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OWGR: Jon Rahm returns to No. 1 in the world; Phil Mickelson makes huge leap


Four months into 2023 and we’ve already seen the world No. 1 title pass between three guys on four different occasions.

The undisputed Big 3— Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy — have been playing musical chairs since February 12, when Scheffler took the top spot from McIlroy for the first switcheroo of the year. Now, Rahm is back on top for the second time this year after his Masters win.

It was a fitting exchange to see Scheffler, the 2022 Masters champion, put the green jacket on Rahm on Sunday evening – a moment that was also symbolic of the passing of the coveted world ranking crown from one player to another.

But, as the Big 3 have proven, the days of having a world No. 1 for five years straight (looking at you, Mr. Woods) are gone.

At least for now, the competition is too good, which is why the top spot is once again up for grabs at the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head – the latest designated event on the PGA Tour’s schedule.

Rahm and Scheffler are both set to tee it up at Harbour Town Golf Links, with the latter able to return to the top spot with a win this week. A variety of scenarios, including a solo-fifth or better from Scheffler, could also see him regain No. 1, depending on how Rahm fares.

Of course, with Rahm’s ascension, both Scheffler, now No. 2, and McIlroy, now No. 3, were knocked down a peg.

Despite initially being in the field for this week’s Tour stop, McIlroy withdrew on Monday after missing the cut in Augusta. The Northern Irishman could drop to No. 4 depending on how current No. 4 Patrick Cantlay performs.

In the lower half of the top 10, there was plenty of movement this week:

  • Cameron Smith moved up one spot to No. 5 as the LIV player took advantage of the OWGR points up for grabs in Augusta with a T-34 finish.
  • Xander Schauffele moved up one spot to No. 6.
  • Max Homa and Justin Thomas both dropped two spots to Nos. 7 and 12, respectively, with JT being pushed out of the top 10 by Sam Burns after Thomas missed the cut.

Lower down the totem pole, LIV’s Brooks Koepka rode his T-2 finish to No. 39 – a 79-spot jump from his previous position at No. 118.

Other LIV players also making significant moves included:

  • Patrick Reed from No. 70 to No. 45, following his T-4 finish
  • Phil Mickelson from No. 425 to No. 72, following his T-2 finish
  • Kevin Na, who withdrew from the Masters after his first nine holes due to illness, dropped out of the top 100 – from 96 to 101.

And if you’re looking for a little something positive that came out of Tiger Woods’ made cut, despite his subsequent WD, the 47-year-old jumped into the top 1,000 – from 1,001 to 997.