Change in ranking wouldn't change McIlroy

If Rory McIlroy wins the Honda Classic, he'll move to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

If Rory McIlroy wins the Honda Classic, he'll move to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

PALM BEACH GARDENS, Fla. – A victory by Rory McIlroy in the Honda Classic would change the order atop the Official World Golf Ranking. It wouldn’t change much for McIlroy, though. He has been dealing for years with all that comes with being a world-class player.

“A few people have said, You know, if he gets to World No. 1, it will be crazy,” McIlroy’s manager, Conor Ridge, said. “It won’t be. It’s already crazy.”

McIlroy, 22, also had a chance to attain the top spot in the world ranking at last week’s WGC-Accenture Match Play. He lost to Hunter Mahan, 2 and 1, in the final, though.

“I maybe thought about (No. 1) too much, trying to use it as motivation going into the final,” McIlroy said. “I didn’t play my best golf there on the front nine, but Hunter was very, very solid. I’m going to put it out of the mind and try to win the Honda Classic.”

There’s one large difference this week, though. “I wasn’t standing with a 2-up lead on the first tee,” he said, referring to his two-shot lead over Tom Gillis and Harris English entering Sunday's final round of the Honda at PGA National. “I just have to try and focus on what I’ve been trying to do all week, which is hit fairways and hit greens.”

English and Gillis will be seeking their first PGA Tour victory. English, 22, is making just the sixth start of his rookie season. His Georgia teammates called him “the Big Giraffe” because of his lanky frame and the way he casually loped down fairways. Gillis, 43, has made 120 career PGA Tour starts, as well as stops in more than 25 countries.

“Two 22-year-olds and a 43-year-old,” Gillis said. “I hope they don’t walk too fast so I can keep up with them.”

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