2015 WGC-HSBC Champions

2015 WGC-HSBC Champions

Back to No. 1 in Official World Golf Ranking

Jordan Spieth's trip halfway around the world last week was absent a trophy but still plenty rewarding. Contending for a sixth PGA Tour title in 2015, Spieth tied for seventh at the WGC-HSBC Champions in Shanghai, enough for him to regain the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.

"It was certainly a goal coming into this week," said Spieth, whose closing two-under 70 put him at 15 under par, five shots behind winner Russell Knox. "When that No.1 ranking slips away, it leaves some unrest in you, and you really want to get back at it."

Spieth, who shot 63 on Saturday to vault into contention, needed to finish in a tie for 13th or better to supplant idle Jason Day atop the World Ranking. Spieth had previously held the No. 1 spot for six weeks this year, first earning it after his runner-up finish at the PGA Championship.

Yeah, I mean, between Jason, Rory, Rickie, Bubba, you name it; golf's in a great place. Guys are playing better than ever it seems like, at least for me over the last couple years. To shoot 20-under here is ridiculous in the conditions we had. You know, everyone is pushing each other a little bit, and when that No. 1 ranking slips away, it leaves you a little -- it leaves some unrest in you and you really want to get back at it. I think it's going to be really good for us and for golf. Jordan after the final round of the WGC-HSBC Champions

The strong finish in China marked the first start for Spieth in the 2015-16 PGA Tour wraparound season, but it continues a magical calendar year for the 22-year-old Texan. Spieth broke multiple Masters scoring records and became the youngest champion at Augusta National since Tiger Woods in 1997, then won the U.S. Open to become the youngest player to claim the national championship since Bobby Jones in 1923. After close calls in the Open Championship at St. Andrews and the PGA at Whistling Straits, he became just the third player since 1958 to place in the top four in all four majors championships in a single year.

On the strength of his five wins—the other three were at the Valspar Championship, the John Deere Classic and the 2014-15 season-ending Tour Championship—Spieth captured the FedEx Cup and PGA Tour Player of the Year honors. He then went 3-2 to help the U.S. team win the Presidents Cup in South Korea.

Spieth will play next in Australia, where he will defend his title in the Emirates Australia Open at the Australian Golf Club in Sydney. With a final-round eight-under-par 63 last November, Spieth won there and then won in his next start at Tiger Woods' Hero World Challenge. It was a run that laid the groundwork for the breakthrough season that followed.

"I feel like I got a bit in a groove," Spieth told reporters about this past week in Shanghai. "I can take some confidence. I've got a week and a half before we leave for Australia, two weeks before we play. Those two events were huge last year. I know that if I can focus on those two, they can carry some momentum into the season. Looking forward to getting down there."