x Abu Dhabi, UAETuesday 25 July 2017

Rory McIlroy back as the world No 1 as Rickie Fowler wins

Northern Irishman back on top of rankings despite missing out in a play-off at Wells Fargo Championship.

Rory McIlroy, left, is back as golf's world No 1 despite being beaten by Rickie Fowler at the Wells Fargo Championship.
Rory McIlroy, left, is back as golf's world No 1 despite being beaten by Rickie Fowler at the Wells Fargo Championship.

Rory McIlroy reclaimed golf's world No 1 ranking despite falling to Rickie Fowler in a play-off at the US PGA Tour's Wells Fargo Championship.

The Northern Irishman, who celebrated his 23rd birthday on Friday, regained the summit a week after he was supplanted by England's Luke Donald.

The two have exchanged the top spot for the past two months, and McIlroy needed only a top-seven finish at Quail Hollow to return to the top spot.

"It's a little consolation," McIlroy said. "I would rather win the tournament, but it's good.

"You know, I want to try and play well for the next few weeks and try and solidify my spot there at No 1 and hopefully start by doing that next week and giving myself another chance to win."

McIlroy, who will defend his US Open title next month, will tee up in the US tour's Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass on Thursday after skipping the event last year.

McIlroy, who won his first US title on the same Quail Hollow course in 2010, finished tied for second Sunday with DA Points, both parring the first play-off hole as Fowler birdied for the victory.

"Overall it's been a decent week," McIlroy said. "To come back after three weeks off and get myself in the mix - I gave myself a chance to win - was nice."

McIlroy said he was delighted for Fowler, another 23-year-old who has been touted as a rising star but who had been unable to land that first US Tour win until Sunday.

"It's great to see," McIlroy said. "He probably has went through a lot of scrutiny and a lot of pressure trying to get that first win out of the way.

"Hopefully that'll ease the pressure a little bit."

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