Despite shooting rounds of 75 and 73 and missing the cut at last weekend’s Deutsche Bank Championship, Jordan Spieth is back on top of the Official World Golf Ranking.
The 22-year-old held the World No. 1 ranking for two weeks before dropping to second behind former number one Rory McIlroy after missing the cut at The Barclays. Spieth entered the week in Boston with 12.2201 points and, with McIlroy (12.3561) finishing T29 and unable to gain more points than he lost after that week, jumped into the top spot. While both McIlroy and Spieth lost points at TPC Boston, McIlroy lost more, bringing their totals to 11.9344 and 12.0840, respectively.
According to the AP, Spieth is the only golfer—in 61 changes over 30 years—who got to No. 1 by missing the cut.
Confused yet? It gets trickier. Next week is open on the PGA Tour, but according to OWGR rules, players will still drop the last week in their two-year period of OWGR scoring. That means that without an event to score points in but with points still available to lose, coupled with Spieth’s busier season, McIlroy will likely take back No. 1 by the beginning of next week. By dropping his T59 at the 2013 BMW Championship, McIlroy’s games played divisor goes down to 44. According to calculations made by GOLF.com, that would put McIlroy at 11.9826 and Spieth at 11.9388.
So, McIlroy will go to No. 1 by sitting out the week before for a record third time in his career.
The last time the OWGR switched so frequently (a new or returning number one each week for three weeks) was back in June 1997, when Tiger Woods, Ernie Els and Greg Norman danced around the title.
We’re not dizzy enough, though. With a margin of about 0.1500, it’s likely that we haven’t seen the last of the trading places. And don’t forget about Jason Day, whose recent hot streak has brought him to No. 3 in the world with 11.0471 points, well within the battle for the best player in the world.