An upbeat Rory McIlroy has kept his World No. 1 ranking and thereby has matched boyhood mentor Nick Faldo in now joining the Englishman as the equal third longest-running World No. 1.
This is despite a very disappointing Genesis Invitational final round that saw McIlroy’s goal of capturing a first event this New Year end with the horror of taking a fifth hole triple-bogey and then dropping a shot at the next, a two-hole disaster from which he never recovered.
McIlroy retains the World No. 1 ranking given World No. 2 Brooks Koepka failed to impress in sharing 43rd place while Spaniard and World No. 3 Jon Rahm ended his Riviera campaign sharing 17th place.
McIlroy, again to his enormous credit, spoke following his final round of the disappointment in letting slip victory and also how there was understandably not much chatter between the final group of eventual winner, Adam Scott, Matt Kuchar and himself.
“No, no, it was a pretty difficult day, so there wasn’t much chat out there between the three of us, we were just trying to concentrate on what we were doing,” said McIlroy.
“They set the course up a little tougher today than it has been the last few days, and factoring in that it’s a little firmer than it has been and just with how the weather’s been and a little bit of wind, all of a sudden it becomes a very tricky golf course.”
In contrast, Scott was naturally in an upbeat mood in winning a 15th PGA Tour title and the 31st victory of his illustrious pro career.
With victory, Scott has moved back to World No. 7, his highest ranking since sharing 14th place in the 2018 Honda Classic.
“It feels really good. I mean, that’s fun to poke fun at the thing in ’05, but it is 15 years ago, so I really moved on from that by now,” said Scott.
“It’s incredibly satisfying to win a tournament of this stature on a golf course of this stature. It was a wonderful week, it was incredibly enjoyable just being here with the weather like this, the course in perfect condition and a great field.
“Even better to come out on top and kind of have your game really tested today. It was not easy and that was most enjoyable to kind of see that my game is holding up to that.”
Genesis tournament host Tiger Woods produced his poorest four-round showing finishing last among those who made the halfway cut with weekend scores of 76 and 77 for an 11-over par tally.
Woods’ poorest Riviera display prior to last week had been a respectable 3-under 72-hole tally.
“Well, I did not do much well today,” he said at the close of Sunday’s round.
“Good news, I hit every ball forward, not backwards, a couple sideways. But overall, I’m done.”
Woods has already confirmed he will not be travelling to Mexico City and it is uncertain when he next tee-up.