Is Rickie Fowler back to his best and what’s happened to Jordan Spieth. Here’s five things we’ve learned from the weekend.
The lottery of world No 1
Rory McIlroy relinquished the world No 1 spot back to Jordan Spieth on Monday, despite posting a final-round 66 at the Deutsche Bank Championship in Boston.
The Northern Irishman’s year-long stint at the top of the world rankings was ended by Spieth’s second-placed finish at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits behind Jason Day, who is also well poised to compete for the No 1 spot. However, McIlroy is due to regain the position of the world’s best golfer next week, even though neither he nor Spieth will be in competitive action.
Accumulated over two years, the world ranking points are awarded for each event maintained over a 13-week period in order to place additional emphasis on recent performances.
The Official World Golf Ranking website states: “Ranking points are then reduced in equal decrements for the remaining 91 weeks of the two-year Ranking period. Each player is then ranked according to his average points per tournament, which is determined by dividing his total number of points by the tournaments he has played over that two-year period.”
What we do know is that the world No 1 position will be hotly contested for the foreseeable future, with Spieth and McIlroy the prime candidates.
Fowler hitting form
Rickie Fowler seems to be hitting form at exactly the right time, rising 19 places in the FedExCup rankings following his one-shot victory over Henrik Stenson in Boston.
Having recorded his best finishes at every major last year, 2015 has been consistent if not spectacular for the 26-year-old, who carded four top-10 finishes prior to his FedExCup play-off success since April, including winning the Players Championship in May.
And Fowler says he is ready to close the gap on Spieth, McIlroy and Day in the coming weeks.
“I’ve been playing very well the last couple of years, it was just a matter of time before I knocked on the door,” said Fowler.
“With the three guys that they talk about, Jason, Rory and Jordan, they’ve clearly played the best out of anyone over the past few months to couple of years. So I’m trying to be a small fourth thrown in there. But there’s a lot of other really good young players playing well right now, as well.”
Jordan Spieth. The world No 1 and two-time major winner in 2015 is currently a player completely out-of-sorts and struggling for form.
Since his second-placed finish at Whistling Straits in August, the 22-year-old missed the cut with an error-strewn performance at The Barclays – in which he used a brand new set of irons – and a lowly finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
Is it fatigue? Or is it the pressure of rising to the top of the world standings for the first time?
Either way, it would be wrong to criticise Spieth after the remarkable year he has had, but questions will be asked of the American’s form so close to the end-of-season FedExCup, should his current slump persist.
Big name exits
Luke Donald was the latest casualty to be eliminated in the FedExCup play-offs, having already seen Adam Scott, Lee Westwood and Padraig Harrington miss out.
The former world No 1 dropped out of the top 70 with a tied-39th finish at the Deutsche Bank Championship.
With other big names struggling to make the cut for the 30-man TOUR Championship event in September, including five-time major winner Phil Mickelson and Open runner-up Marc Leishman, there will be plenty of opportunities for lesser-known players to make a name for themselves at East Lake.
Colin Montgomerie set another record by winning the Travis Perkins Masters for a third consecutive time.
The eight-time European No1 is now the first player to achieve the feat on both the European and Senior European Tour, after winning the flagship PGA Championship title at Wentworth in 1998, 1999 and 2000.
Montgomerie clinched the title with a birdie at the second play-off hole against fellow Scot Ross Drummond for his seventh Senior Tour title in just his 15th start – another record for the 52-year-old.
“I always thought my performance at Wentworth in 1998, 1999 and 2000 was the best I could do,” Montgomerie said.
“Winning three times in a row was really hard on The European Tour, so that was probably the ultimate accolade in my golfing career. But I have to say this comes extremely close to emulating that.”
Courtesy of Sky sports