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Rory McIlroy returns to world No 1 spot for first time in five years after replacing Brooks Koepka

Rory McIlroy is back at the summit of world golf for the first time in five years after replacing Brooks Koepka at the top of the rankings.

The four-time major winner officially took the world No 1 spot again on Monday, ending Koepka’s 38-week reign at the top since winning the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in May.

Neither McIlroy or Koepka featured at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am but the two-year rolling format of the ranking system takes the Northern Irishman top again. 

This is McIlroy’s first time back at world No 1 since September 19, 2015 and he will now be hoping to stay their for the long-haul following his fine form in recent times.

Since missing the cut at The Open at Royal Portrush last year, McIlroy has nine top-9 finishes in 11 worldwide starts, including two victories. 

In the 30-year-old’s last four tournament starts, he has placed tied third, first, fourth and tied third again.

Koepka is unlucky to have suffered two injury lay-offs during the ranking period that have counted against him, but in terms of form he can have few complaints at being dislodged. 

It will be McIlroy’s 96th cumulative week as world No 1 – the fourth most of any player, behind only Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Nick Faldo. 

Both McIlroy and Koepka are scheduled to compete at the Genesis Invitational in California, beginning on Thursday.

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