Jon Rahm says he is ready to prove he belongs at world number one as he prepares to tee off at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational on Thursday (Rahm 11/1 Outright).
The Spaniard’s victory at The Memorial Tournament earned him enough points to dethrone Rory McIlroy at the top of the world rankings.
Rahm is only the second Spaniard to reach the summit, with Seve Ballesteros also achieving the feat.
The 25-year-old has yet to win a major, but he has already adjusted his targets as he tries to hang on to his ranking.
American Justin Thomas (12/1 St Jude Invitational Outright) has backed Rahm to handle the pressure as they head to Memphis for the latest tournament on the PGA Tour.
Thomas currently leads the FedExCup standings with six weeks of the season remaining, but he can climb to world number one himself this week.
If he wins the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational and Rahm finishes 14th or lower, and McIlroy finishes outside the top two, then Thomas can sit at the top of the pile.
However, Rahm heads to Tennessee in confident mood, and he says he is ready for the fight as the season hots up ahead of the first major, the USPGA Championship (Rahm 12/1 Outright).
He told Sky Sports: “Getting to No 1 in the world, you need to play good golf consecutively for a very long time, and I’ve played consistent golf worldwide for the last four years.
“I think nowadays it’s really tough to determine one player. Brooks is having a hard year right now, he’s not playing his best, but he has won four majors in the last few years, and Rory played amazing last year. So it’s hard to dictate one player alone.
“But it would be foolish of me to say that I’m not here thinking I’m the best player, and I think all the great players out there who have got to this point are playing like they believe they’re the best player. And I think in golf you need to prove that every week.
“So I think every week we go out there trying to prove who are the best players and trying to win. I think that’s how I go.”
After last week’s thrilling Betfred British Masters at Close House, the European Tour heads to Birmingham for the Hero Open.
Renato Paratore won in Newcastle last week, but Dutchman Joost Luiten is the 14/1 favourite to succeed in the Midlands.