There was only one way for Jason Day to reclaim the No. 1 ranking in the world – win the most competitive tournament to date of 2016.
And that’s what he did on Sunday, routing Louis Oosthuizen 5 and 4 to claim the WGC-Dell Match Play for the second time in three years.
He took the No. 1 ranking away from Jordan Spieth in the town – Austin, Texas – where Spieth briefly played collegiately before turning pro at the end of 2013.
The real battle for Day came in the semifinals, where he fought tooth and claw with world No. 3 Rory McIlroy before downing the four-time Major winner with a 12-foot par putt on No. 18. Day was guaranteed of taking over No. 1 in the world when he won his quarterfinal match while Spieth lost his.
Day joins Tiger Woods and Geoff Oglivy as multiple-time winners of the WGC-Dell. It’s Day’s first time at No. 1 since becoming a father during the off-season, but he has clearly worked himself back into playing shape, having won Dell at the Arnold Palmer Championship in back-to-back weeks.
In the last 13 months, Day has won on the PGA Tour seven times. This is his seventh week ranked No. 1, and ended a run of 20 straight weeks for Spieth at the top spot.