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McIlroy: I want my top spot back

ESPN staff
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Rory McIlroy admitted that he didn't prepare properly for The Barclays following his run of three straight wins © Getty Images
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Rory McIlroy has targeted Hunter Mahan's top spot in the FedEx Cup standings with victory at the Deutsche Bank Championship, which starts at TPC Boston on Friday.

The world No.1 won the three events - including two majors and a World Golf Championship - in the run-up to last week's Barclays, where he finished nine shots behind Mahan in 22nd place.

But McIlroy has no plans to allow Mahan to stay top of the money list for long.

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"I am excited for the opportunity to get back to that number one place and move on to Denver with a little bit of a lead," he said.

"I am very relaxed, I'm going out on to the golf course and I'm not really putting a whole lot of pressure on myself.

"I'm just going out and playing and I know that if I play well, that I'll have somewhat of a chance to maybe win the tournament."

McIlroy, who won this event as part of a previous hot streak in 2012 in which he made his major championship breakthrough at the US PGA Championship, added: "My golf game feels probably a little more in control now than it did back then.

"Certain shots that I'm able to hit now that I maybe wasn't able to hit back then. And I'm definitely driving the ball as good as I ever have, if not better.

"My frame of mind and where I am mentally is very similar."

With the Deutsche Bank Championship finishing on Monday, it does not count towards Ryder Cup qualification for the European players - with Paul McGinley set to name his wildcards on Sunday.

Ian Poulter and Luke Donald are outside the automatic qualification spots and will be looking to impress the captain, while another Ryder Cup stalwart relying on a pick, Lee Westwood, failed to qualify. Graeme McDowell, who holed the winning putt at Celtic Manor in 2010, will be knocked out of the automatic spots if Stephen Gallacher finishes in the top two at the Italian Open.

The top 70 players on the FedEx Cup points list after the Deutsche Bank Championship will move on to next week's BMW Championship in Colorado, where the leading 30 will qualify for the Tour Championship finale - which carries an $11 million bonus.

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