MEMPHIS, Tenn. – For Jon Rahm, reaching No. 1 in the world rankings was a goal he set when he was a teenager, and ascending to the top spot with his victory at the Memorial two weeks ago was reason to celebrate.
“Being No. 1 in the world is a great thing; it's a consequence of playing good golf throughout the last four years, not only last week,” he said Tuesday at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
But Rahm added that his focus doesn’t change now that he’s world No. 1. He understands how difficult it is to maintain that top spot.
“Even my close friend, Phil [Mickelson], five-time major champion, wasn't able to get there. It is true that some of them played Tiger at the time and obviously nobody's going to take that from him,” Rahm said. “At the same time, getting here, it's great. I played great golf the last four years, but I can keep playing that good or better to hopefully stay here for a long time.”
Justin Thomas can relate to the challenges of not only moving to No. 1 but staying there, having claimed the top spot briefly in 2018.
“Anything longer than the [four] weeks that I had it, or whatever it is,” Thomas laughed. “I mean, I would hope to have it, you know, a couple years by the end of my career.”