Dustin Johnson or Hideki Matsuyama can reach the top of the world rankings for the first time this week, but current No.1 Jason Day is determined to stop that happening.
US Open champion Johnson needs to win the Genesis Open and for Day to finish worse than a three-way tie for third to claim top spot at Riviera Country Club.
A sixth win in his last 10 events will make Matsuyama the first male Japanese player to become No.1, but only if Day finishes lower than a two-way tie for 24th.
“They don’t give trophies for it, it is more of a pride thing at the end of your career; you want to know how many weeks you were at number one,” Day, who finished fifth in last week’s Pebble Beach Pro-Am, said.
“To get there even for one week is pretty special. No one can take that away from you, which is great.”
Day said his goal was to retain the top ranking for a calendar year.
“I said earlier that to be No.1 for a calendar year would be great, but I need to just focus on what I need to do because you can’t really focus on staying number one.
“The more you focus on the actual target itself, the more you attach yourself to it, you make mental errors out there, you get more frustrated, you do silly things on the golf course that you shouldn’t be doing.
“I need to focus on hitting the shot in front of me, going to the next shot and hitting that and trying to beat everyone else because I know that as long as I win, it will take care of it.”
Day said if he was to lose his No.1 spot, it would be a sign he needs to apply himself more to his game.
“If someone takes it off me, I’m OK with it. I’m not going to be angry or sad about it. Just goes to show that I need to work harder, need to be smarter and try and win more tournaments.”