Spieth misses major, more Tiger marks, but gets nice consolation

Jordan Spieth finished No. 2 in Wisconsin on Sunday, but he's No. 1 in the world now.

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Jordan Spieth didn’t get his third major win of 2015 on Sunday, but he got a heck of a consolation prize.

Spieth’s second-place finish to Jason Day at the PGA Championship at Whistling Straits in Sheboygan, Wis., ensured his ascension to the top of the Official World Golf Rankings, which were released early Monday morning.

The 22-year-old Spieth surpassed Rory McIlroy to claim the top spot, his finish alone in second combined with McIlroy’s 17th-place finish plenty good enough for the two to swap spots. According to Golfweek, a solo second-place finish by Spieth would have required McIlroy to finish in the top six in order for the Irishman to retain the top ranking.

"This is as easy a loss as I’ve ever had … accomplished one of my lifelong goals in the sport of golf," Spieth said, according to Golfweek. "That will never be taken away from me now. I’ll always be a No. 1 player in the world."

If you were expecting hard feelings from McIlroy after falling out of the top spot for more than a year, that was hardly the case.

Before Sunday’s round the 26-year-old told the media at Whistling Straits, "The way Jordan has been playing and the way I haven’t played much this year … if he goes to No. 1 today, it’s very deservedly so. … And if he was to get to No. 1 today, I’d be the first one to congratulate him because I know the golf you have to play to get to that spot, and it has been impressive this year."

True to his word, after play completed Sunday, McIlroy took to Twitter to offer congratulations to both Spieth and Day.

It was a fitting finish to a 2015 major season that had many people harkening back to Tiger Woods’ glory days. After winning both the Masters (in a dominant fashion not seen since Woods in 1997) and the U.S Open, Spieth had people talking Grand Slam when he teed off at the British Open at St. Andrews last month. And he nearly kept the dream alive, but finished one stroke shy of a three-way for the lead after 72 holes.

Zach Johnson would win in a playoff; Spieth would finish tied for fourth with Day of all people.

The runner-up finish on Sunday also kept Spieth from becoming the first golfer since Woods in 2000 to win three majors in one year.

Spieth also missed out on another Woods mark, settling for second-youngest to reach the world’s top ranking. Woods was 21 when he first reached No. 1 in 1997.

With his first major victory, Day moved up two spots, leaping both Bubba Watson and Jim Furyk into third place.

Woods, who missed the cut at the PGA for his career-worst third straight missed cut at a major, fell to No. 286 in the world rankings.