According to the World Ranking guru @Nosferatu McIlroy has accomplished the feat at age 30 years, 6 months, 8 days old, to break the mark previously held by Woods, who needed four months more to reach the same milestone.
“The first [and maybe last] thing I’ve ever beaten Tiger at,” McIlroy said in an Instagram post accompanied by a ‘mind-blown’ emoji.
Looking back, the now current World No. 2 ranked McIlroy first broke into the top-10 on the Rankings in finishing third in the 2009 European Tour season-ending DP World Tour Championship.
It took just over two years, with his victory at the 2012 Honda Classic, before McIlroy finally made it to World No. 1, in the process denying Woods victory at PGA National. And in capturing a third of now 18 PGA Tour victories, McIlroy became the youngest player since boyhood idol Woods to go to No. 1 in the world.
Since climbing to the summit of the OWGR, McIlroy has fallen outside of the top-10 in the rankings on just three occasions.
He slipped to 10th after a T8th at the 2014 Masters and dipped to 11th at his then next event that year, and that was after a second straight T8th result at the Wells Fargo Championship. He got back to 10th with a T6th at the Players but was back to 6th on the OWGR with victory at the BMW PGA Championship.
McIlroy stayed inside the top-10 for well over three years until his first event of 2018 when he dipped to 11th with a T3rd result at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship before a runner-up finish, a week later at the Dubai Desert Classic, put him back to eighth on the OWGR.
That position proved short-lived as for his next three events McIlroy dropped to stay at 10th while a missed cut at the 2018 Valspar Championship saw him dip to 13th, but that was brilliantly corrected with victory in his next tournament in winning the Arnold Palmer Invitational.
Since then, McIlroy has muscled his way to as high as World No. 2 thanks to four wins, three runner-up finishes, a third and remarkably, 16 other top-10 finishes in what he has described as his most consistent spell as a golfer.
Records are made to be broken but it’s going to take mammoth effort for someone to surpass McIlroy’s latest feat.