While the majority of the top players in the world didn’t tee it up in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am that doesn’t mean that the week had a major impact on the official world golf ranking. Not only do we now have a new world No. 1, but also drama involving the Top 50 bubble as well as Tiger Woods finding a new number next to his name.
Rory Overtakes Brooks
While he’s not really a new world No. 1 seeing as how he’s held the spot before, Rory McIlroy is now the top player in the world, again. McIlroy last held the No. 1 spot in September of 2015 while Brooks Koepka falls back to No. 2 after consistently holding the spot since last year’s PGA Championship. Neither player was in action last week, but the numbers worked out for a change at the top.
The Ever-Important Top 50
While the swap in the Top Two is noteworthy, the real drama falls around the Top 50 cut line. The Top 50 is so important because it automatically qualifies players into WGC events and the first one of the year is in two weeks in Mexico.
Two weeks ago we wrote about Jordan Spieth falling out of the Top 50 for the first time since August 2013 but after a Sunday 67 and a T-9 finish he’s back on the inside at No. 49. Phil Mickelson is another player flirting on the line and while he managed a T-3 finish at Pebble Beach, he needed at least a second-place finish to sneak inside the Top 50. He missed a short birdie putt on the last to miss out on second.
Mickelson holds the No. 55 spot in the world and he’ll need to stay inside the Top 60 to automatically qualify for the U.S. Open.
Tiger has only played in three events this season finishing 1-4-T-9, which is extremely impressive, but the lack of starts isn’t necessarily helping anything. It’s certainly no reason for concern for Tiger fans out there, but he’s fallen to the No. 8 spot. Patrick Cantlay now holds the No.6 spot in the world while Webb Simpson sits at No. 7 after his Waste Management win two weeks ago.
Woods, along with eight other Top 10 players in the world, will be in action at this week’s Genesis Invitational at Riviera. So, seeing more shuffle in the rankings next week certainly isn’t out of the question.