In the first week of the new year, Brooks Koepka played tournament golf while Justin Rose stayed home. As it turned out, that was all it took to reverse the top two spots in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Koepka ended the year ranked No. 1 in the world, but he needed a top-8 finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions to maintain that standing. Instead he finished alone in 24th among the 33-man field at Kapalua, meaning that Rose returns to No. 1 without having to hit a competitive shot.
The next three spots remain unchanged after the first event of 2019: Dustin Johnson at No. 3, Justin Thomas at No. 4 and Bryson DeChambeau at No. 5.
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The change at the top continues a back-and-forth between Rose and Koepka, one that commenced shortly after Rose reached No. 1 for the first time in his career in September and Koepka captured the CJ Cup in South Korea the following month. Rose is expected to make his first start of the year in two weeks at the Desert Classic.
Fresh off the fourth win of his career and a share of the Kapalua course record, Xander Schauffele moved up four spots to a career-best sixth in the latest rankings. Jon Rahm dropped one spot to No. 7, while Rory McIlroy, Francesco Molinari and Tony Finau round out the latest top 10.
Gary Woodland couldn’t hold off a red-hot Schauffele on the Plantation Course, but a solo second-place finish was still enough to help him move up nine spots to No. 22 in the world, two spots higher than his previous best. Jason Day, who finished alone in 13th place in Maui, moved up three spots to No. 11.
Still awaiting his first start of the new year, Tiger Woods dropped one spot in the rankings to No. 14.