Mcil­roy hails Spieth

Lesotho Times - - Sport -

KOHLER — Jor­dan Spieth (pic­tured) failed to add a third ma­jor ti­tle to his 2015 re­sume on Sun­day, but with his run­ner-up fin­ish to Ja­son Day at Whistling Straits, the 22-year-old claimed another cov­eted honor: the world num­ber one rank­ing.

Spieth, who had al­ready won this year’s Masters and US Open, dis­lodged North­ern Ire­land’s Rory Mcil­roy from the num­ber one spot he had held for 55 con­sec­u­tive weeks.

Spieth’s solo sec­ond place meant Mcil­roy needed a top-six fin­ish to stay num­ber one, and the 26-year-old came up short with a fi­nal-round 69 that left him in 17th place on 279 in his de­fense of the PGA crown he won at Val­halla last year.

“The way Jor­dan has been play­ing and the way I haven’t played much this year... if he goes to num­ber one to­day, it’s very de­servedly so,” said Mcil­roy, who walked off the course 90 min­utes be­fore the last putts fell.

Spieth’s rise may have been has­tened by the rup­tured left an­kle in­jury Mcil­roy suf­fered on 4 July, which forced him out of ti­tle de­fenses at the Bri­tish Open and the World Golf Cham­pi­onships Bridge­stone In­vi­ta­tional -- where Mcil­roy re­gained the top rank­ing last year. But Mcil­roy wasn’t quib­bling. “Win­ning two ma­jors, win­ning a cou­ple other times this year, had a chance at the Open, has a chance ob­vi­ously to­day,” he said of Spieth.

“If he was to get to num­ber one to­day, I’d be the first one to con­grat­u­late him be­cause I know the golf you have to play to get to that spot and it has been im­pres­sive this year.”

Spieth, who has earned more than $10 mil­lion this year, col­lected $1.1 mil­lion on Sun­day and has been out­stand­ing not just in the ma­jors but on the PGA Tour.

He won the Valspar Cham­pi­onship and John Deere Clas­sic and start­ing with the Me­mo­rial in June hasn’t been out of the top four. — AFP

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