With Rory McIlroy officially out of the Open Championship, Jordan Spieth can become the No. 1 player in the world.
Spieth needs to finish in the top six at this week's John Deere Classic and win the Claret Jug at St. Andrews to take over the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, according to Golf Channel.
“I didn’t think at the beginning of the year I would have a chance to get there this year, and there certainly is an opportunity now," Spieth said Tuesday at TPC Deere Run.
The 21-year-old currently trails McIlroy by less than two average points per event -- McIlroy's 12.70 average points compared to his 10.85. After winning the U.S. Open, Spieth passed 11 average points, joining McIlroy and Tiger Woods as the only players under the current OWGR algorithm to accomplish the feat.
With McIlroy out indefinitely, it's an opportunity for Spieth to enjoy a run at the top, even if it could be short-lived.
“I’ve certainly played solid enough to be No. 1 in the world a lot of different years,” Spieth said. “It’s a tough position this year given how successful Rory is, but I just need to keep working as hard as I have been and focus on this week and next week and a strong finish for the season because there’s a lot of world rankings points in all of the events coming up.”