resume.

By whatever title, when Rory McIlroy officially climbs to the top of the new world rankings issued on Monday, it will be a watershed achievement and yet another juicy item worthy of note on his individual highlight chart.

Here are some fast statistical, biographical and geographical facts about his rapid ascendance:

* Since the ranking was established in 1986, he's the 16th player to climb the ratings mountain, and the second-youngest at 22 years, 9 months and 29 days. 

* Only Tiger Woods, who was 21 years, 5 months and 17 days old when he first reached the pinnacle on June 15, 1997, got to the summit faster. 

* He's parked on a hot seat, to be sure. McIlroy is the fourth different player and fourth European to be ranked No. 1 since England's Lee Westwood supplanted Woods as No. 1 on Oct. 31, 2010. In this particular span, Woods held the position for 281 weeks in succession. 

* Of the 16 players to be ranked No. 1 since the ranking was first formulated, McIlroy is the eighth European and first from Northern Ireland. Only four Americans have topped the list -- Fred Couples, Tom Lehman, David Duval and Woods. 

* With his victory at the Honda Classic, McIlroy nudges aside England's Luke Donald, who held the No. 1 position for 40 weeks, the seventh-highest total number of weeks at the top since the OWGR began. Donald took over on May 29, 2011. 

* His dinner-table chatter just took a turn for the better. McIlroy and his girlfriend, tennis star Caroline Wozniacki, have both been ranked No. 1 in their respective fields of battle.

Since: Mar 5, 2012
Posted on: March 5, 2012 6:54 pm

Rory McIlroy's world ranking by the numbers

Rory has a long road to haul before he becumes another Tiger, but Sunday was a great day for the Irish.

Since: Jan 16, 2010
Posted on: March 5, 2012 11:26 am

Rory McIlroy's world ranking by the numbers

First the ranking system has been skewed from the beginning you have tours all over the world and the quality of the fields vary greatly. The rankings serve no purpose other than to get you into the 4 WGC events. What will be interesting is to see how Rory handels himself. Players who finally reach the top tend to overthink things and change the things they were doing to get themselves to that position. David Duval made it to the top, thoght he had to continue to change his game to get better and today no longer has a PGA card.

Since: Aug 27, 2006
Posted on: March 4, 2012 6:39 pm

Rory McIlroy's world ranking by the numbers

Elling hates Tiger, and always has. This was a great accomplishment by McIlroy, and I hope he continues to play well!

Since: Nov 4, 2011
Posted on: March 4, 2012 5:50 pm

Rory McIlroy's world ranking by the numbers

Only Tiger Woods was number one for about eight years give and take. Elling makes it seem that Tiger was barely number one.

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