Date: March 05, 2012

McIlroy rors to World Number 1

If Rory McIlroy s ascension to the top of the world rankings wasn t enough, he’s also entered illustrious company and not just because of his ranking. McIlroy becomes one of just nine players to record multiple victories with at least one major before or at the age of 22. The company? Tiger Woods, Gene Sarazen, Young Tom Morris, Jack Nicklaus, Tom Creavy, Johnny McDermott, Seve Ballesteros and Jerry Pate. The world s top ranking completes a story that began not so long ago and continued when McIlroy was a teenager, telling people his aim in golf was to win a major and eventually become the best in the world a sentiment echoed by most professionals and ambitious amateurs. On Sunday in Florida at PGA National, the Ulsterman completed those two dreams having already won the US Open at Congressional last year. “It was tough today, especially seeing Tiger make a charge,” McIlroy said. “I knew par golf would probably be good enough. To shoot 1 under in these conditions, when you go into the round with the lead, is very nice. And I was just able to get the job done.” The 22 year old closed out the Honda Classic with a final round 1-under par 69, winning by two shots from Tiger Woods and Tom Gillis who finished at 10-under par. Woods finished with a final round 62, McIlroy s friend Lee Westwood closed with a 63. McIlroy will take over the Number 1 spot from Luke Donald. Since the OWGR began in April of 1986, McIlroy (22 years, 10 months) becomes the second youngest player to achieve the top spot. Only Tiger Woods was younger, moving into the No. 1 position on June 15, 1997, at the age of 21 years, 24 weeks. The victory was his third on the PGA Tour and he becomes the youngest winner of the Honda Classic. Three time major winner Padraig Harrington said many young players were showing promise on the world stage but McIlroy had come further. “There&aposs very few players as good at him at his age out there winning tournaments,” Harrington said. “There are guys with potential, but he&aposs already delivered. And he has a good balance in his life. He doesn&apost look like a guy who is going to burn out. He looks like he&aposs going to be here for a while.” It was a lot of fun out there,” Graeme McDowell said. “It was just roars going up all over the golf course. “For Rory to go out today with a two-shot lead and have Tiger shoot 62 on him and Westwood shoot 63, it just shows how hard it is to win golf tournaments on any tour in the world, but especially this tour. “This golf season just got a lot more spicy.” This week the TOUR moves to Miami for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at the TPC Blue Monster course at Doral.