There were scenarios in which Rory McIlroy didn't maintain his top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking after last weekend. Instead, the Northern Irishman reminded us all why he's held that top spot since overtaking Scottie Scheffler in the fall.
Facing drama and rain delays, McIlroy conjured back-to-back birdies at 17 and 18 in the final round to eclipse Patrick Reed and win the Dubai Desert Classic by a single shot. It is the only time McIlroy has won his opening start in a calendar year.
Monday Scramble: Rory thrives again in the drama, Homa the California King
Reed's solo-second finish resulted in a jump from 90th to 57th in the world ranking. With LIV Golf still on the outside looking in when it comes to the OWGR, those points could prove crucial for Reed as he looks to qualify for future major championships.
Ian Poulter, one of Reed's fellow LIV competitors, finished with a double bogey at the 72nd hole in Dubai, resulting in a T-6 finish. A par at the 18th would've slotted the Englishman in at T-4, while a birdie would've left him T-3 on the final leaderboard. Poulter climbed from 165th to 135th in the OWGR.
Max Homa captured his sixth PGA Tour victory Saturday at Torrey Pines, and his fourth in his home state of California. In doing so, he moved from 16th to 13th in the OWGR, the best rank of his career.
Sam Ryder, who led throughout much of the Farmers, ultimately finished T-4 and jumped from 283rd to 204th in the world.
The only movement inside the top 10 came via a flip-flop between Collin Morikawa and Will Zalatoris, with Morikawa now residing in seventh and Zalatoris falling to eighth after a missed cut at Torrey Pines.