Explained: How four challengers could steal Jon Rahm's world No. 1 spot

Jon Rahm World Ranking

Jon Rahm has topped the world rankings since last summer, and has spent nearly a year in total at the summit. This week though, results at the Players Championship could change things.

World ranking points are handed out based on the strength of the field that week, and with one of the strongest fields of the year assembled at TPC Sawgrass, we might see plenty movement at the top of the standings. Events are also weighted in terms of how recently they took place, so if you get on a hot streak, you can climb the ranks quickly.

Currently, the top-five players in the world are all under-thirty-years-of-age, and by Monday morning, any one of them could top the world standings.

With thanks to Nosferatu on Twitter, let’s have a look at Rahm’s challengers to the top spot, and how they could capture the crown from him.

• Players Championship first round tee times

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Collin Morikawa - current world No. 2

For Morikawa, it’s simple. A win this weekend will see him vault to the top spot. However, he’s not far behind Rahm in his points tally, so a strong finish could also potentially take him top.

This is where things get complicated. If Morikawa finishes in a two-way tie for 4th, depending on other placings, he could still overtake Rahm in the standings.

Viktor Hovland - current world No. 3

The Norwegian has been in stunning form recently, and he’ll fancy his chances at lifting the trophy on Sunday evening. If he does, and Rahm finishes outside the top-three he’ll be the world No.1.

Hovland only entered the world’s top-ten in November last year, but he already has a realistic chance to clinch the top-spot.

Patrick Cantlay – current world No. 4

Cantlay hasn’t missed a cut since last year’s Open Championship, so it’s no surprise his consistency has him near the top of the rankings.

Similarly to Hovland, Cantlay needs to finish tied for 2nd or better, and hope other results go his way, if he is going to be world No. 1.

Scottie Scheffler – current world No. 5

No one is playing better golf right now than Scottie Scheffler. He’s won two of his last three starts on the PGA Tour, and it’s taken him outside the top-10 to within touching distance of No.1.

Saying that, it’s a tall order for the 25-year-old. Firstly, he’ll need to win The Players, that’s non-negotiable. Then, he needs favours from the other contenders. Rahm will need to finish outside the top-10, with Morikawa finishing worse than a three-way tie for 2nd. A tough task, but the way things have been going for him, we wouldn’t be surprised.

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