McIlroy top, Day moves up golf rankings

Australian Jason Day is a big mover in the latest golf rankings, jumping up eight spots to No.38

Rory McIlroy has returned to the top of the world golf rankings, where Australia's Jason Day is among the biggest movers after his recent fourth-place finish at the Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

Northern Irishman McIlroy rose to the rankings' summit for the first time since September 2015, taking over from American Brooks Koepka.

"I didn't know I was going to get a chance this early, but this has been a goal of mine for a while," McIlroy, 30, said.

"We all have egos out here and it would be great to get back there."

Former world No.1 Day moved up eight spots into the top 40 - from No.46 to 38, while compatriot Adam Scott led the Australian charge after rising one position to No.14.

Day's outright fourth at Pebble Beach was his best result since winning the Wells Fargo Championship in May 2018.

"It's bittersweet, because I wanted to (win) but it's still a good step in the right direction," Day told AAP at the tournament's conclusion.

"You can find negatives in anything, but it's been a while since I've had a top five and it's a great result to have early in the year."

The Australian contingent in the top 50, sandwiched between Scott and Day, includes Marc Leishman (19) and Cameron Smith (35).