Golf: Rory McIlroy back at world No. 1 after five-year absence, replacing Brooks Koepka

Rory McIlroy has ended only one of the last 11 years outside the top 10 but has not added to his Majors haul since winning the PGA Championship for the second time in three years in 2014.
Rory McIlroy has ended only one of the last 11 years outside the top 10 but has not added to his Majors haul since winning the PGA Championship for the second time in three years in 2014.PHOTO: REUTERS

LONDON (REUTERS) - Rory McIlroy has returned to the top of golf's rankings for the first time in five years after a string of strong finishes.

The 30-year-old Northern Irishman, a four-time Major winner, replaces American Brooks Koepka.

McIlroy was tied third at the Farmers Insurance Open last month and was fourth at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai in November, following his victory at the WGC-HSBC Champions.

His rise back to the top of golf's official world rankings, which uses a rolling two-year points format, means he will move into fourth place in total time spent as No. 1.

This will be his 96th week there, behind only 15-time Major champion Tiger Woods (683), Greg Norman (331) and fellow Briton Nick Faldo (97).

McIlroy has ended only one of the last 11 years outside the top 10 but has not added to his Majors haul since winning the PGA Championship for the second time in three years in 2014.

Koepka slips to No. 2 with Spaniard Jon Rahm at three, followed by Americans Justin Thomas, Dustin Johnson, Patrick Cantlay, Webb Simpson, Woods and Xander Schauffele.

Englishman Justin Rose completes the top 10.

McIlroy, who won the US Open in 2011 and The Open in 2014, is scheduled to play at the Genesis Invitational in California, which begins on Thursday.