McIlroy (66) remains focused on playoffs, not OWGR


NORTON, Mass. – World No. 1 Rory McIlroy left the Deutsche Bank Championship more focused on moving up in the FedEx Cup Playoffs standings than on his impending move down from No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

When the new world rankings are released Monday night, Jordan Spieth will move back to No. 1, even though he missed the cut at TPC Boston. McIlroy will slide back to No. 2.

“My focus the next few weeks is the FedEx Cup and to try to do well on that,” McIlroy said. “I’d love to play the next [event] well and get myself into the top five going to Atlanta. That’s still the goal. I’ll probably need a win.”

McIlroy was encouraged Monday shooting a 5-under-par 66, his best score since returning from rupturing a ligament in his left ankle. The Deutsche Bank is just his second event back. He was looking at a likely top-35 finish by day’s end. He was especially pleased with improved putting, which helped him birdie five of the first nine holes and shoot 31 on the front nine.

“A lot of positives,” McIlroy said. “It was nice to finish the week this way.”

McIlroy got the No. 1 ranking back from Spieth last week, when McIlroy was home taking the week off. Spieth takes it back this week, after he missed the cut. McIlroy needed a top 10 finish Monday to have any chance of holding on to the No. 1 ranking.

What’s McIlroy think of the complex Official World Golf Ranking formula used over a rolling two-year window that allows players to make important moves when they aren’t even playing?

“I don’t see any other way,” he said. “At the end of the day, it’s just about playing and playing well.”