Rory McIlroy remains Golf’s world No.1 despite not taking part in the Open Championship at St Andrews, the Northern Irishman having missed the defence of his title due to an ankle ligament injury suffered playing football in the weeks running up to the tournament.
Masters and US Open champion Jordan Spieth had the chance to overtake McIlroy if he had triumphed on the famous Old Course but remains second in the latest world rankings after coming up short at St Andrews.
The American’s Grand Slam dream ended when he failed to convert a birdie putt on the final hole which would have put him in a play-off with, eventual winner Zach Johnson, Louis Oosthuizen and Marc Leishman. Johnson’s victory has lifted the American from 25th to 12th in the rankings.
All eyes now turn to the final major of the season, the US PGA, and whether or not the McIlroy will be able to feature as there is no doubt he faces an uphill struggle to be ready for Whistling Straits.
On the plus side McIlroy is walking again but is in a race against time to be fit for the tournament that begins next month.
Fellow Northern Irishman Darren Clarke hinted that it could be next year before we see McIlroy in action again but, whilst his representatives were quick to play that down, maybe a more realistic comeback date would be the PGA Tour’s FedEx Cup play-offs at the end of next month.
Meanwhile, the players head to the Canadian Open this weekend at Glen Abbey GC, Oakville, Ontario. Open champion Johnson will not be playing but a strong field is headed by Jason Day at 9.00.