1 Mar 2009

British gold teenage sensation now ranked 17 in world

10:54 am on 1 March 2009

British teenager Rory McIlroy has been knocked out of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship but gained the ringing endorsements from two major winners.

McIlroy, who defeated South Africans Louis Oosthuizen and Tim Clark and American Hunter Mahan this week, has swiftly risen to number 17 in the world, more than 142 places higher than New Zealand teenager sensation Danny Lee who is ranked 159.

Australian Geoff Ogilvy, the 2006 U.S. Open champion who beat McIlroy 2 and in a high-quality quarter-final, described the Northern Irishman as the best young player he had seen.

South African Ernie Els, a triple major winner, also tipped him as a future world number one.

McIlroy won his maiden European Tour title at this month's Dubai Desert Classic, dominating a world-class field from start to finish to cement his place among the game's elite.