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Devil Ball Golf

Rory McIlroy makes it interesting but still advances to second round

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Rory McIlroy / Getty Images

Rory McIlroy might not be the number one ranked player in the world just yet, but after Wednesday's 2-up victory over South African George Coetzee, he's one step closer to turning one of his biggest dreams into a reality.

He can thank Luke Donald for giving him some added motivation this week, after the number one ranked player in the world was upset by Ernie Els in the first round, 5 and 4.

With the opening-round loss, McIlroy now has an outside chance to overtake Donald for the top spot in the World Golf Rankings, and based on the way he's been playing over the last couple of months, he would certainly be a worthy No. 1.

Since he injured his wrist and posted a 64th place finish at the PGA Championship, McIlroy's been on his game, winning twice and posting nine top-5 finishes in his last 11 starts. With that kind of consistency, it makes you wonder why he decided to rework his swing before the first major of the year.

But you can't blame the guy for trying to get better, because for 15 holes on Wednesday, it looked like he had the new swing working, taking a 3-up lead to the 16th hole. Even though McIlroy stumbled over the last couple of holes before closing things out with a birdie on the 18th, you have to like the way the U.S. Open champ is playing at the moment.

With the exception of a couple errant swings, he looked in complete control of his game ... kind of like a guy who knew he had a chance to grab the top spot in the golf world for the first time in his young career.

McIlroy was always going to be No. 1 some day, but with a number of key upsets in his side of the bracket and the confidence he has in his game at the moment, there's an outside chance we could see one of the most gifted players in the sport take his rightful spot on top of the heap by the end of the week.

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