The dance of number one

Dustin Johnson's landslide victory at The Nortern Trust places the American as the new leader of the world ranking, surpassing Jon Rahm.


Dustin Johnson's impressive triumph at The Northern Trust, the first of three tournaments that make up the FedExCup playoffs, left records for history. His score of -30 overall is the second-lowest ever on the PGA Tour at 72 holes (Ernie Els hit -31 at the 2003 Sentry Tournament of Champions). In addition, his victory by 11 strokes difference is the fourth largest in the history of the circuit (the largest is Tiger winning by 15 strokes the US Open in 2000) .

A these marks for history, Johnson left TPC Boston with quite a bit more good news. His first place in The Northern Trust gave him 1,500 points to place the FedExCup leader, 1.7 million dollars direct to his pocket, and the leadership of the world ranking. Dustin overtakes Jon Rahm in the OWGR, regaining a position in which he has spent 92 weeks of his career.

The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) is the system used in the world of golf to rank players. In it, the results of the last two years of each golfer are taken into account. This ranking was created in 1986, as a result of the appearance of several European players, such as Seve or Langer, who put the North American dominance in check. During this 2020, there is not a clear dominator, and those who occupy the first position can barely hold it for a few weeks.

The year was opened by Brooks Koepka as leader. In fact, the 'Cyborg' of golf was the last to amass a long dominance: 38 consecutive weeks at number one until losing it in February. Koepka began dominating golf in 2017 with his first major, the US Open. In 2018 he achieved the double PGA-US Open, and his 2019 was superlative, with top-4 in all majors and victory in the PGA Championship, so his superiority in the world ranking was overwhelming.

On February 8, Rory McIlroy replaced Koepka as number one. Brooks lowered his level, hampered by the injuries that he continues to drag today and prevent him from showing his maximum performance, and Rory took advantage of it to be a world leader for the eighth time in his career. Between the end of 2019 and the beginning of this year, the Northern Irishman won the WGC-HSBC -his last triumph- and added a third and a fifth place, enough to rise to number one and maintain it for eleven weeks, interrupted by the pandemic, during the which classification was frozen.

Since practically the restart of the competition, Jon Rahm has been stroking the one. After several failed attempts, Barrika's won the Memorial Tournament and was able to dethrone McIlroy. It was Rahmbo's first victory since the end of 2019, and his consistency was key to reaching the first place in the world. In the last 52 weeks of play, the Spaniard has accumulated four victories and twelve top-3s. In addition, since 2018 he has four top-10 majors, waiting to win his first, so the number one has been a prize for his consistency, as Rahm himself has always said.

Jon's joy lasted little, and since the Spaniard became the leader of the OWGR, the number one has started to jump from player to player. Two weeks after the victory at the Memorial, on August 1, Justin Thomas won the WGC-St. Jude who, added to three top-10 post-pandemic, snatched Rahm the one. The North American golfer was once again the world leader two years later. But, seven days later, Jon regained first place in the world, taking advantage of a poor performance by Thomas in the PGA Championship, and a great final day for the Spaniard, who climbed up to 13th position, was enough for that.

Again, only two weeks Rahm lasted, four in total as the first in the world. The superb The Northern Trust by Dustin Johnson, who had just finished second in the PGA Championship and won the Travelers two months ago, placed South Carolina at number one in the world. 'DJ' is the fifth player who accumulates more weeks as leader of the OWGR, with 92, and will try to surpass the 97 of Nick Faldo.

But the dance, a priori, is not over. The proximity in the ranking of so many players who are reaping good results lately, threatens whoever leads the ranking week after week. This same Sunday, at the end of the BMW Championship, there are four candidates to be the new number one: Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas, Rory McIlroy and Collin Morikawa, the young winner of the PGA Championship. For that to happen, there are a plethora of possible cases, but these players will need to improve Dustin Johnson's performances, than to hope to secure his world lead for a long time.

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