Adam Scott will have to wait another week to claim the world No 1 spot after a disappointing final round at Sawgrass.
Scott needed a top-16 finish in the Players Championship but a closing one-over 73 left the Australian outside the top 30.
He will move above Tiger Woods next weekend without even hitting a shot simply by not competing at the Byron Nelson Championship, but Scott would rather take top spot through his own performance.
"Like I said on Wednesday, I think you want to do it playing well and getting good results," Scott said.
"That's just the way our system is, but that's also not the biggest focus for me at the moment. I'm trying to play some good golf and get myself ready to play the next big event which is in about four or five weeks (the US Open).
"I think it's a nice feather in the cap. I mean, if I was never world No 1 when I'm this close I'd be disappointed, but I'd also much rather win the US Open and not be No 1 at all this year. That's what it comes down to.
"There weren't rankings back in the day and guys won a lot of majors, and that's how they were remembered. I guess that's still somewhat true as well."