Rory McIlroy isn’t only defending his 2014 PGA Championship title at Whistling Straits this week. He’s also defending his world No. 1 ranking.
Jordan Spieth is closing in on McIlroy’s throne, aided by the Northern Irishman’s absence from competitive golf between the U.S. Open and PGA Championship due to an ankle injury.
Here is the list of scenarios in which the defending Masters and U.S. Open champ can oust McIlroy from the top spot at the PGA Championship.
- Spieth wins and McIlroy finishes worse than solo second
- Spieth finishes solo second and McIlroy fails to finish in top six
- Spieth finishes T2 with one other player and McIlroy finishes outside top 13
- Spieth finishes T2 with two other players and McIlroy finishes outside top 33
- Spieth finishes solo third and McIlroy misses the cut
At 2-under par through 36 holes, McIlroy has safely made the cut (currently projected at +3), but the first three scenarios are very much in play.
Spieth sits at 6-under, one off the lead after Friday’s morning wave. He would be the 18th player to be ranked No. 1 and, at 22, the youngest to hold the position since Tiger Woods became No. 1 in June of 1997 at 21 years, 167 days old.