A strong performance at the Houston Open at the weekend has ensured that Dustin Johnson will go into this week’s Masters Tournament as the No.1 ranked player in the world.
However, that might not necessarily be a good thing.
Johnson, 36, finished in a tie for second in his Augusta warm-up – impressive considering that he knew he would have surrendered top spot on the OWGR to Jon Rahm had he finished outside the top-15 at Memorial Park Golf Course.
As such, Johnson will today make the journey east to Georgia knowing that he is, mathematically at least, the best golfer on the planet.
You wouldn’t think that would be a bad thing, but consider this: since the Official World Golf Ranking was launched in 1986, the incumbent, world No.1 has won The Masters only four times.
The most recent of those wins came 18 years ago, courtesy of Tiger Woods in 2002.
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Woods was also world No.1 when he won in 2001. Ian Woosnam and Fred Couples, in 1991 and 1992 respectively, are the other two players to have won the Green Jacket whilst No
Considering Johnson’s ‘iffy’ major record – he has only one win from 44 starts in the game’s four biggest events – the weight of history is presumably the very last thing he needs to contend with.
In his favour is that fact that he has finished inside the top-10 on his last four visits to Augusta, including a tie for second last year.
For those who are interested in such things, incidentally, the average rank of the Masters champion in the OWGR era is 13.1. The current world No.13? Daniel Berger… who, despite his exceptional post-lockdown, is not in the field for this week’s tournament.