USPGA GOLF: Jordan Spieth replaces Rory McIlroy as World Number One

Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy

Rory McIlroy wrapped up his US PGA Championship defence with a final round 69 that saw Jordan Spieth replace him as world number one on Sunday night.

McIlroy’s nine under par total left him alone in 17th at Whistling Straits as Australian Jason Day claimed his debut major title.

McIlroy began his final round 90 minutes before the final pair of Day and Spieth and reached the turn in 34 with birdies on the sixth and seventh, before picking up another shot on the 10th.

A bogey on the 13th was followed by a birdie at the 16th for the four-time major winner who performed admirably on his return from an ankle ligament injury which meant he could not defend his Open and Bridgestone Invitational titles.

“If I’m looking at it as a whole, I feel like I’ve done well to come back and shoot the scores that I have,” said Rory.

“I feel like I progressed each and every day.

“If I was to take back anything of this week, it would just be probably that second day when we teed off in benign conditions in the morning and I didn’t take advantage of that.

“Obviously it isn’t a win and I didn’t get myself into contention, but considering six weeks ago I wasn’t able to walk, it’s not a bad effort.”

And he added; “I’ve had no discomfort at all. I’m still rehabbing it whenever I get back.

“I’m still doing exercise on it every night and every morning, getting treatment on it. But it’s good.

“It’s good to play golf. As you can see out there, I’m hitting it the same distance as I have been, and able to get around 18 holes very easily. So it’s not an issue.

“And as I said over there, the residual swelling that just sort of comes from activity, that probably won’t go away for another two or three months, but it’s nothing to worry about.”

Rory will take a couple of weeks off to continue rehabbing before getting back to practice ahead of the PGA Tour Play-offs.

“I just need to sharpen up. I feel like ball-striking-wise, tee to green, it’s there,” said Rory.

“And it’s sort of been there all year. If anything, just around the greens and being more efficient, really. When I give myself opportunities with wedges in my hand I have got to take advantage of those.

“Today is a prime example, it’s my fourth day of competitive playing, getting those two balls up and down on 17 and 18, that’s something just playing a bit more and just having experience with certain shots and certain lies. That all just comes with playing a bit more.”

Rory had no complaints about handing over his number one spot to Spieth.

“Honestly the way Jordan has been playing and the way I haven’t played much this year, I think that was only my 12th or 13th event,” said Rory.

“I feel like I’m playing well, but if he does go to No. 1 today, it’s very deservedly so.

“Winning two majors, winning a couple other times this year, had a chance at the Open, has a chance obviously today.

“And if he was to get to No. 1 today, I’d be the first one to congratulate him because I know the golf you have to play to get to that spot, and it has been impressive this year.”