Koepka’s greatest feat as No. 1 is getting there



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23 Oct 2018, 23:25 IST
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Reaching No. 1 on the planet felt even sweeter to Brooks Koepka due to how he bought there.

Golf is about successful, and the world rating is merely a results of that. For all the mathematics concerned in a system that tries to measure efficiency over two years, it is lots simpler to grasp when the brand new No. 1 is posing with a trophy.

Dustin Johnson is aware of that feeling. So does Rory McIlroy.

“I at all times wished to earn my technique to No. 1 on the planet,” Koepka stated after his four-shot victory on the CJ Cup in South Korea. “And I felt like if I performed and gained, that may be precisely how I may draw it up.”

Justin Rose would have most well-liked it that method as a substitute of reaching No. 1 final month by lacking a 4-foot putt to lose in a playoff on the BMW Championship. Tiger Woods bought to No. 1 for the primary time with a tie for 19th within the 1997 U.S. Open. There have been no fist pumps that day.

Lee Westwood and Nick Faldo didn’t even play the week they rose to No. 1.

Of the 23 gamers who ascended to the highest of the world rating, Koepka turned the 11th to get there for the primary time by successful.

Nick Worth stays the one participant to achieve No. 1 for the primary time by successful a significant, the 1994 PGA Championship at Southern Hills. Vijay Singh had one of many extra gratifying moments in 2004 when he not solely ended the five-year reign of Woods by successful the Deutsche Financial institution Championship, he performed with Woods within the ultimate group.

In the end, although, it is all about getting there.

And that is why it was such a giant deal for Koepka. As a lot as he was trending as the most effective participant on the planet — particularly after a double main season — there isn’t a assure of being No. 1 till your title is on the high of the 8,712 others listed within the Official World Golf Rating.

This was the sixth match the place Koepka had an opportunity to achieve No. 1.

He was poised to get there in the beginning of the FedEx Cup playoffs till Johnson birdied his final 4 holes for a 61 to remain No. 1 by a slim margin. The following week, Johnson closed with a 64 to complete one shot forward of Koepka. And the next week, Rose went from No. Four to No. 1 together with his playoff loss within the BMW Championship.

Koepka shot 78 within the second spherical at East Lake to squander one other alternative. He tied for seventh on the Dunhill Hyperlinks Championship.

After which, lastly, he gained the CJ Cup with a birdie-par-eagle end for a 29 on the again 9.


There was one other a number of main champion who would say in any other case.

As a result of whereas golf celebrates a brand new No. 1 — the fourth this yr, matching essentially the most in a single yr since 1997 — Koepka turning into the 23rd participant at No. 1 is one other reminder that the listing doesn’t embrace Phil Mickelson.

Lefty a lock to achieve No. 1 in 2010, when Woods was recovering from the downfall in his private life and the hole was shrinking by the week.

Mickelson gained the Masters to get again to No. 2. He was runner-up at Quail Hole. The Gamers Championship was the primary time in his profession that he had a mathematical probability to be No. 1. Needing a victory, he bogeyed three of his opening six holes, closed with a 74 and tied for 17th. Then it was off to Colonial, the place he had gained two years earlier. He missed the lower. On the Memorial, he tied for fifth.

“I do not know the rating system or world factors or how that works, nor do I care,” Mickelson stated that yr. “I simply know that if I proceed to play effectively, in the end in the long term, it would occur.”

However it by no means did.

He had 9 extra probabilities that yr and aside from a tie for fourth on the U.S. Open, by no means got here notably shut. And when he confirmed up in Shanghai, golf lastly had a brand new No. 1 — Westwood, which needed to sting much more.

Westwood by no means gained a significant. He simply performed a few of his greatest golf on the proper time, which was the time Woods went on hiatus. Mickelson performed a few of his greatest golf when Woods was at his peak, which is why Lefty would possibly perpetually maintain the excellence of being No. 2 longer than any participant who has by no means been No. 1.

That is one drawback Koepka will not have.

As a substitute, he joins Johnson, Rose and Justin Thomas as gamers to occupy No. 1 this yr. The final time that occurred was in 1997 with Greg Norman, Ernie Els, Tom Lehman and Woods.

Lehman lasted just one week. He reached the highest rating with a tie for fourth at Hilton Head and by no means was launched because the No. 1 participant on the planet. Lehman took a month off and when he returned at Colonial, he was again to No. 2.

However a minimum of he was there.

Mickelson would not commerce his 5 majors or 46 worldwide victories for the No. 1 rating. His legacy is safe with out it. However he in all probability would have taken No. 1 even for every week.

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