PACIFIC PALISADES, United States: Dustin Johnson made the complicated world golf ranking calculations simple on Sunday, vaulting to No.1 with a convincing victory in the Genesis Open.
“I don’t really understand it,” he said of the math involved in determining the game’s top player “but I can read the ‘one-two-three’. I guess that’s all that matters.”
All week at Riviera Country Club, Johnson shied away from talk of ending Jason Day’s 47-week run atop the rankings — a possibility that also depended on where Day finished.
“I was coming in here to put myself in a position to win and I did that—and I played really well,” said Johnson, who led by as many as nine strokes on Sunday en route to a five-shot victory with a 17-under par total of 267.
After a heartbreaking history of near-misses in major championships, Johnson broke through at the US Open at Oakmont last year. His victory on Sunday was his fourth since June.
But the rankings are tight at the top—right down to number six Jordan Spieth. Rory McIlroy and Henrik Stenson—ranked second and fourth coming into the week, were absent, but number five Hideki Matsuyama also had a mathematical chance to topple Day at Riviera only to miss the cut.
“Number one can toss and turn in the coming weeks a lot of times if the guys keep playing well,” Day said.
The Australian also noted that the No.1 ranking brings some added pressure, although he thought Johnson had the wherewithal to cope with that.
“I think he’s going to do just fine,” Day said. “I think he’s won every single year that he’s been out here. That’s the formula—you’ve got to win as much as you can.”