McIlroy hoping to take positives to Sawgrass

Quail Hollow winner Derek Ernst climbs 1,084 places in world rankings after play-off win

Rory McIlroy looking forward to Sawgrass. Chris Keane/Reuters

Rory McIlroy looking forward to Sawgrass. Chris Keane/Reuters


Rory McIlroy is hopeful he can put a poor finish at Quail Hollow behind him and take the positives into this week’s The Players’ Championship at Sawgrass, Florida.

The world number two was four shots off the pace in the Wells Fargo Championship after his round collapsed at the 12th, where a double bogey began a decline that saw him finish one over for the round and four shots behind eventual winner Derek Ernst and England’s David Lynn before they went to a play-off.

The Northern Irishman said conditions were tough at the North Carolina venue, but ‘tee to green’ he was happy with his game.

“It was pretty difficult,” said the 24-year-old. “It felt like I was coming into it pretty well. Tough conditions, blustery winds, obviously, it was very wet today. I thought anything in the 60s was probably going to have a chance. I made a couple of mistakes coming in.

“Twelve was the turning point. I didn’t play at all well there this week. Some positives are, I hit the ball very well from tee to green for the most part of the week, and (I’m) looking forward to The Players next week.

Asked he felt good about his game, he added: “Yeah, tee to green it was really good. I got a good feeling. I’m doing well and looking forward to doing well at Sawgrass next week. Hopefully, I can take the good things from this week into that next week.”

American Ernst has climbed an incredible 1,084 places in the world rankings following his victory.

Ernst (22) has moved from 1,207th to 123rd on the latest standings courtesy of beating Lynn on the first play-off hole.

Lynn has the consolation of moving from 64th to 42nd, while there was no change in the top nine places.

Phil Mickelson, who bogeyed two of the last three holes at Quail Hollow to miss out on the play-off, moved from 11th to 10th. Australia’s Brett Rumford climbed from 122nd to 76th thanks to his second consecutive victory on the European Tour at the Volvo China Open, a rise of 177 places in two weeks.

Latest leading positions in official world rankings:

1 Tiger Woods 11.79, 2 Rory McIlroy 10.40 , 3 Adam Scott 7.80, 4 Justin Rose 6.67, 5 Luke Donald 6.46, 6 Brandt Snedeker 6.32, 7 Louis Oosthuizen 5.75, 8 Graeme McDowell 5.42, 9 Steve Stricker 5.34, 10, Phil Mickelson 5.31, 11 Matt Kuchar 5.27, 12 Lee Westwood 5.12, 13 Ian Poulter 4.89, 14 Keegan Bradley 4.85, 15 Sergio Garcia 4.77, 16 Charl Schwartzel 4.72, 17 Bubba Watson 4.65, 18 Webb Simpson 4.63, 19 Dustin Johnson 4.49, 20 Jason Dufner 4.39