When Adam Scott rose to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking on Monday, surpassing an injured Tiger Woods, he did so without even having to pick up a club. This week at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, he’ll look to hold onto the new title a bit more proactively.
While the Aussie star has never put too much concern into his supposed “place” in the game by ranking, one thing he has been concerned with is winning golf tournaments. As it turns out, with several players in position to overtake him as early as this weekend, the best thing Scott can do to stay at No. 1 is to forget all about it and keep his focus on what happens between the ropes.
Henrik Stenson, the No. 3 player in the world, and Matt Kuchar in fourth could both overtake Scott as early as this week with big finishes. According to Brian Wacker of PGATour.com, Stenson may only need a “high-20s” finish at the BMW PGA Championship, while Kuchar, who is in the field with Scott this week at Colonial, could take over with a win.
One of the things working against Scott is the fact that he plays a relatively limited PGA Tour schedule. While that’s not unique to him – Stenson and Sergio Garcia come to mind – he doesn’t tend to fill his time with European Tour events as those players do. Scott’s mindset seems to be on playing in the biggest tournaments, and making sure that he’s in peak physical and mental condition to try to win. Obviously it seems to be working, as his results speak for themselves.
Scott claims not to be too worried about the ranking, and I tend to believe him. With how fluid the number can be over the two-year rolling period that the system is based on, winning must be the only thing a player is concerned with. The mantra is simple – perform well, and the ranking will come.
Or maybe it won’t. In the end, the world ranking is just a number – it comes with no prize other than the pride of being known as the best in the world. Scott didn’t get to this point in his career by making the world ranking his top priority, and if he can keep that focus now that he’s at the pinnacle, he may just be able to stay there for a while.