Brooks Koepka tops Justin Rose as golf's No. 1 at end 2018 by single shot

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Brooks Koepka tops Justin Rose as golf's No. 1 at end 2018 by single shot

Euro Tour

Brooks Koepka tops Justin Rose as golf's No. 1 at end 2018 by single shot

This has been a revolving-door kind of year for the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, with the end-of-year World No. 1 not decided until Justin Rose stumbled in Sunday’s final round of the BNI Indonesian Masters.

For most of the year, the letters u-s-t-i-n were atop the OWGR, in the names of Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas and Rose. But in the end, Brooks Koepka’s two major titles (U.S. Open and PGA Championship) plus a victory in the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges were enough to retain the top spot.

Rose started the final round in Indonesia tied for fourth, and a finish of T-12 or better would have vaulted Rose into the No. 1 spot ahead of Koepka in the year-end rankings. But Rose closed in 75, a score that included a triple-bogey on the par-5 12th at Royale Jakarta Golf Club.

Justin Rose during the final round of the BNI Indonesian Masters (Arep Kulal/Asian Tour via Getty Images)

The Englishman birdied three of the five closing holes, but it wasn’t enough as he finished tied for 17th, one shot short of ending 2018 as the No. 1-ranked player in the OWGR.

And in an unexpected kind of twist that pops up occasionally in the OWGR, Rose would have vaulted Koepka if he had stayed at home instead of traveling to Indonesia to play, according to several sources that track the OWGR algorithms.

Four players were ranked No. 1 at various points throughout the year.

Johnson started 2018 in the top spot before being replaced by Thomas in May. Thomas was No. 1 for four weeks and was replaced by Johnson, who held the spot for another 13 weeks. Rose first ascended to No. 1 for two weeks in September, then the title went back to Johnson, then to Koepka for the first time for two weeks in October. Rose and Koepka since have juggled the No. 1 spot, neither holding it for more than four weeks to this point.

It is expected that 2018 will end with Koepka in first, followed by No. 2 Rose, No. 3 Johnson, No. 4 Thomas and No. 5 Bryson DeChambeau.

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