Short stint at the top
British Open 2021: Jon Rahm loses World No. 1 ranking by a shot
(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
Jon Rahm contended at the Scottish Open, and though he came up short he still finished in a commendable seventh place. Despite the promising showing heading into the year’s final major, it is a position that knocks Rahm off his throne.
When the Official World Golf Ranking is updated Monday morning, Rahm’s three-week run as the No. 1 player will end. Rahm, who has two wins—highlighted by his breakthrough at the U.S. Open—and a whopping 14 top-10 finishes in his last 22 starts, will be replaced by Dustin Johnson.
That may come as a bit of a surprise, given Johnson has just one top-10 since February. However, Johnson’s lights-out performance at the end of 2020—with three PGA Tour wins (including the Masters) and three runners-up coupled with a victory at the 2021 Saudi International—are still powering his standing. Prior to Rahm claiming the spot at Torrey Pines, Johnson had been World No. 1 for 43 consecutive weeks, taking the title from, you guessed it, Rahm in late August 2020 after winning The Northern Trust.
According to the OWGR projection, Rahm would have kept his No. 1 title had he finished sixth at the Scottish Open.
However, perhaps the drop is not the worst thing for Rahm’s Open chances. Only one player in the last 22 years has won the Open as No. 1 in the world. That would be Tiger Woods, who accomplished the feat three times.
Rahm enters Royal St. George's as the favorite at 9-1. His best career finish at the Open was a T-11 in 2019. Johnson is not far behind at 12-1.