McGinley: McIlroy needs to respond

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Former Ryder Cup captain Paul McGinley has urged Rory Mcllroy to show his mettle after the rise of Jordan Spieth as a top contender.

Mcllroy’s status as World No 1 is coming under increasing fire, with a mere 1.72 points now separating the two golfers at the top of the world rankings after Spieth’s US Open victory.

“Jordan is putting it to Rory and that can only be good for Rory. He has to step up to the plate,” McGinley told BBC Sport.

“As well as he played to come fourth in the Masters and ninth at the US Open, he left himself too much to make up.”

McIlroy finished five shots off the pace at Chambers Bay, as Spieth surged to victory after a birdie on the 72nd hole.

With two majors (the Open Championship and the PGA Championship) remaining this year, Mcllroy needs a couple of strong performances to halt Spieth’s march.

“I feel like I have a great chance in the next two majors,” said McIlroy.

“To finish where I did the way I putted shows how good my ball striking has been, so if I can keep that similar and start to roll in a few putts, I can do even better at St Andrews and Whistling Straits.

“I take a lot of positives out of this. The long game is really in good shape. I’ve never hit the ball as good in a major championship for four rounds.

“I was really dialled in all week and confident with that. And if I can just get the putting a little bit better and roll a few more in and get a little bit of confidence with that going, I see nothing but positive signs for the next few months.”

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