Lee Westwood was officially confirmed as the new world number one on Monday ending Tiger Woods's five-year long reign at the top.
The 37-year-old Englishman moved marginally ahead of the American despite not playing last week as he had amassed more ranking points over the last two years.
He is the first European golfer to head the rankings since Nick Faldo in 1994. Asked if it was the most satisfying moment in his career, Westwood said: "Yes I think so. It's a dream everyone has to say there is nobody better than me at the moment.
You have to say it's a highlight. "It's a great honour and a big responsibility. It certainly sounds and feels good right now. "When you are growing up and people say what do you want to achieve, everyone says I want to be the best in the world.
Right at this moment I can show people the world rankings and say I am the best on the planet." Westwood will quickly come face to face with the man he deposed, as he and 14-time major winner Woods are both among the field at this week's WGC-HSBC Champions event in Shanghai along with third ranking Martin Kaymer and fourth-placed Phil Mickelson.
All four players could end the week as world number one depending on how they perform in China as they are separated by less than half a point.
Latest leading world rankings:
1. Lee Westwood (ENG) 8.29pts
2. Tiger Woods (USA) 8.13
3. Martin Kaymer (GER) 7.98
4. Phil Mickelson (USA) 7.83
5. Steve Stricker (USA) 7.20
6. Jim Furyk (USA) 7.09
7. Paul Casey (ENG) 6.14
8. Luke Donald (ENG) 5.70
9. Rory McIlroy (NIR) 5.44
10. Graeme McDowell (NIR) 5.43.