LOUISVILLE, Kentucky -- Adam Scott's nine-week reign as the No. 1 player in the world ended on Sunday when Rory McIlroy won the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational.
Not that the Aussie was too disappointed, though. He actually thinks McIlroy, who grabbed the third leg of the career Grand Slam last month when he won The Open Championship, deserves to own the spot right now.
"I think the right guy is at No. 1 at the moment," Scott said. "He's played the best over the last couple months. ...
"My consistent play is good, but you want the rankings to work and favor guys that win big events like that. So I think it's fair at the moment. I hope that I could go ahead and win this week and maybe go back to No. 1.
"But there's no doubt Rory has played the best golf over the last few months."
Scott could get back to No. 1 with a victory at this week's PGA Championship -- regardless of where McIlroy finishes. He could even overtake the Northern Irishman with a top-20 finish if McIlroy misses the cut and neither Sergio Garcia, Henrik Stenson or Justin Rose wins.
Of course, McIlroy faces similar challenges from those other three players among the top five in the world. Click here to see all of the scenarios.
So the PGA Championship at Valhalla should provide lots of drama. And while Scott -- who won the 2013 Masters and has finished tied for 14th, ninth and fifth in this year's first three majors, is impressed by McIlroy's current form, he also knows he is equal to the challenge.
"We see a lot of great golf played all the time for sure," Scott said. "You know, the dominance of Tiger's play over a ten-year period is unmatched, really, I'd have to say, and was quite incredible.
"I think the biggest difference between me seeing Tiger play like that when I was a lot younger, less experienced and not as good a player; and seeing a guy like Rory really stamp his authority down ... for the last couple months, is that I believe I'm a better player and I can play at that level. And I think ten or 15 years ago, I didn't have that belief, through lack or experience or whatever it might be. I think the biggest thing that held me back was not believing and probably most guys felt like we were beaten before we got out there. And that's different now for tons of reasons, I think.
"But, you know, it's only motivating to see Rory play so well and ... I've said a lot that I feel this is my time, so I've got to beat whatever Rory is trying out there and I believe I can."