Adam Scott will overtake injured Tiger Woods in next week’s rankings to become golf’s No.1 for the first time, even though the Australian will not play this week.
Scott, who won his first major at last year’s Masters, will become the first Aussie to claim top spot in the rankings since Greg Norman ruled for 331 weeks in the 1980s and 1990s.
Woods has been sidelined for more than six weeks following surgery to ease a pinched nerve that caused him to miss the Masters for the first time in his career and has not declared himself a definite starter as yet for next month’s US Open at Pinehurst.
Scott has missed four chances to overtake Woods based on his performance at tournaments in the past two months, most recently at last week’s Players Championship, when he shared 38th and needed a top-16 effort to capture the top spot.
Because neither Woods nor Scott are playing, both will lose points in the two-year ranking system, but Woods – who tops the rankings for the 683rd week in his career – will fall behind Scott when points are recalculated on Monday.
Fifth-ranked American Matt Kuchar, the highest-rated threat in the field for this week’s Byron Nelson Championship who could gain points, might also pass Woods on the next list with a triumph in Texas but would not be able to move ahead of Scott’s new total.
“I think it’s a nice feather in the cap, probably,” Scott said last week. “If I was never world No.1 when I’m this close, I would be disappointed.
“But I would also much rather win the US Open and not be No.1 at all this year. That’s what it comes down to.”
Scott becomes the 17th player to become world No.1 and the fourth to overtake a rival for the top spot in a week when he isn’t playing, joining England’s Lee Westwood and Nick Faldo and Welshman Ian Woosnam.