McIlroy loses No.1 ranking crown to Spieth
Rory McIlroy was forced to swallow a double dose of pain in first not being PGA Championship competitive and then losing his World No. 1 crown to Jordan Spieth.
McIlroy left Whistling Straits in 17th place after a final round 69 for a nine under par total in sweltering conditions along the Lake Michigan shoreline in upstate Wisconsin.
Rory McIlroy (Credit: www.golffile.ie)
McIlroy posted back-to-back birdies at six and seven before a birdie at 10 ahead of dropping his only shot at the 13th and picking off a 16th birdie of his week at the par five 15th.
It was a credible effort on McIlroy’s part considering some six weeks ago he couldn’t walk, and with fears he could be side-lined for the remainder of the season.
But while he revealed he had been enduring some swelling of his lower left leg this past week it was more the pain of not featuring on the PGA leaderboard that hurt the most.
“I felt I played pretty well considering I hadn’t hit a competitive shot since the US Open, so to shoot nine-under par but then I didn’t see someone shooting 20-under par out there, and more like 13, 14 or 15 under.”
“So for a first week back and coming straight into a major, I feel as though I did pretty well and gave it a pretty good run.”
“We came up with a plan that after this week I could take a couple of weeks off in case anything happened with my leg but then it feels fine apart from overnight a few times this past week as it flared-up a bit.”
“It probably won’t look like a normal leg for another two to three months.”
McIlroy needed to finish sixth or higher at the PGA to deny the 21-year old Spieth becoming the game’s top ranked player – a title McIlroy had held continuously for 53 weeks after capturing last year’s WGC – Bridgestone Invitational.
But then McIlroy was the first to recognise Spieth’s extraordinary season.
“Honestly the way Jordan has been playing and the way I haven’t played much this year, I think that was only my 12th or 13th event,” he said.
“I feel like I’m playing well, but if he does go to No. 1 today, it’s very deservedly so. Winning two majors, winning a couple other times this year, had a chance at the Open, has a chance obviously today.”
“And if he was to get to No. 1 today, I’d be the first one to congratulate him because I know the golf you have to play to get to that spot, and it has been impressive this year.”
McIlroy will not compete again until the August 27th starting Barclays Championship and the first of the Play-Off Series while he has ruled out partnering his father, Gerry in October’s Dunhill Links to tee up in the 2015/16 PGA Tour starting Frys.com Open in Napa, California.