Rory McIlroy can get his own back on Scottie Scheffler after being embarrassed by rival | Golf | Sport

Rory Mcllroy has been paired with Xander Schauffele and Scottie Scheffler for the first two rounds of the US Open. The Northern Irishman heads to Pinehurst this week chasing his fifth major title, and first since 2014.

And in an intriguing twist for golf fans, the world’s top three ranked players will battle it out together for the first 36 holes.

It was Scheffler who prevailed in the US Masters in April, before Schauffele won his maiden major at the US PGA the following month.

And the draw gives McIlroy, 35, an immediate chance to hit back at Scheffler after the latest Official Golf Work Ranking stats were released. The announcement followed Scheffler’s victory at the Memorial Tournament at the weekend, his fifth PGA Tour win this season from just eight events.

The American is now on a points total of 754.78093, with second-placed Schauffele on 375.32636. McIlroy is third despite having more than Morikawa on 381.53462, having played in more events with the table based on average points.

It means the gap between Scheffler and McIlroy is a staggering 373.24630 points. That is almost identical to the same difference between Europe’s Ryder Cup hero and world No.559 Harry Hillier.

The 27-year-old Scheffler has already amassed his single-season PGA Tour earnings record with his victory at the Jack Nicklaus’ Memorial event. His total for the year is up to £18.9million, and is already  seventh on the PGA Tour’s all-time money list on £52.4m).

McIlroy’s latest career win came at the Wells Fargo Championship in May, and he’ll be determined to breach the gap to Scheffler in North Carolina this week. He’s also chasing a first US Open victory since winning his first major championship in Maryland back in 2011.

He came agonisingly close last June, finishing second and hust one shot behind Wyndham Clark. And he vowed afterwards “I will get there” as he continues to fight to end his major drought.

But he could only finish tied for 22nd at the Masters this year, and after being in contention, ended up tied for 12th at the US PGA. And it’s Scheffler who will be the overwhelming favourite to add a US Open title to his two Augusta wins.

Indeed, during his win in Wells Fargo, McIlroy was able to make light of his rival’s supremacy, saying: “Two days in a row bogey-free, I now know what Scottie Scheffler feels like.”

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