Golf: McIlroy speaks after shot accidentally hits father
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Rory McIlroy has slipped outside of the top 15 of the Official World Golf Rankings for the first time in nearly 12 years following his tied-43rd finish in the first of three FedEx Cup play-off events at the Northern Trust.
Despite a rallied back nine on the final day of the rain-affected event in New Jersey that saw him card four birdies, the damage had already been done earlier on as a bogey and double bogey on his front nine holes left him three-over as he entered the turn.
As a result, the four-time major winner’s four back nine birdies saw him card a one-under-par 70 on day four, leaving him in tied-43rd on seven-under for the tournament, a huge 13 shots off eventual winner Tony Finau.
Yet another frustrating week for the 32-year-old has therefore seen him create some unwanted history for himself, as it sees him slip out of the world’s top 15 for the first time since November 2009 – his second full season as a professional.
The two-time PGA Championship winner’s recent fall from grace has been a rapid one, having been ranked world number one as recently as last March, where he became only the third player ever to spend 100 weeks at the top of the world, behind Tiger Woods (683 weeks) and Greg Norman (331 weeks).
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However, a mediocre 2020/21 season has seen the Northern Irishman tumble through the rankings, now leaving him in unfamiliar territory.
Despite his recent struggles, McIlroy has found himself in the winners’ circle this campaign having clinched the Wells Fargo Championship back in May this year with a one shot victory over Mexican Abraham Ancer.
Following this, the 32-year-old jumped into seventh in the world rankings with many tipping the 19-time PGA Tour winner to return to his scintillating best ahead of a huge summer of golf.
In spite of this, McIlroy’s campaign looked to have met its peak in North Carolina, as following his victory at Quail Hollow the Northern Irishman has recorded just one Tour top 10 since, coming in June’s US Open at Torrey Pines.
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The four-time major champion did put in an impressive showing at last month’s Olympic Games in Tokyo where he just missed out on a medal with a tied-fourth finish, but has been unable to replicate this form throughout his Tour campaign.
As well as slipping down the world rankings, McIlroy now also finds himself sliding down the FedEx Cup standings leaving him 28th with just one play-off event to go before the top 30 battle it out at the play-off finale at the Tour Championship.
Therefore another ordinary showing at this week’s BMW Championship will no doubt see him slip outside the top 30, which would in turn cost him a place in September’s final at East Lake Golf Course.
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