Justin Thomas has chance to end Dustin Johnson's run at World No. 1

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Justin Thomas has chance to end Dustin Johnson's run at World No. 1

PGA Tour

Justin Thomas has chance to end Dustin Johnson's run at World No. 1

CHARLOTTE – Do you remember what you were doing on Feb. 19, 2017?

If you happen to be Dustin Johnson (hey, DJ!), you were in Pacific Palisades, Calif., putting the finishing touches on a five-stroke victory at Riviera Country Club and ascending to No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking.

And there he has stayed for one year, two months, and 16 days, the longest run at No. 1 since Tiger Woods held the title for a record 281 weeks from June 2005 until October 2010.

Got any plans on May 6, 2018? If you happen to be Justin Thomas (hey, JT!), you could be finishing this week’s Wells Fargo with a solo T-12 or better and assuming OWGR No. 1 status for the first time in your young but already prolific career.

Not that he’s thinking about that this week at Quail Hollow, where he’ll play into the weekend after shooting a 2-under 69 on Friday to move back to even and within shouting distance of the lead.

“I’m over thinking about it because someone told me, and it was a great way to put it, I’m not trying to have it for a week,” Thomas said. “I’m trying to have it for a long time. I can’t put too much pressure on having it because it’s not like it’s just going to be once and it will be done. I just need to continue to try to play good golf and give myself a chances to win tournaments. You would hope if I keep playing the way that I’ve been playing that I’ll have it at some point.”

Thomas’ numbers this season have been dominant. He leads the FedEx Cup standings by 440 points (more than the spread between second and 16th), leads the money list by more than $1.5 million (more than all but 35 pros have earned this year) and hasn’t finished outside the top 25 in 11 individual events this year.

Thomas appears primed to make a run at Quail Hollow this weekend. He won the PGA Championship here a little over eight months ago and tallied five birdies Friday to rebound from a shaky first round. With no one pulling away from the pack so far near the midway point, another first-page leaderboard appearance would be a safe bet.

I played really well today,” Thomas said. “Hit a lot of good drives, a lot of good iron shots. Left a couple out there those last four, five holes, which was disappointing, but got it at least back to par going into the weekend.”

Thomas would be the first player not named Rory, Jordan, Jason or Dustin to hold No. 1 since Aug. 2, 2014, when Adam Scott wore the crown.

With both Thomas and Johnson teeing it up next week at The Players Championship in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla., the top spot may be changing regardless of the outcome in Charlotte.

Then again, that would mean Justin Thomas letting up, and when is that going to happen? No date soon.

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