Jordan Spieth passes Rory McIlroy as the world's No. 1 golfer

SHEBOYGAN, Wis. — Jordan Spieth called it "the best consolation prize ever."

Though the 22-year-old didn't win his third major championship of the year on Sunday at Whistling Straits – that honor went to Australian Jason Day – a final-round, 4-under 68 earned him a solo second-place finish and the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking.

Jordan Spieth, left, watches as Jason Day celebrates winning the PGA Championship. (AP)
Jordan Spieth, left, watches as Jason Day celebrates winning the PGA Championship. (AP)

"That will never be taken away from me now," Spieth said afterward. "I'll always be a No. 1 player in the world."

He added, "It's an incredible honor."

Spieth supplants Rory McIlroy, who finished in 17th place, for the No. 1 ranking. There were five scenarios by which Spieth could become the top-ranked player for the first time, including one in which he finished second alone and McIlroy finished worse than sixth.

The reigning Masters and U.S. Open champion also becomes just the third player in the history of the game to finish inside the top four in all four major championships in a season. He also sets the all-time single-season scoring record in relationship to par in the majors (-54), supplanting Tiger Woods, who was 53-under par in three major victories in 2000.

Spieth's reign at the top of the world ranking, however, may be short-lived. Both McIlroy and Day are within striking distance of him, and with the four FedEx Cup playoff events starting in two weeks (McIlroy is skipping the first leg, The Barclays), a good September run could see Spieth's seat atop the rankings end quickly.

Ryan Ballengee is a Yahoo Sports contributor. Find him on Facebook and Twitter.