Rory McIlroy

Tiger Woods' cubs Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm and Scottie Scheffler roaring into 2023

It has been an astonishing period dominated by an exclusive few. Gone are the days, it seems, when a host of lesser lights might occupy the upper echelons of leaderboards.

To stand in those positions in the current era you have to be among the very best. In other words, an exclusive club where it helps if your name is Scheffler, McIlroy or Jon Rahm.

BBC reports Scheffler's successful title defence at the elevated $20m (£16.5m) WM Phoenix Open occurred during a run since last October where the American has not finished worse than 11th.

Mcllroy gives perfect explanation for Tiger’s success

Woods, who is set to make his PGA Tour return at the Hero World Challenge in December, has won more WGC events than any other golfer in history.

With 18 wins in these competitions, he has 15 more than the next closest (Dustin Johnson and Geoff Ogilvy have three).

McIlroy was asked why Woods found so much success in these events and he did not hold back.

"Honestly I think because of the no-cut format," McIlroy said. "I think that's probably a big thing to do with it. You play with a little more freedom.

Tour Championship: Johnson shares overnight lead with McIroy two back

Johnson, Hideki Matsuyama and Kevin Chappell all carded opening rounds of 66 at East Lake as McIlroy recovered from three-putting the first.

Johnson will secure the $10m (£7.7m) prize money on offer in the FedEx Cup if he wins in Atlanta, with a top-five finish likely to be enough.

McIlroy must win to have any chance.

Johnson - the US Open winner - birdied three of the first six holes and then the last after a 359-yard drive to move into a three-way tie for the lead.