Figuring out who holds the current subjective title of “best in the world” isn’t easy right now. At the beginning of 2023, it was clear to anyone that McIlroy was that man. Heading into his season debut on the PGA Tour he hadn’t finished worse than fourth in his last seven worldwide starts.
Then Rory’s success streak stalled, while Jon Rahm ascended to a new level of dominance by ripping off five wins in his first nine starts of the year, including the Masters. At that point, it seemed unfathomable that we would contemplate any other player in contention for best in the world status for a long time.
Enter Scottie Scheffler. Statistically from tee-to-green Scheffler is playing at a level we haven’t seen since peak Tiger Woods. Scottie only has two wins, but his consistency has been astonishing, having not finished worse than 12th in an event in 2023. His claim to the title also seemed safe until this latest McIlroy run of form, which could have Rory peaking just in time for the season’s final major.
Looking back, it was easy to see McIlroy’s run coming. After a disappointing missed cut at the Masters, his form has gotten better each week. He hasn’t finished outside the top ten since the PGA Championship. His driver has been absolutely dominant. He was the best player tee-to-green at LACC, and in recent weeks it appears his form has actually improved. McIlroy is up to 2nd in the OWGR behind Scheffler, one place above Rahm. What an incredible year for fans, seeing three players put up all-time seasons at once. Let’s hope we get a battle between them at Hoylake next weekend.