A Look Back at Golf’s No. 1’s

Thursday, May 15, 2014

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After the HP Byron Nelson Championship weekend you will see a new #1 atop the World Golf Rankings. Come Monday you will see Adam Scott take over the top spot, regardless of this weekend’s result. Adam Scott will be resting this weekend and not playing, and will still pass a recovering Tiger Woods in the rankings. There were several opportunities for Scott to jump Woods in the past few weeks, but kept on missing his chance. Good news for Scott is that he does not even have to swing a club to claim the top spot this weekend. This is a common occurrence though, as he would be the 12th golfer to take that title without playing in the previous weekend’s tournament.

Here is a quick look at the notable past World Golf Ranking No. 1’s:

Tiger Woods: Currently sitting atop the World Golf Rankings for the past 60 weeks, Tiger Woods has been inactive while recovering from back surgery. He has held the top spots for 683 weeks throughout his career, which is a record.

Greg Norman: Having been atop for 331 weeks in his career, Greg Norman is currently the only Aussie to hold that ranking. But this will change following the weekend as Adam Scott joins him with that honor.

Nick Faldo: This Englishman held the honor for 97 weeks. With a majority of his wins coming on the European Tour, Faldo was able to make a splash by winning 6 major championships throughout his career. Faldo, Norman, and Woods are the only three golfers to hold the top spot for an entire calendar year.

Seve Ballesteros: Being the all-time European Tour wins leader with 50 wins helped catapult Ballesteros to the top of the World Golf Rankings. He was able to hold that spot for 61 weeks in his career. He battled with Greg Norman throughout the latter half of the 80s for the top spot.

Bernard Langer: Langer was the first person to be named as the World Golf Rankings #1 (originally known as the Sony Ranking until 1997) on April 6, 1986. He held the title for a mere 3 weeks before being dethroned by Seve Ballesteros.

Rory McIlroy: The last player to hold the title before Tiger Woods overtook him in early 2013, he was able to hold that title for 32 consecutive weeks (39 weeks overall).


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Sarah Halcovage

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