Early projections suggest that Henrik Stenson, Justin Rose, Bubba Watson and Jason Day have a mathematical chance to reach No. 1 by winning the British Open. Day at No. 6 would have a chance over Matt Kuchar at No. 5 because the Australian has been injured, and so his tournament divisor is lower.
Rose is No. 3, the same spot he was in last year. But that was when Tiger Woods was more entrenched at No. 1. For Rose to reach the top, he would have to win and Scott would have to finish somewhere out of the top 40.
But at least it's a chance — and one he's not spending a lot of time worrying about.
"I've always said for me, I've always focused more on winning major championships ... than chasing No. 1," Rose said. "I think that's just a really nice byproduct of your process and improving as a golfer. So if it happens, it happens. Right now, I'm focused on this week. And the fact that gives me the opportunity, then brilliant. But it's really not front and center right now."
ONE-HIT WONDERS: Martin Kaymer talked about the importance of validating his PGA Championship in 2010 by winning the U.S. Open last month at Pinehurst No. 2. He did not want to be regarded as a one-hit wonder.
Such a term was in play a generation ago when good players never won more than one major.
Graeme McDowell mentioned it Tuesday. He captured the U.S. Open at Pebble Beach in 2010, and he has missed out on two chances since then. McDowell was runner-up at the U.S. Open two years ago at Olympic Club, and he was in the mix at Royal Lytham & St. Annes in the British Open in 2012.
"I want to give myself as many opportunities as I can to win majors," McDowell said. "It's hard to win. Week in, week out, there's so many great players in the world. Winning regular tournaments is hard enough. Winning the majors is something different, something special."
Indeed, the notion of one-hit wonders is different now. Nineteen players have won the last 24 majors dating to Tiger Woods' last major win in the 2008 U.S. Open.
McDowell eventually came around to a different perspective.
"As long as I can give my career 100 percent the next ten years, I'm not going to view my career as anything but a success, really," he said. "But I guess what I'm saying is I'm more motivated than ever to win major championships."