Australian Jason Day has been dislodged at the top of the Official World Golf Ranking by Dustin Johnson who recently won the Genesis Open to pick up the points needed to leapfrog his rival.
Johnson has had the best 12 months of his career so far as he lifted his maiden Major Championship back in June at the US Open where he scored by three strokes in a dominant performance at the Oakmont Country Club.
Day will now need a strong year on the PGA Tour if he is to regain the number one spot in the world rankings as not only does he need to better Johnson’s results, Rory McIlroy, Hideki Matsuyama, Henrik Stenson and Jordan Spieth are all hot on his heels.
The Australian has made a quiet start to his 2017 campaign. He started off in the Tournament of Champions where he finished 12th after four solid rounds. Later that month the 29-year-old struggled in the Farmers Insurance Open as he missed the cut in California.
Day’s best finish of the year so far came early last month in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am where he earned himself a top-five finish with a score of -12 from his four rounds. He was unable to follow that performance up at the Riviera Country Club in the Genesis Open where he ended the week in 64th place.
It will be in the four Major Championships that Day will be aiming for success the most in 2017. The first of those events is the US Masters which takes place next month. The Queensland-born golfer can be backed at odds of 12/1 at Augusta where he has already recorded three top 10 finishes in his career so far. Day’s best performance in Georgia came in 2011 when he finished in a tie for second with fellow Australian compatriot Adam Scott. The pair were two shots behind Charl Schwartzel who won his first Green Jacket.
The US Open takes place at Erin Hills this year and is a tournament Day has come close to winning on many occasions. The world number two was second in 2011 and has had five top ten finishes. Sadly for Day, he has been unable to replicate that form across the Atlantic in the Open Championship where he has only once ended the tournament inside the top 10 on the leaderboard.
Day will go into the final Major of the year confident of success as he has done no worse than second place in the last two tournaments. The Australian lifted the US PGA Championship in 2015 when he finished on a record -20 which left him three strokes clear of the field at the end of the weekend. Day can be backed at 10/1 to regain his title later in the year.
The race for the top spot in the world rankings could go all the way down to the end of the 2017 campaign and the FedEx Cup, such is the small margin between the top players in the standings this season. If any one player can win two Major Championships though, that could be the difference between the world’s elite stars.