Adam Scott had four chances to knock Tiger Woods out of the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking over the last few weeks, but wasn't able to do so. Ironically, the Australian newlywed will replace Woods as No. 1 next Monday even though both players are taking this week off.
In fact, Scott would have passed Woods on Monday if he had skipped The Players Championship, but clearly he wasn't going to skip one of the biggest events on the PGA Tour. And while he isn't exactly thrilled to be claiming the top spot because of mathematics, he'll take it.
"I think it's a nice feather in the cap, probably," Scott said after tying for 38th at The Players Championship. "I mean, if I was never world No. 1 when I'm this close, I'd be disappointed, but I'd also much rather win the U.S. Open and not be No. 1 at all this year. That's what it comes down to."
Each player's world ranking is determined by dividing the total number of ranking points he has achieved by the number of events he's played over a two-year period. More recent events count more than older events within that two-year period, and the numbers are recalculated every week.
Scott will become the first Australian player to become No. 1 since Greg Norman ruled for 331 weeks in the 1980s and 1990s.
Heading to TPC Sawgrass, four players – Scott, Henrik Stenson, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar – could have knocked Woods off his ranking pedestal. None was able to do it – and of those contenders, only Kuchar is scheduled to play the HP Byron Nelson Championship this week. Kuchar would need to gain 53 world ranking points at the Byron Nelson to jump all the way to No. 1, according to Golf Channel rankings expert Alan Robison and, based on its strength of field, the event tentatively will have only about 40 points to give its winner.
Meanwhile, Martin Kaymer – who took over as world No. 1 a few months after he won the 2010 PGA Championship – climbed back into the top 30 in the wake of his victory at The Players Championship. Kaymer, who was No. 1 for eight weeks in 2011, began this year at 39, and was down to No. 61 before he arrived at TPC Sawgrass.