Date: February 23, 2017
Author: Bernie McGuire, Florida

Scott: Rory has No.1 runs on board

Defending Honda Classic champion Adam Scott handed Rory McIlroy a huge compliment in declaring the Northern Irishman "more accomplished" than any player currently near the top of the world rankings.

Scott had been asked about the issue of World No.1 after fellow Australian Jason Day was relegated last week to No.2 by current US Open champion, Dustin Johnson.

Day reigned atop of the Rankings for a total of 51 weeks before losing out to Johnson at last week’s Genesis Open in suburban Los Angeles.

Scott himself led the world for a period of 11 unbroken weeks from May-August 2014 before McIlroy enjoyed an unbroken reign of 54 weeks up to 15 August 2015.

And while McIlroy is currently third, Scott said of those currently atop the rankings, including Johnson, Day, Henrik Stenson, Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth, the four-time major winning McIlroy is the "more accomplished".

"I have to say Rory, and that’s with no disrespect to the others, but he’s the more accomplished player," Scott said.

"The others all have incredible attributes and Dustin is phenomenal to watch. I’ve played with him two days last week, and just the flow and fluidity in his golf swing is so nice. It’s like a teenager swinging the club. He’s just so supple. He has great touch and looks good with the putter, and all these things.

"Of course he’s the No.1 player in the world right now. And to me, on their best days, Rory and Dustin (are) very hard to separate, other than I think Rory’s more accomplished at the moment.

"So I guess Rory."

And while it’s been nearly three years since Scott, now aged 36, was world No.1 the proud Australian has not ruled out returning to the top of the rankings.

But he also admits he didn’t give attention to the rankings as much early in his career.

"The world rankings of late have been fairly competitive," he said.

"Jason’s been solid at No.1, but I’ve spent most of my career, or at least the first half of my career, (when) the rankings were just a non-event. It was just Tiger (Woods) by double the points everyone else was on.

"I can honestly say for that time, I just ruled being world No.1 out of the equation.

"Fortunately I was patient to hang around long enough and have a run at it and got there.

"But yeah, I think it’s good for the guys at the top. They are highly motivated. There are probably four guys right now who aren’t too far away – I haven’t looked, but I’ll guess.

"And guys like me who sit a bit further back, and one of my big missions this year was to get back up and have a shot at going for No.1 again before it’s all too far gone for me.

"So, I’d like to have a run at that. But like I said, it’s a few months away of putting together some really, really solid golf before I could even probably think about getting there."

Scott joins Greg Chambers, Steven Bowditch, Marc Leishman, Cameron Percy and John Senden as the Australians contesting this week's event on the PGA National's Champions Course.