Justin Thomas has knocked fellow American Dustin Johnson from the top of the golf world rankings, to become the 21st World No.1 since records began in 1986. Thomas edged out Johnson by 58 points following a successful weekend at the Players Championship in which he finish T11 (-11).
Hitting the top of the world rankings has been a long time coming for 25-year-old Justin Thomas. Since firing himself into the popular consciousness with a famous victory at the 2017 PGA Championship, Thomas has emerged as one of the most consistent performers on the circuit. The Kentucky native has impressed during the early stages of the 2018 season, winning the Honda Classic in February and finishing 2nd at the WGC-Mexico Championship the following month. Thomas could only manage a T17 finish at the Masters, but it seems that all of his hard work on the PGA Tour finally paid off at the Players Championship on Sunday, when a respectable final-round score of 66 was enough to see the youngster become golf’s World No.1.
Responding to questions about hitting the top of the world rankings, Thomas said: “It means a lot, but it’s something I want to have for a long time, it’s not something I just want to have once. Like DJ and like Tiger and other guys who have had it for a long time, that’s more of a goal of mine as opposed to just having it.
“I want to have it for a really long time because that means I’m playing better than everybody else for an extended period of time. I would feel deserving for how I played, but at the same time, get hot for a year, couple years or two years or something, have it and then fall off the map, that doesn’t really mean a whole lot to me.
“I would much rather continue to play well for another eight to 10 years and see how long I can have it.”
Outdoing previous World No.1 Dustin Johnson’s stint at the top will take some doing however. Johnson reigned at the top of the pile for 64 weeks – the longest period of consecutive weeks at World No.1 since Tiger Woods’ record of 281 weeks between 2005 – 2010.