McIlroy on top of the world again

Published on NewsOK Modified: August 4, 2014 at 2:12 am •  Published: August 4, 2014
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AKRON, Ohio (AP) — Rory McIlroy cruised to a wire-to-wire win at the British Open, and then chased down Sergio Garcia to win a World Golf Championship.

And he sounds as though he's just getting started.

"My goal now until the end of the year is to try to win as many golf tournaments as I can," McIlroy said Sunday after his two-shot victory at the Bridgestone Invitational. "It's not to try to finish No. 1 in the world. It's just to get as many titles as possible."

How many can he win?

McIlroy paused and tilted his head, as if counting up the tournaments he has left on his schedule this year.

And that's exactly what he was doing.

"Does the Grand Slam count in Bermuda?" he said playfully of the 36-hole exhibition for major champions. "Does the Ryder Cup count? I feel like with the way I'm playing, there's a few left in me this year."

His confidence has never been higher. His game has never been better.

The victory Sunday was his third of the year and returned him to No. 1 in the world for the first time since March of last year. It felt like a lot longer to McIlroy, who has gone through equipment changes, management changes and an engagement that he abruptly broke off with Caroline Wozniacki.

"It feels good to be back on top," he said. "Hopefully, I can keep it for a while."

The way he has played his last two tournaments, that looks like a distinct possibility. One of them was on the links of Britain. The other was in the parkland of America. Next up is the PGA Championship at Valhalla, and McIlroy established himself as the overwhelming favorite.

"Obviously, Rory is in incredible form at the moment," said Adam Scott, who held the No. 1 ranking for 11 weeks. "He'll be the man to beat next week by the look of things. And I'll be gunning for him, for sure."

McIlroy became the 13th player with a major and a World Golf Championship, and he joined Tiger Woods as the only players to win them in consecutive starts.

Woods wasn't around to see it.

Four months after back surgery, and in his third tournament since his return, Woods injured his lower back when he landed with a thud in the stand from an awkward stance atop a bunker on the second hole. He withdrew after a tee shot on the ninth hole, bending over slowly and struggling to remove the tee from the ground.

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