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PRO GOLF: Rory McIlroy back to No. 1 world ranking with win at CJ Cup

McIlroy officially will be back to No. 1 Monday for the first time since July 18, 2020. He surpassed Scottie Scheffler, whom he also defeated at the Tour Championship in September to win the FedEx Cup title.

PGA: THE CJ CUP in South Carolina - Final Round
Rory McIlroy plays from the fourth tee during the final round of The CJ Cup in Ridgeland, South Carolina, on Sunday, Oct. 23, 2022.
David Yeazell / USA Today Sports
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Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland shot a final-round 67 at The CJ Cup in South Carolina to defend his title at the tournament and return to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking on Sunday in Ridgeland, S.C.

McIlroy officially will be back to No. 1 Monday for the first time since July 18, 2020. He surpassed Scottie Scheffler, whom he also defeated at the Tour Championship in September to win the FedEx Cup title.

"I've worked so hard over the last 12 months to get myself back to this place," McIlroy said. "I feel like I'm enjoying the game as much as I ever have. I absolutely love the game of golf and I think that when I go out there and I play with that joy, it's definitely showed over these last 12 months."

McIlroy broke away late with birdies at Nos. 12, 14, 15 and 16 at Congaree Golf Club, highlighted by a 13-foot birdie putt at the 14th and a 22-footer at the 16th. He bogeyed his final two holes but still finished at 17-under 267 and beat Kurt Kitayama by one stroke.

"There was sort of four of us in it the whole day and I think the birdie on 14 was the real turning point for me," McIlroy said. "It's a really tough par 3. To make 2 there felt like I picked up at least a shot and a half on the field."

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McIlroy also won the CJ Cup in 2021 when it was held at The Summit Club in Las Vegas.

The four-time major champion made seven birdies and three bogeys in all. Kitayama also shot a 67, but with four birdies and no bogeys on his card. He parred his final six holes to come up just shy of forcing a playoff with McIlroy or surpassing him outright.

"It was a battle," Kitayama said. "I was kind of coming down the stretch there, I was grinding to get in with a bunch of pars it felt like. Yeah, it was tough, but Rory came out three in a row right there and that was tough to compete with."

South Korea's K.H. Lee (68 Sunday) finished third at 15 under. Jon Rahm of Spain (69) tied for fourth at 14 under with Englishman Tommy Fleetwood (65).

Taylor Montgomery fired a 62 for the round of the day. An eagle and four birdies on the back nine helped him finish the day in 6-under 29. He tied for 13th at 9 under.

Ko wins BMW Ladies Championship

New Zealand's Lydia Ko mixed eight birdies and a bogey to shoot a final-round 65 on Sunday and win the BMW Ladies Championship in Wonju, South Korea.

Ko entered the day a stroke behind Thai teenager Atthaya Thitikul, but wound up at 21-under par 267 for the tournament. That was four strokes better than American Andrea Lee, who carded a 69.

Five birdies on the back nine, including three straight at Nos. 15-17, sealed the victory for Ko. It was her 18th career tour win and second of 2022.

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Ko's 65 was the course low for the day.

Finishing in a tie for third at 16-under were South Koreans Hye-Jin Choi, who shot a 68, and Hyo Joo Kim (68) along with American Lilia Vu (69).

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