The No. 1 spot in the golf world rankings has changed hands between 11 golfers on 27 separate occasions since Tiger Woods’ record reign of 281 weeks came to an end in October 2010.
Just two weeks ago Justin Rose overtook Dustin Johnson to become the first English golfer to reach the summit since Luke Donald’s fourth reign in May 2012.
However, it’s highly likely that Rose’s stay will be short lived with plenty of permutations meaning he could lose his spot back to Johnson at this week’s Tour Championship, with Brooks Koepka and Justin Thomas also looking to sneak in.
So how could one of the American trio dethrone the Englishman heading to Paris for the Ryder Cup? Here’s a rundown of how each golfer could finish the PGA Tour season as World No. 1, with a tip of the hat to the ever-reliable “OWGR guru” VC606…
Current ranking: 1
It’s simple business for Rose this week: Win the Tour Championship and he’ll guarantee the World No. 1 spot and pocket the $10 million bonus.
Rose can still top the rankings even if he finishes dead last. That would require Thomas finishing no better than 3rd, DJ no better than 10th, and Koepka no better than 20th.
Current ranking: 2
Out of the four players who could finish the PGA Tour season as the world’s top-ranked golfer, Koepka has the best chance. The three-time major champion can become the 23rd golfer to reach the summit if he finishes in a two-way tie for 18th or better this weekend – unless Rose wins, of course.
Current ranking: 3
Johnson has held the spot for a combined 77 weeks over two separate spells since February 2017. To return, he requires a two-way tie for 8th or better.
Like Rose, Johnson requires a win to guarantee the FedEx Cup.
Current ranking: 4
Thomas had a short stint as the highest-ranked golfer in the world in May and stayed there for a total of four weeks before DJ overtook him with his win at the Canadian Open. Thomas requires a win or to finish solo 2nd to have a chance of going back to the summit.
A win will also guarantee him the FedEx Cup.
How Jason Day holds the keys to Ryder Cup history
As an Australian he isn’t eligible to play for either team in France but Jason Day will play a significant role in potentially creating a Ryder Cup landmark.
If the Australian finishes T8 or worse this week then he will fall out of the top 10 to be replaced by Tommy Fleetwood – meaning it will be the first time in Ryder Cup history that all of the top 10 golfers in the world will be involved.
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