Five-way world No.1 battle at the Players Championship

Dustin Johnson

At the centre of golf’s unofficial ‘fifth major’ at the Players Championship this week is a five-way tussle to become the new world No.1.

Dustin Johnson has been at the summit for 64 consecutive weeks but faces the real possibility of being dethroned at TPC Sawgrass, most likely by Justin Thomas, below, but he also could by one of Jon Rahm, Jordan Spieth and Justin Rose.

Spieth is the only one of the Johnson’s challengers to have reached the top of the world before – he spent 26 weeks there in four separate spells from August 2015 to March 2016 – which means that, by Sunday night, we may well have the 21st world No.1 in the Official World Golf Ranking’s (OWGR) 32-year history.

In fact, due to total points accrued, there is a greater chance that Justin Thomas will be the new No.1 by the end of the week than Dustin Johnson.

A win will guarantee it, and here’s how performances from Johnson, Rahm, Spieth and Rose can prevent it.

Justin Thomas

Dustin Johnson

• Win
• 2nd – Thomas doesn't win
• 3rd – Finishes ahead of Thomas & Rahm or Spieth don’t win
• 4th – Thomas finishes worse than solo sixth; Rahm or Spieth don’t win
• 5th – Thomas finishes outside the top ten; Rahm or Spieth don’t win
• 6th – Thomas finishes outside the top 16; Rahm or Spieth don’t win
• 7th – Thomas finishes outside the top 20; Rahm or Spieth don’t win
• 8th – Thomas finishes outside the top 31; Rahm doesn’t win or finish solo 2nd; Spieth doesn’t win
• 9th – Thomas finishes outside the top 42; Rahm doesn’t win or finish solo 2nd; Spieth doesn’t win
• 10th – Thomas finishes outside the top 53; Rahm doesn’t win or finish solo 2nd; Spieth and Rose don’t win
• 11th – Thomas finish outside top 60 or MC; Rahm doesn’t finish 1st or solo 2nd; Spieth and Rose do not win

Jon Rahm

Jon Rahm

• Win; Thomas finishes worse than a two-way tie for 2nd; Johnson finishes worse than solo 2nd
• Solo 2nd; Thomas finishes outside the top 26; Johnson finishes worse than solo 7th; Spieth doesn’t win

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth

• Win; Thomas finishes worse than a three-way tie for 2nd; Johnson finishes worse than a two-way tie for 2nd

• Solo 2nd; Thomas finishes outside the top 60 or MC; Johnson finishes worse than a two-way tie for 11th; Rahm or Rose don’t win Justin Rose

Justin Rose

• Win; Thomas finishes outside the top 46; Johnson finishes worse than 9th; Rahm doesn’t finish solo 2nd     

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