February 28, 2019 / 4:38 AM / 4 months ago

Golf notebook: Johnson to reclaim No. 1 ranking

Dustin Johnson will reclaim the No. 1 spot in the official world rankings when the next update is released Monday.

FILE PHOTO - Feb 24, 2019; Mexico City, MEX; Dustin Johnson poses for a photo with the trophy after winning the final round of the WGC - Mexico Championship golf tournament at Club de Golf Chapultepec. Mandatory Credit: Orlando Ramirez-USA TODAY Sports

Johnson leapt passed Brooks Koepka for No. 2 following his dominating victory at the WGC-Mexico Championship, and will move past England’s Justin Rose for the top spot next week. The rankings are determined by a two-year period, and both players are idle this week.

However, Rose will have a chance to reclaim the No. 1 spot as early as next week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Johnson, 34, has two wins and a tie for ninth in his last four worldwide starts. He also opened the year with a tie for fourth at the Tournament of Champions. Rose and Koepka have spent time at No. 1 since Johnson last held the spot in October.

—Phil Mickelson has also committed to play in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which will also feature Koepka and Tiger Woods. Thirteen of the current top 20 players in the world are entered to play at the Bay Hill Club and Lodge.

Mickelson, 48, won at Bay Hill in 1997.

Rory McIlroy is the defending champion. He has not posted a victory since last year’s event but has finished in the top five in four consecutive events, including second to Johnson last week.

Players have until Friday to commit to play at Bay Hill.

—Koepka, who previously had a reputation as a soft-spoken player, has made several headlines this year with comments about Spain’s Sergio Garcia “acting like a child” with an alleged temper tantrum in Saudi Arabia and calling out Bryson DeChambeau for perceived slow play.

However, the three-time major champion said people are probably “getting the real me now” as he has made a conscious decision to be more outspoken with his established position among the game’s elite.

“I think, before, I was just trying to be politically correct, not stir any bubbles and just kind of go on with things and be unnoticed,” Koepka told reporters after Wednesday’s Pro-Am at the Honda Classic.

“There are a lot of things I’ve got opinions on. I’m going to say it now. I’m not going to hold anything back.”

—Field Level Media

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