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Golf | Rory McIlroy sets world rankings record

Rory McIlroy has returned to the top of the world golf rankings for the first time in 53 months.

The Northern Ireland golfer replaces Brooks Koepka, who drops to second, at the summit of the rankings.

It is the first time the 30-year-old has been first in the rankings since September 2015, which means he has set a new record for the longest time between a player losing and regaining the number one ranking.

McIlroy pips the American to top spot due to his superior point average of 9.19 compared to Koepka's 9.16.

"I didn't know I was going to get a chance this early, but this has been a goal of mine for a while," McIlroy said.

"We all have egos out here and it would be great to get back there."

Spaniard John Rahm occupies third place, with American duo Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson completing the top five.

Tiger Woods drops two spots to eighth in the list, while Irishman Shane Lowry is ranked 17th.

Eight of the top 10 hail from the United States, with Patrick Cantlay (sixth), Webb Simpson (seventh) and Xander Schauffele (10th) completing the top 10.

English duo Justin Rose and Tommy Fleetwood sit just outside the top 10, with American Patrick Reed currently in 13th place.

Graham McDowell is ranked 47th, while Phil Mickelson climbs from 72nd to 55th after finishing third at Pebble Beach this week.

The top 50 all qualify for next week's WGC-Mexico Championship.

1. Rory McIlroy ☝️ 2. Brooks Koepka 3. Jon Rahm 4. Justin Thomas 5. Dustin Johnson 6. Patrick Cantlay 7. Webb Simpson 8. Tiger Woods 9. Xander Schauffele 10. Justin Rose 11. Tommy Fleetwood 12. Tony Finau 13. Patrick Reed 14. Adam Scott 15. Louis Oosthuizen via @OWGRltd 📈 — The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) February 10, 2020

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