Justin Thomas’ status as the most in-form player in the world has only been solidified by taking a step closer to the world-number-one spot.
A win at the inaugural CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES moves the 24-year-old from fourth to third in the rankings, swapping places with Hideki Matsuyama, and confirms his place amongst today’s elite.Embed from Getty Images
Thomas’ win was not without pressure from Marc Leishman, though, who took the American to a play-off before falling just shy of the title in South Korea. He takes a healthy rise himself of four places to 12th, his highest ever ranking.
Youngster Cameron Smith could not quite match the leaders after 72 holes leaving him in solo third. However, he does take a step back towards his best ever ranking of 83rd, now at 87th from 124th.
Pat Perez entered the CJ CUP on the back of his CIMB Classic win and that, combined with a tied fifth at the weekend, sees him up two places to 18th. Jason Day gains a place back with a tied 11th finish, moving from ninth to eighth.
Also from Jeju Island, other significant movers this week include Brian Harman (32nd to 28th), Anirban Lahiri (65 to 58th), Byeong Hun An (79th to 74th), Jamie Lovemark (86th to 79th) and Chez Reavie (97th to 91st).
On the European Tour, Sergio Garcia won the the Andalucia Valderrama Masters – hosted by his own foundation – on home soil. It’s the first time the Spaniard has won three European Tour events in one season and it sees him up a single place, back inside the world’s top 10, leapfrogging Brooks Koepka.Embed from Getty Images
Garcia looked as though he was running away with it but for a late charge from Joost Luiten who eventually fell one-shot short in second. He does see himself gain 20 places in the world rankings, to 82nd, though.
Little-heard-of Daniel Brooks kept up with the two leaders and earned a third place finish to secure his playing rights for next year. Heading into the event he was world-number-574; he is now world-number-412.
The full, updated, rankings can be found here.
If Thomas is looking to further close the gap between himself and the world numbers one and two, Dustin Johnson and Jordan Spieth, he won’t earn many greater points rewards than at this week’s WGC-HSBC Champions where a full list of the world’s elite are expected to turn out.