Players Championship

Justin Thomas does enough at Sawgrass to become World No. 1

(Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

By Ryan Herrington
Justin Thomas was 14 strokes back of Webb Simpson entering final round at the Players Championship, so victory at TPC Sawgrass wasn’t a real consideration. Yet the 25-year-old managed to walk away with an impressive title on Sunday, nevertheless.

How does World No.1 sound?

A closing six-under 66 bumped Thomas into a tie for 11th for the week. And when Dustin Johnson shot an even-par 72 to finish T-17, Thomas ended DJ’s 64-week run atop the Official World Golf Ranking.

Making the feat all the more impressive is the fact that Thomas made the cut on the number on Friday at one under par. But a bogey-free 68 on Saturday moved him into jumped him to T-33, and into a position to make another big leap on Sunday.

Jamie Squire/Getty Images

In the last 17 months, Thomas has won six PGA Tour titles, including a major in the PGA Championship. In the 2017-’18 season, Thomas has two victories and five top-10 finishes in 13 starts and leads the tour’s FedEx Cup points standings.

“Being No. 1 in the world is a great accomplishment, but keeping that spot is more important to me,” Thomas said in a statement released by his management group. “I am very proud of this achievement and do not take it for granted. I will definitely enjoy it for the moment, but I have to continue to work hard and focus on putting myself in contention every week I play.”

Sounds like a man with a play. Thomas next start will be at the Memorial before playing in the U.S. Open and the Travelers Championship in back-to-back weeks in June.

If it’s any solace, Johnson, who was No. 1 for the fifth-longest streak in the history of the ranking, didn’t fall far, dropping only to No. 2. Jordan Spieth moved up one spot to No. 3, while Jon Rahm fell one spot to No. 4.

Thomas becomes the 21st golfer to hold the No. 1 ranking since its inception in 1986, and the fourth youngest behind Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy. He’s also the seventh American golfer to be No. 1.

 

Golf Digest Middle East

Golf Digest Middle East

Launched in 2008, Golf Digest Middle East is the #1 golf magazine in the region, featuring local content and exclusive articles from the world's leading professionals

Facebook Comments

Check Also

Padraig Harrington, already the favourite to lead Europe at 2020 Ryder Cup, now a shoe-in after Lee Westwood bows out of candidacy

Following this year’s Ryder Cup, Padraig Harrington was tabbed as the strong favourite to helm Team Europe for the 2020 event in Whistling Straits. Considering Harrington’s lone competition now dropped out, the three-time major winner should be a shoe-in.

Advertisement

LEADERBOARD

Advertisement