After a 448-day reign of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas has become the fourth youngest, and 21st ever, world-number-one after a tied 11th finish at THE PLAYERS Championship.
Thomas had been edging ever closer to Johnson’s hold on the summit since taking the number two spot after a play-off loss to Phil Mickelson at the WGC-Mexico Championship.
Eight top 20s in 10 starts in 2018 has seen the American take to the top aged just 25 years and 15 days. Only Tiger Woods (21 years and 167 days), Jordan Spieth (22 years and 21 days) and Rory McIlroy (22 years and 305 days) have got there at a younger age.Embed from Getty Images
Along with Thomas’ rise to the top, Spieth has leapfrogged Jon Rahm into the number three position despite only finishing in a tie for 41st at TPC Sawgrass, as Rahm was down in tied 63rd.
A tied seventh was one of the best finishes of Tommy Fleetwood’s career and sees him back inside the top 10, up four places from 14th. With that Patrick Reed has been knocked down from 10th to 13th to conclude the changes within the top 10.
But with the entire top 50 in the field at THE PLAYERS there’s been plenty more movement further down. Most notably four-shot winner Webb Simpson has cut his ranking by over half from 41st to 20th and there’s rises for all in tied second as Xander Scauffele is up six places to 23rd, Charl Schwartzel 19 places to 43rd and Jimmy Walker 27 places to 56th.Embed from Getty Images
From lower down on THE PLAYERS leaderboard there have been nice rises for Jason Dufner (57th to 51st), Chesson Hadley (69th to 62nd), Adam Scott (71st to 65th), Keegan Bradley (76th to 69th), Danny Lee (186th to 140th) and Harold Varner III (199th to 148th).
And from tied 11th Tiger Woods has made further inroads into the top 100 with a jump of 12 places from 92nd to 80th. The former world-number-one has not been that high since early 2015.
Despite all the focus being at TPC Sawgrass, there was a European Tour event in the shape of the Rocco Forte Sicilian Open. Joakim Lagergren took home that title and moves from 245th to 133rd, just four places off his career high.
Mike Lorenzo-Vera finished tied second in Italy and is up from 152nd to 114th, whilst tied third finishers Andy Sullivan and Lucas Herbert climb from 141st to 128th and 183rd to 143rd respectively.
And all in one week three men – Nick Watney, Sungjae Im and Martin Laird – have broken into the top 100.
The full, updated rankings can be found here.