McIlory back in World elite
Published 02/02/2010 | 08:11
RORY McILROY skipped two rungs up the world golf ladder yesterday and is now within reach of one of his top targets for 2010.
As he girds himself for the defence of his Omega Desert Classic title in Dubai this week, McIlroy has his sights firmly set on a place in the world’s top five, not to mention the honour of being Ireland’s best-ranked player for the first time.
McIlroy bounced back to ninth in the rankings announced yesterday, equalling his best-ever placing despite taking the weekend off in Dubai.
Such are the vagaries of the world points system – McIlroy slipped out of the top - 10 the previous week, despite his third place finish behind Martin Kaymer and Ian Poulter in the Abu Dhabi Championship.
Now just one-hundredth of a point behind eight-placed Padraig Harrington in the world charts and .29 of a point shy of Jim Furyk in fifth, McIlroy doesn’t have to win in Dubai to achieve his target this year of a spot in the world top five.
“Curiously I’m back at ninth in the World Rankings because I didn’t play last week,” said McIlroy, in chipper form despite nursing a sunburnt chest after a brief spell lounging on a Dubai beach last Saturday. “I think it’s great that you can take a week off and move up two spots! So hopefully I’ll move up again after this week of playing.”
Darren Clarke rose one place to No 100, despite skipping Qatar, while Shane Lowry nipped up six places to set a new high in 84th after finishing in a tie for 24th in Doha.