Coastal Carolina alumnus Dustin Johnson held the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for 64 weeks.
But he’s now No. 2, as a 66 in the final round of The Players Championship moved Justin Thomas into a tie for 11th and barely ahead of the Columbia native in the ranking after Johnson tied for 17th at TPC Sawgrass. Thomas finished at 11-under 277 while Johnson finished at 278 after a final-round 72.
Johnson's 64 weeks represent the fourth-longest stretch since the OWGR debuted in 1986. Only Tiger Woods, Greg Norman and Nick Faldo have had longer ones, and only four men including Rory McIlroy have ever spent more total weeks as the top-ranked player in the world.
Johnson is also second in total weeks at No. 1 among the seven Americans who have held the top spot. He is 38 weeks ahead of No. 3 Jordan Spieth, and 619 weeks behind Woods.
Thomas is the 21st player to be ranked No. 1 since 1986, and he’s also the fourth youngest at the age of 25 behind Woods, Spieth and McIlroy, who were all 22 or younger.
With a fair amount of parity among the top players in the game in their mid-30s or younger, it wouldn't be surprising if Thomas were supplanted rather quickly, possibly by Johnson.
"It means a lot, but it's something I want to have for a long time, it's not something I just want to have once," Thomas said Sunday. "To have it for a week and then be done – like D.J. has and like Tiger did and other guys who have had it for a long time, that's more of a goal of mine as opposed to just having it."
Thomas is the reigning PGA Championship winner, and Webb Simpson's victory Sunday gives the U.S. control of the four majors and The Players for the first time in 17 years. The other reigning champions are Patrick Reed in the Masters, Brooks Koepka in the U.S. Open and Spieth in the British Open.
In case you forgot how dominant Woods was in the early 2000s, the last time all five titles were held by Americans was 2000-01, when Woods held all five after completing the Tiger Slam and winning the 2001 Players.