• World rankings

McIlroy eyes long stay at world No. 1

ESPN staff
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Rory McIlroy was beaten by Rickie Fowler, but had the consolation of becoming world No. 1 © PA Photos
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Rory McIlroy is eyeing an extended stay at the top of the world rankings after dislodging Luke Donald once again.

The Ulsterman took the world No. 1 spot earlier in the year, only for Donald to leapfrog him. The pair have been close in the rankings for the past month, and exchanged the top rank, and a play-off defeat to Rickie Fowler at the Wells Fargo Championship was enough to put McIlroy back at the summit.

"I want to try and play well for the next few weeks and try and solidify my spot there at No. 1 and hopefully start by doing that next week and giving myself another chance to win," McIlroy said.

Fowler broke his PGA Tour duck with his win at Quail Hollow and getting that first victory is a weight off the youngster's shoulders.

"It's a good feeling right now," Fowler, who is up to No. 24 in the world rankings, said. "Definitely some relief, satisfaction. I'm definitely happy. It's not a bad thing, winning. It's kind of fun."

Francesco Molinari booked his place at this week's Players Championship with victory at the Open de Espana and he is back inside the world's top 30 at 29.

World Rankings: 1. Rory McIlroy (NIR), 2. Luke Donald (ENG), 3. Lee Westwood (ENG), 4. Bubba Watson (USA), 5. Hunter Mahan (USA), 6. Steve Stricker (USA), 7. Tiger Woods (USA), 8. Martin Kaymer (GER), 9. Webb Simpson (USA), 10. Phil Mickelson (USA), 11. Justin Rose (ENG), 12. Adam Scott (AUS), 13. Louis Oosthuizen (RSA), 14. Charl Schwartzel (RSA), 15. Jason Day (AUS), 16. Matt Kuchar (USA), 17. Dustin Johnson (USA), 18. Graeme McDowell (NIR), 19. Bill Haas (USA), 20. Jason Dufner (USA).

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