In the short history of the Official World Golf Rankings, there’s never been three players at the top to match the likes of who we see today — Jon Rahm, Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy.
Who’s No. 1? The answer is fluid. The great thing about today is that Rahm, Scheffler and McIlroy will be taking turns in that slot.
Back in the 60’s, Arnold Palmer, Jack Nicklaus and Gary Player became “The Big Three” in the world of golf and super-agent Mark McCormack built a made-for-television series featuring them — Big Three Golf. It was a series of exhibitions matching the three major champions at destinations around the world.
No need to exhibitions to show of Rahm, Scheffler and McIlroy these days. They are and will remain the focal point of the PGA Tour’s Designated Events.
The level of play from all three would-be world No. 1’s is unprecedented and has created a parity that’s never existed atop those ranking.
The three are interchangeable at the top, you can call them No. 1, No. 1-A and No. 1-B.
“I do know this is the most amount of No. 1 changes in this short period of time. I saw some of those stats, because it’s just really interesting, which speaks to the greatness of the game of golf right now – how good everybody’s been playing,” Rahm said recently as he took over the No. 1 spot from McIlroy. But it wasn’t Rahm’s first stay at No. 1.
“I think one of those times that I got to it it was after, I think it was (Justin Thomas) had a bad finish, and I finished 10th in a tournament and you get back to No. 1. That doesn’t feel nearly as well,” Rahm said. “There’s a lot of satisfaction that comes when you get to be No. 1 when the other players have been playing great golf as well. Scottie had a great year last year, Rory had a great year last year, and then towards the end of the year I kind of picked up,” Rahm said. “If you’re going to do it in any way, you want to get to No. 1 by winning.”
In the early days of the World Rankings, Greg Norman was a dominant player. Then came a young fellow named Tiger Woods, who was virtually unchallenged in his prime.
But with the emergence of four-time major champion McIlroy then Scheffler and Rahm, well, there will be change at the top for years to come.
For the record, Scheffler is the youngster of the trio at age 26. Rahm is 28 and Rory’s the elder statesman at age 33.
Scottie showed total domination at The Players and went back to No. 1. How long will he be there — depends on the other two members of this “Big Three.”