LA QUINTA, Calif. – This week’s American Express has the potential to present a particularly strange situation related to the world ranking front, even by ranking standards.
According to multiple projections, Scottie Scheffler and Patrick Cantlay can ascend to No. 1 in the world ranking depending on their finish at PGA West. Or they could both become world No. 1.
“That would be pretty funny,” current world No. 2 Scheffler laughed when told the possible scenario. “I assume that's never happened before.”
If Cantlay were to win The American Express, where he finished runner-up in 2021, and Scheffler finished alone in eighth place, it would lead to a tie atop the rankings, which would, indeed, be a first.
Full-field tee times from The American Express
“It would be a little bit weird to have two No. 1s. Maybe have a putt-off or something to see who would be the real No. 1,” Scheffler joked.
But that’s not the only odd possible outcome. Because Jon Rahm, who is fourth in the rankings and also playing The American Express, has more events (44) in the current window, he would not move to No. 1 in the world with a victory. Meanwhile, Cantlay, No. 5 in the ranking with just 40 events in the current window, would overtake Rory McIlroy for the top spot if he wins.
“Seriously, that’s possible?” Rahm asked with a bemused smile.
Rahm voiced his frustration with the new ranking calculations following his victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, which he won and yet remained fifth in the world. Although he admitted to being confused by this week’s scenario he did concede that his opinion on the ranking has shifted since Maui.
“A lot of the changes in the world ranking will make sense once we’ve completed the two-year cycle; all of the points earned before that are basically recycled to the new one,” Rahm explained. “It’s going take a little longer for those points to cycle out.
“Winning takes care of everything; if I keep playing good, keep winning, I’ll put myself in that position.”