Every golfer needs a lucky break and this week Rory McIlroy had two, but he was refreshingly honest about it.
He aims to retain the European Tour’s Race To Dubai but will only tee up in three of the four tournaments comprising the Final Series. In doing so he will not fulfil the minimum of 13 events to remain eligible for the Order of Merit.
New Chief Executive of the European Tour Keith Pelley demonstrated his pledge to “put players first” by allowing McIlroy to remain eligible for the Order of Merit on the grounds that committing to further tournament play would risk further and persistent injury to the ankle’.
McIlroy admitted that committing to more than two events in a row had less to do with the injury “obviously there’s a physical element to it but previously, and moving forward, its more mental”.
McIlroy had lost the World No 1 spot to Jordan Spieth at the PGA Championship but regained it the following week – without even playing. The complicated permutations of the World Golf Rankings meant he regained No1 when Jordan Spieth missed the cut at The Barclays. Rory admitted that he was “only holding his ranking on how I played last year. You’ve got to say that Jordan is World No1, then Jason Day”.
But with Jordan Spieth missing his second consecutive cut at the Deutsche Bank and McIlroy currently lying 59th and Jason Day 10th, if Jason wins today then there will be the strange scenario of three different men being World No1 in as many weeks. But if Day doesn’t win then Jordan should regain No1 if my calculations are correct.
How complicated are these scenarios? The World Golf Rankings are showing to be inherently flawed in their set up. The rolling two year cumulation of form isn’t accurately reflecting who is the best, which should be their purpose. But how can it be unravelled when so much depends on them.
The system needs changing and simplifying to a one year, accurate list where everyone knows what’s what. But It’s a case of Stop The World Rankings, I Need To Get Off. We need a hiatus to put a better system in place.