No one can dispute the fact that Rory McIlroy has regained world number one honours five years after having previously occupied that privileged position in the planetary ranking. Given the short margins that separated him from Brooks Koepka (just hundredths) and Jon Rahm (five-tenths), it is possible that by the time this publication falls into the hands of readers the Northern Irishman might have been dethroned again.

Be that as it may, the point is that, at 30, McIlroy is enjoying one of the brightest periods of his golfing career. The results are conclusive: in the last 11 tournaments that he had played until mid-February – ever since his fateful participation in the British Open, where he missed the cut – he had tallied two victories and another seven top-10 finishes, being in the top-six on nine occasions.

During the current US PGA Tour season, which started officially last autumn, he has secured two third places (Farmer Insurance Open and Zozo Championship) and one victory, in the WGC-HSBC Championship, in the process becoming the first European to win three World Golf Championship titles. It was his 18th PGA Tour win and his 27th  international victory. Until mid-February he had accumulated prizemoney totalling $2,735,000 and was sixth in the FedExCup ranking which, when he won the title last year (he was also victorious  in 2016), earned him the stratospheric sum of $15 million.

The talented Northern Irishman’s consistency since, at the end of 2009 (only two years after turning professional), entering the top-10 of the world ranking for the first time has been prodigious – and unmatched by his colleagues: he has never fallen lower than 13th in the world rankings. 

He reached the summit for the first time in 2012 after a spectacular season that included his second major, the US PGA, after the 2011 US Open, and four other titles. Not only did he end the season as world number one, but he also led the European and US Tours. And, on top of that, he beat the record for annual earnings, previously held by Tiger Woods (in 2007, with $10,867,052), having bagged $11,953,486 (more than €10 million) in prizemoney alone. 

Almost small change in comparison with the succulent contract he signed with Nike for a period of 10 years, for more than $200 million. To that can be added the contract he maintains with TaylorMade, in this case $100 million and also extending over a decade.

This is the eighth time that McIlroy has occupied the world ranking throne, and he is on his way to a total of 100 weeks as number one in different stages, the last occasion before the current one being in September 2015.

With his goal of once again becoming world number now achieved, McIlroy's next objective is to savour the glory of a major triumph after his wins in the 2011 US Open, 2014 British Open, and 2012 and 2014 US PGA Championship. His dream is to win a fifth major and, if possible, the one he still lacks: champion of the US Masters at Augusta. Start the countdown.