Rory McIlroy insists he is "100 per cent" fit and ready to return to action at the US PGA Championship this weekend and defend his world No1 ranking from the rising Jordan Spieth who he has been drawn with in the first two rounds.
After winning the first two Majors of the year, Spieth's red hot streak cooled following McIlroy's ankle injury last month and the Texan missed the opportunity to nab top spot at the Open and WGC Bridgestone Invitational.
Yet it's still possible for him to take the No1 ranking at McIlroy's expense this weekend. Here's how:
- If Spieth wins, McIlroy must finish at least outright second to hold onto his ranking.
- McIlroy must finish in the top six if Spieth is second.
- If the young American is tied second with one player, that extends to 13, while if he's tied with two others that extends further to 33.
- If Spieth finishes outright third, McIlroy must at least make the cut.
Up for grabs are the 100 ranking points available at all Majors, and if Spieth achieves any of the above he will boost his current 11.48 points average - the determining factor for the official world golf ranking - over McIlroy's 12.55.
Ranking points are accumulated over a two-year rolling period, with points incrementally diminished after a 13-week period, hence why Spieth's stunning year has sent him on such a steep upwards trajectory.
A triumph in Wisconsin this weekend will make him just the third player after Ben Hogan in 1953 and Tiger Woods in 2002 to win three Majors in a single season.
Meanwhile McIlroy practiced at Whistling Straits last weekend while Spieth competed at Firestone in the WGC Bridgestone Invitational in a bid to maximise his preparations for his defence of the title and last chance to win a Major this year.