Justin Rose already holds the title of world No 1, but on Sunday he can make that status indisputable. The Englishman holds a three-shot lead going into the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open in San Diego looking all over the finest player currently operating in the game.
The 38-year-old moved to 18-under, courtesy of a 69, with former world No 1 Adam Scott the nearest pursuer. The Spaniard John Rahm is a further shot behind, and Rory McIlroy is in a tie for sixth on 11-under.
No doubt, it is a formidable chasing pack, but one that Rose should not feel at all intimidating. Despite a final-hole bogey, Rose highlighted at Torrey Pines that he is operating at the peak of his powers.
Victory would end the debate over who is the game’s No 1 – if only in statistical terms. For the last few months, Rose and the American Brooks Koepka have been swapping positions at the top of rankings like a plus-foured round of musical chairs.
Yet this would afford daylight to the man from Hampshire. He will be concerned that this 69 included two double bogeys, as well as that six on the par-five last. Yet when one is also compiling six birdies and an eagle, it is far easier to consign those setbacks into the wing mirror.