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Moving up: Rory McIlroy

Moving up: Rory McIlroy

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Moving up: Rory McIlroy

Even though he won't be playing this week, Rory McIlroy will return to World No 1 for the first time in almost five years.

The complicated nature of the system guarantees that the 30-year-old will leapfrog current leader Brooks Koepka when the rankings are updated after this week's Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Neither Koepka nor World No 3 Jon Rahm will tee it up either, meaning the only changes to the top spots will be caused by the shifting sands that make up the rankings process.

Points are calculated on a two-year rolling period, with those gained from the previous 13 weeks contributing their full value before being reduced in equal increments over the remaining 91 weeks. Each final figure is calculated by an average points total per tournaments played.

McIlroy is less than 0.2 points off the top, but having gained 18.9 points in 2020 to Koepka's 5.63, his recent form will be rewarded in spectacular style.

It will be the Holywood man's 96th week as World No.1, just one week behind Nick Faldo and fourth on the all-time list, also behind Greg Norman and Tiger Woods.

Meanwhile, Graeme McDowell this week jumped 57 places to 47th.

Belfast Telegraph