McIlroy, Spieth keep 'to-and-fro' going in battle for No. 1

Mon Sep 14, 2015 4:46pm EDT
 
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) - The back-and-forth between Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth at the top of the world rankings shows no sign of slowing down with a further change possible after this week's BMW Championship in Lake Forest, Illinois.

Northern Irishman McIlroy returned to the summit when the latest rankings were issued on Monday, the fourth successive week that he and American Spieth have traded places.

The margin between the two is a wafer-thin 0.023 average points, the narrowest gap between the world's top two players since the official rankings were launched in 1986.

McIlroy and Spieth are both in the field for the BMW Championship, the penultimate FedExCup playoff event of the season, and either of them -- along with third-ranked Australian Jason Day -- could be world number one next week.

"It'll be like that until one of us separates ourselves a little bit," McIlroy told reporters ahead of Thursday's opening round at Conway Farms Golf Club in Lake Forest.

"At the end of the day, it's just about playing and playing well. I don't know any other way we could determine the best player in the world.

"You could do it on a one-year point system instead of two. I think two years is a good reflection of how you played."

The ranking system is structured on a two-year 'rolling' period with points awarded for each event and then maintained for a 13-week spell to give additional emphasis on recent performances.   Continued...

 
Aug 13, 2015; Sheboygan, WI, USA;  Rory McIlroy and  Jordan Spieth line up their putts on the 16th green during the first round of the 2015 PGA Championship golf tournament at Whistling Straits. Mandatory Credit: Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports