Rory McIlroy seeks top-four finish to book FedEx Cup place

Former world No 1 Rory McIlroy needs a top-four finish in the BMW Championship to make certain of having a chance of retaining his FedEx Cup title.

Rory McIlroy will play at the BMW this week. Picture Ian Rutherford
Rory McIlroy will play at the BMW this week. Picture Ian Rutherford

McIlroy enters the penultimate play-off event at his lowest world ranking for more than three years, a missed cut in the Dell Technologies Championship seeing him slip from fourth to sixth in the standings behind US PGA champion Justin Thomas and Spain’s Jon Rahm.

His position of 51st in the FedEx Cup standings means the 28-year-old needs to rediscover his top form at Conway Farms to climb into the top 30 and qualify for the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

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The four-time major winner defeated Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell in a play-off at East Lake 12 months ago to win the overall FedEx Cup title and 10million US dollars bonus and is keen to avoid just a second full winless season since turning professional.

The Northern Irishman is due to contest the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with his father Gerry from 5-8 October before calling time on an injury-hit campaign which has seen him restricted to 15 events. In contrast, FedEx Cup leader Jordan Spieth has played 20 tournaments, winning three – one of which was the Open at Royal Birkdale – and recording three runners-up finishes, including both play-off events to date.

Jason Day will try to win the event for a second time without his mentor and coach Colin Swatton as his caddie. He is resting Swatton in favour of close friend Luke Reardon.