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Rory McIlroy and Brooks Koepka

How McIlroy returned to World No. 1 without hitting a shot

Rory McIlroy replaced Brooks Koepka at the top of the world rankings despite not picking up a club. Let us explain

 

The world ranking system in men’s golf has been a hot topic of discussion for several years and we have seen another example of why this has been the case. Brooks Koepka has been replaced at the top of the rankings by Rory McIlroy following the conclusion of the Pebble Beach Pro-Am, despite neither player teeing it up.

Due to the two-year rolling system that is used McIlroy returned to the top for the first time since 2015 as his average points is higher than that of his American counterpart.

To put things simply the world rankings are worked out by adding all of the ranking points earned by a player and dividing that number by the number of events they have played in the previous two years to find their average.

So, in this same week in 2018, McIlroy played at Pebble Beach and, as the week passes this year, the tournament will drop off his record in terms of ranking. This means that his points are divided by one less event and lead to a higher average. (Thanks to rankings guru, Nosferatu, on Twitter for that one).

Meanwhile, Koepka was not in action this time two years ago so there will be no change in his divisor and subsequently his average.

As this occurs McIlroy’s average surpassses Koepka’s and he returns to the No. 1 spot.

When Koepka began his latest stint at No.1 after the PGA Championship with an average of 11.0020 McIlroy was way behind in 4th with an average of 8.1211.

When this is considered it is hard to disagree with McIlroy’s PGA Tour Player of the Year award.

Joe Hughes

Tour editor covering men's golf, women's golf and anything else that involves the word golf, really. The talk is far better than the game, but the work has begun to change that.

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