Adam Scott officially replaced Tiger Woods as the world No. 1 on Monday, ending the American’s 60-week reign on the top of the rankings.
Scott, 33, is the first Australian to be the No. 1 since his boyhood hero Greg Norman, who spent 331 weeks in the position in the 1980s and 1990s.
The 2013 Masters champion was inactive last week, but was already assured of taking top spot with Woods sidelined with a long-standing back problem.
Playing in the Byron Nelson Championship, American Matt Kuchar could also have moved ahead of Woods, but he tied for seventh and had to settle for fourth spot in the rankings.
Scott has not won a tournament since his historic victory at the Augusta National 13 months ago, but he has benefitted from the absence of Woods, who said recently he still does not know when he will return to competition following surgery on his back.
Woods returned to the top of the rankings in March 2013, taking over from Rory McIlory and he has been there ever since. The American has spent a total of 683 weeks as the world’s best during the course of his career.
Scott becomes the 17th player to become the No. 1 since Germany’s Bernhard Langer was the first in 1986.
He’s the fourth player to overtake a rival for the top spot in a week in which he isn’t playing, joining England’s Lee Westwood and Nick Faldo and Welshman Ian Woosnam.
“The ranking system is just the way it is,” Scott said of the two-year revolving points system that makes his ascension possible. “It’s a very hard system to perfect with tours all over the world.”
He added of his “hero” Norman: “Part of this is for him because he’s given me so much time and inspiration and belief. I drew on that a lot. I somehow managed to stay in each shot when I needed to.
“He has devoted so much time to myself and other young Australian players who came after him. Incredibly generous.”
THE TOP TEN
1. (2) Adam Scott (Aus) 7.99; 2. (1) Tiger Woods (US) 7.85; 3. (3) Henrik Stenson (Swe) 7.72; 4. (5) Matt Kuchar (US) 7.12; 5. (4) Bubba Watson (US) 7.04 6. (6) Jason Day (Aus) 6.61; 7. (7) Sergio Garcia (Esp) 6.26; 8. (9) Justin Rose (GBR) 6.11; 9. (8) Jordan Spieth (US) 6.09; 10. (10) Rory McIlroy (GBR) 5.76.