Rory McIlroy could become the No. 1-ranked golfer on Sunday — here’s how

Scottie Scheffler has been the top ranked men's golfer since March, but he's in jeopardy of losing that title to Rory McIlroy at Congaree.

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Men’s golf could soon have a new top dog.

While Scottie Scheffler has sat alone atop the Official World Golf Ranking since March, his reign as No. 1 could soon be over. According to the OWGR, Rory McIlroy has a chance to overtake Scheffler as the No. 1-ranked golfer this weekend.

So, what exactly needs to happen this week at the CJ Cup? It’s actually quite simple. If McIlroy can win AND Scheffler finishes worse than T2 with one other golfer, McIlroy will surpass him in the rankings. Additionally, if McIlroy can finish solo second AND Scheffler finishes worse than solo 34th, McIlroy will become the top-ranked men’s golfer in the world.

McIlroy has been ranked No. 1 in the world eight times before, most recently in the summer of 2020.

“I think the cool part is the journey and the journey getting back there,” McIlroy said. “It’s sort of like a heavyweight boxer losing a world title and it’s a journey to get that title back. I feel like that’s the cool part of it and that’s the journey that I’ve sort of been through over the past 12 months.”

Heading into the CJ Cup last fall, McIlroy was ranked 14th in the world and searching for a spark. He got just that at The Summit Club in Las Vegas as he held off Collin Morikawa for a one-shot victory. Since then, he’s added wins at the Canadian Open and the Tour Championship and finished inside the top 10 at all four major championships.

“I’m proud of the fact that I’ve at least given myself a chance again,” McIlroy said. “The last [time at No. 1] we were coming back from the lockdown from COVID in July 2020, and I feel like my game and my life has changed considerably since then, so it’s nice to have the opportunity again.”

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Zephyr Melton

Golf.com Editor

Zephyr Melton is an assistant editor for GOLF.com where he spends his days blogging, producing and editing. Prior to joining the team at GOLF.com, he attended the University of Texas followed by stops with Team USA, the Green Bay Packers and the PGA Tour. He assists on all things instruction and covers amateur and women’s golf.