Golf: Jon Rahm holds razor thin No. 1 margin over Collin Morikawa

Field Level Media/Reuters

Posted at Feb 22 2022 09:36 AM

Jon Rahm hits from the twelfth tee during the second round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament. Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.
Jon Rahm hits from the twelfth tee during the second round of the Genesis Invitational golf tournament. Gary A. Vasquez, USA TODAY Sports/Reuters.

Jon Rahm retained his spot atop the Official World Golf Ranking this week, but the Spaniard's grip on No. 1 is precariously thin.

Collin Morikawa entered The Genesis Invitational with his third opportunity to claim the top spot for the first time in his career. Morikawa, who also had mathematical chances to claim No. 1 at the Hero World Challenge and the Tournament of Champions, needed to win on Sunday and have Rahm finish worse than solo fourth.

Rahm, who made the cut on the number, rallied to tie for 21st at Riviera Country Club. That still left the door open for Morikawa, who made a spirited Sunday run before settling for a T2.

Morikawa is now just 0.3398 points behind Rahm for the top spot. Patrick Cantlay, who entered the week with the same equation to wrest No. 1 away from Rahm, scuffled to a T33 after also making the cut on the number.

Cantlay remains No. 3, followed by Norwegian Viktor Hovland and Northern Ireland's Rory McIlroy. Scottie Scheffler and Justin Thomas each climbed a spot with top-10 finishes at the Genesis, with Xander Schauffele, Dustin Johnson and Japan's Hideki Matsuyama rounding out the top 10.

Chilean Joaquin Niemann vaulted 12 positions to a career-best No. 20 with his second PGA Tour victory. Australian Adam Scott also surged 12 spots to No. 34 with his T4, while PGA Tour rookie Cameron Young shot up 60 places to No. 53 with his T2.

Morikawa, who admitted in January that becoming No. 1 in the world rankings is a "dream" of his, entered Sunday eight shots off Niemann's lead. He shot a 4-under 32 on the back nine to tie Rahm for the low round of the day with a 65 but ultimately was unable to catch the Chilean who led wire-to-wire.

"I just had to put together a few better rounds and make a few less mistakes," Morikawa said Sunday. "But overall I'm happy with the way things kind of played out."