Four-time major winner Rory McIlroy will enter next week's make-or-break BMW Championship at his lowest world ranking for more than three years.
McIlroy missed the cut in the Dell Technologies Championship and has slipped from fourth to sixth in the latest standings behind winner Justin Thomas and Spain's Jon Rahm.
The last time the former world number one was ranked so low was in July 2014, when he was eighth after the Scottish Open before winning the Open Championship at Hoylake the following week.
McIlroy has played just 15 events in an injury-plagued season and plans to play three more events before taking several months off to fully recover from a lingering rib injury.
However, the 28-year-old's missed cut in Boston means he slipped from 43rd in the FedEx Cup standings to 51st and needs a good performance in the BMW Championship at Conway Farms in Illinois to climb into the top 30 and qualify for the Tour Championship in Atlanta.
McIlroy defeated Ryan Moore and Kevin Chappell in a play-off at East Lake 12 months ago to win the overall FedEx Cup title and $10million.
The Northern Irishman is keen to avoid just his second full winless season since turning professional and is due to contest the Alfred Dunhill Links Championship with his father Gerry from 5-8 October before calling time on a frustrating campaign.
The undisputed best five in the world. pic.twitter.com/0YkKUvCzxw— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) September 5, 2017