Johannesburg - The list of contenders in the race to lead the official golf rankings has undergone a change with Hideki Matsuyama becoming the first Japanese golfer to rank second in the world.
Second position has traditionally been dominated by American players.
Matsuyama trails American Dustin Johnson by 144.85 points, according the statistics on the ratings.
The 25-year-old is also the first Japan Golf Tour player to be placed so high on the official world golf rankings.
No Japanese or Asian golfer has until now occupied a top-five ranking on the international listing.
Matsuyama confirmed his new position by finishing tied for second at the US Open in Wisconsin two weeks ago.
The four-time PGA Tour and eight-time Japan Golf Tour victor started this year’s season on a good note by winning the Phoenix Open at Tournament Players Club in Scottsdale, Arizona, in February.
His win propelled him to fifth on the global rankings.
Matsuyama needs to be as consistent as possible to maintain the winning streak if he wants to overtake Johnson on the leaderboard.
For Matsuyama to be number one on the listing, he will have to win some of the forthcoming events on the PGA Tour, including the British Open scheduled for Royal Birkdale in England, which starts on July 20.
He also has to snatch the World Golf Championship-Bridgestone title at Firestone Country Club in Ohio.
The four-day event, whose title will be defended by Johnson, tees off on August 3.