On Monday morning, Justin Rose will wake up as the world’s No.1 ranked golfer once again.
Not a bad way to start Masters week.
Or is it?
History shows that, by climbing to the top of the standings, the odds are now heavily stacked against the Englishman winning at Augusta National.
Only four times in the history of the Official World Golf Ranking has the incumbent world No.1 slipped into the Green Jacket.
Ian Woosnam was the first to do so in 1991, followed the next year by Fred Couples. Tiger Woods’ back-to-back wins in 2001 and 2002 are the only other two times the sitting top-ranked player has won The Masters.
In fact, the news isn’t particularly great if you’re in the top five on the OWGR next week.
Only 12 times in the 33-year history of the OWGR has a top-five player won the first men’s major championship of the season.
Still, it doesn’t make a huge amount of sense to go looking outside the world’s top 50 for a prospective winner. On only two occasions since 1986 has the winner come from that deep into the rankings: in 2007, when world No.56 Zach Johnson won his first major; and in 2009, when Angel Cabrera, then ranked 69th, claimed the Green Jacket.
The average ranking of Masters champions in the OWGR era? No.15 – currently Tony Finau.