Struggling McIlroy needs top four finish

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Former world number one Rory McIlroy needs a top-four finish in the BMW Championship to make certain of having a chance of retaining his FedEx Cup title.

McIlroy enters the penultimate play-off event at his lowest world ranking for more than three years, a missed cut in the Dell Technologies Championship seeing him slip from fourth to sixth in the standings behind US PGA champion Justin Thomas and Spain’s Jon Rahm.

And crucially his position of 51st in the FedEx Cup standings means the 28-year-old needs to rediscover his top form at Conway Farms to climb into the top 30 and qualify for the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

The four-time major winner defeated Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell in a play-off at East Lake 12 months ago to win the overall FedEx Cup title and 10million US dollars bonus and is keen to avoid just a second full winless season since turning professional.

The Holywood player is due to contest the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with his father Gerry from October 5-8 before calling time on an injury-hit campaign which has seen him restricted to 15 events. This week’s event at Conway Mills will be his final tournament in the US this year if he doesn’t qualify for the Tour Championship.

He also plans to take several months off to fully recover from a lingering rib injury after competing in Scotland. He will tee off alongside Martin Laird and Ollie Schniederjans in his first round at 17:11 BST today.