A big win goes a long way. After taking home the Bridgestone Invitational, Rory McIlroy now tops the Official World Golf Rankings, overtaking Adam Scott, who finished in a tie for eighth, eight strokes back of McIlroy.
With his victory on Sunday, the 2014 Open Championship winner moved 91.67 points clear of the Australian star. It's the first time he's topped the rankings since March 2013, per ESPN Stats and Info:
Rory McIlroy wins his 2nd straight start and will regain the World's Number 1 ranking for the first time since March 2013.— ESPN Stats & Info (@ESPNStatsInfo) August 3, 2014
Scott didn't lose the top spot for a lack of trying. As CBSSports.com's Kyle Porter pointed out, he had four top-10s and a win in his last five starts, and that still wasn't good enough. That's both a testament to Scott's consistency and McIlroy's insane run of late:
Adam Scott's last 5 PGA Tour starts: Crowne Plaze: WIN Memorial: T4 US Open: T9 British Open: T5 Bridgestone: T8 Loses No. 1 rank. #Rory— Kyle Porter (@KylePorterCBS) August 3, 2014
He came from behind to win in Akron, Ohio, and in doing so, he planted himself as an even firmer favorite to win the 2014 PGA Championship. If he pulls off the feat, he'd become the 13th golfer since World War I to win back-to-back majors.
The 25-year-old spoke about how he can't afford to let complacency creep into his game as he prepares for the Valhalla Golf Club.
"That's what I'll have to do after this win as well. I've just got to keep moving forward. I've got plenty of time at the end of the year to celebrate all these successes," McIlroy said, per USA Today's Steve DiMeglio. "I feel like, with the way I'm playing, there's a few (wins) left in me this year."
McIlroy jumping into the lead has added another interesting wrinkle to the PGA Championship. Being the No. 1 player in the world is a largely ceremonial honor, but you can bet that Scott would like to back into that position at Valhalla.
Golf isn't a head-to-head sport, but it's always fun watching two of the best in the world trying to outdo one another on the course in a high-pressure situation.
On the other side, McIlroy will look to not only stay on top but also move one major closer to Jack Nicklaus and ascend to the throne vacated by Tiger Woods.