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Collin Morikawa can accomplish something this week that only Tiger Woods has done faster in his career

August 05, 2021

KAZUHIRO NOGI

Harris English looks like the top dog halfway through Round 1 at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational, making the turn at TPC Southwind with a seven-under 28. But there’s a lot of golf left in Memphis this week, and even if English continues to go low, he will not leave Tennessee as the World No. 1. That title, however, is up for grabs.

Jon Rahm, who sits atop the Official World Golf Ranking, is not playing in the season’s final WGC event. The U.S. Open champ can still retain his title, yet depending on their finishes this week, both Collin Morikawa and Dustin Johnson could capture the No. 1 ranking by Sunday night.

According to Twitter OWGR guru Nosferatu, Morikawa can became World No. 1 with a win. Johnson can reclaim his throne—he held the mark for 43 straight weeks from last August to Rahm’s breakthrough at Torrey Pines, along with a brief one-week return in July—this week with a win, solo second or two-way second place (so long as Morikawa doesn’t win).

Johnson, who is coming off a quick exit at the 3M Open, did finish T-8 at the Open Championship. However, the 2020 Masters champ has not found his A game this summer, with just two top-10s since February. It would be the eighth time Johnson reached No. 1, and his 135 cumulative weeks at the top spot are third all-time behind Tiger Woods (683 weeks) and Greg Norman (331).

Morikawa has four top-five finishes in his last four starts, highlighted by his second major victory at the Open. He would be the second-quickest player to reach the No. 1 spot after turning professional, doing so in just over two years and two months. Woods has the record at 290 days.