When Did World No. 1 Become So Meaningful?

To everyone! Players, fans, media and non-fans.

An algorithm told us last weekend what we've known since the Masters: Jordan Spieth is the best player in the world. Rory McIlroy is not less of a golfer or person because he "lost" the ranking, is he?

Spieth took a miniscule lead over McIlroy, one that could be lost easily. An algorithmic back-and-forth could take place over the next few weeks and I fear we'll be dragged into it, hearing the ranking scenarios alongside the FedExCup scenarios. Neither of which is even slighly compelling compared to what we just witnessed in the four majors this year.

Yet this attaining algorithmic confirmation was treated as a crowning achievement last Sunday, even at the expense of talking about Jason Day's record win. While I can see pride for the player and maybe some large bonuses kicking in to sweeten the moment, why does this matter so much?

Wouldn't Spieth rather have won the PGA Sunday than climb to No. 1? He even he hinted on Sunday the best player in the world right now is Day.

JORDAN SPIETH: Yeah, it's been a very, very good year. There's nothing -- obviously this is as easy a loss as I've ever had because I felt that I not only couldn't do much about it, as the round went on, I also accomplished one of my life-long goals and in the sport of golf. That will never be taken away from me now. I'll always be a No. 1 player in the world. That's what, when I look back on this year, the consistency that we have had this year and especially being able to step it up in the biggest stages, that's a huge confidence builder and that's what's allowed us as a team to become the best, the No. 1 ranked, I should say, and I believe right now the best in the world. Second best behind Jason Day, of course, given this week.

And Spieth was sincere in how monumental this was on his career goal list.

Check out his Sportscenter appearance by phone where he acknowledged knowing the various scenarios by which he might overtake the top spot last week at Whistling Straits.

So I ask, what is the cause of this fascination with the No. 1 spot when it's just a mysterious algorithm belatedly telling us what we already knew?