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THE WORLD NUMBER ONE


FEBRUARY 7, 2016: Jordan Spieth is entering the 14th week of his fourth tenure at World No. 1 and his 20th week in total at the top.


HOLDERS OF THE TOP SPOT

Since the creation of the Official World Golf Ranking (known as the Sony Ranking until 1997), and although the top spot has changed hands 65 times since Bernhard Langer first took the position on April 6, 1986, only 19 players in all have held the coveted position of being officially the world's number one golfer.

Tiger Woods holds the record for the most consecutive weeks at number one (281, from June 12, 2005 to October 30, 2010), as well as the most total weeks in the position at 683. The 19 holders, and the total number of weeks at number one, are as follows, as at February 7, 2016.

Bernhard Langer 3 weeks
Severiano Ballesteros 61 weeks
Greg Norman 331 weeks
Nick Faldo 97 weeks
Ian Woosnam 50 weeks
Fred Couples 16 weeks
Nick Price 44 weeks
Tom Lehman 1 week
Ernie Els 9 weeks
David Duval 15 weeks
Vijay Singh 32 weeks
Tiger Woods 683 weeks
Lee Westwood 22 weeks
Martin Kaymer 8 weeks
Luke Donald 56 weeks
Rory McIlroy 95 weeks
Adam Scott 11 weeks
Jordan Spieth 20 weeks
Jason Day 4 weeks

For the full chronological history of the holders of the world number one spot, click here.

MOST TIMES AS NO. 1

As the top spot has alternated between players over the years, Greg Norman reached number one 11 separate times, Tiger Woods also 11 times, Rory McIlroy 6, Seve Ballesteros 5, Nick Faldo and Luke Donald 4 times, with Ernie Els and Vijay Singh 3 times each.

SHORTEST TENURE

Although several number ones - including Tiger Woods - have held the position for just one week before being displaced, only Tom Lehman among the sixteen has been world number one for a single week in his career, in 1997.

YOUNGEST

Tiger Woods was 21 years and 167 days old when he first became world number one on June 15, 1997. Rory McIlroy became the second youngest at 22 years and 312 days when he took over the top spot on March 4, 2012.

OLDEST

Vijay Singh was 41 years, 6 months and 2 weeks old when he first became world number one on September 5, 2004, and 42 years, 3 months and 3 weeks old when he last held the position on June 11, 2005.

NATIONALITIES

Of the sixteen number ones, only four have been Americans, the position also having been held by three Englishmen, two Germans, a Spaniard, an Australian, a Welshman, a Zimbabwean, a South African, a Fijian and a Northern Irishman.

YEAR LONG HOLDERS

Only three players have held the position for at least 52 successive weeks: Greg Norman, Nick Faldo and Tiger Woods. The same three players are also the only ones to been world number one for a full calendar year: Nick Faldo throughout 1993, Greg Norman throughout 1996, and Tiger Woods throughout 2000, 2001, 2002, 2003, 2006, 2007, 2008 and 2009.

In 2008, Tiger Woods achieved the remarkable feat of holding onto the number one position all year, despite not competing for more than six months after his June 16 playoff victory for the US Open against Rocco Mediate, as he underwent knee surgery and recuperation. He was still world number one on February 25, 2009, when he resumed tournament golf at the Accenture Match Play Championship.

HIGHEST POINTS TOTAL

Tiger Woods also holds the record for the highest ever average points total, when he reached 32.44 points (1459.64 points accumulated over 45 tournaments) on June 3, 2001, shortly before the 2001 US Open, at which point he was the first player ever to hold all four professional major championships simultaneously - the so-called 'Tiger Slam'.

BIGGEST LEAD

Just before that, on May 20, 2001, Tiger Woods had also built the biggest ever lead in the rankings, when his 32.33 average points was 19.40 ahead of the then world number two Phil Mickelson on 12.93 average points.

 

HISTORY OF THE OFFICIAL WORLD GOLF RANKING NUMBER ONE POSITION

(Bracketed figure = number of times at World No. 1)
 
Player
From:
To:
No. of weeks
66 Jordan Spieth (4) Nov. 8 , 2015 ? 14
65
Jason Day (2)
Oct. 18, 2015 Nov. 7, 2015 3
64 Jordan Spieth (3) Sep. 27, 2015 Oct. 17, 2015 3
63 Jason Day Sep. 20, 2015 Sep. 26, 2015 1
62 Rory McIlroy (7) Sep. 13, 2015 Sep. 19, 2015 1
61 Jordan Spieth (2) Sep. 7, 2015 Sep. 12, 2015 1
60 Rory McIlroy (6) Aug. 30, 2015 Sep. 6, 2015 1
59 Jordan Spieth Aug. 16, 2015 Aug. 29, 2015 2
58 Rory McIlroy (5) Aug. 3, 2014 Aug. 15, 2015 54
57 Adam Scott May 18, 2013 Aug. 2, 2014 11
56 Tiger Woods (11) Mar. 25, 2013 May 17, 2014 60
55 Rory McIlroy (4) Aug. 12, 2012 Mar. 24, 2013 32
54 Luke Donald (4) May 27, 2012 Aug. 11, 2012 11
53 Rory McIlroy (3) May 6, 2012 May 26, 2012 3
52 Luke Donald (3) April 29, 2012 May 5, 2012 1
51 Rory McIlroy (2) April 15, 2012 April 28, 2012 2
50 Luke Donald (2) Mar. 18, 2012 April 14, 2012 4
49 Rory McIlroy (1) Mar. 4, 2012 Mar. 17, 2012 2
48 Luke Donald (1) May 29, 2011 Mar. 3, 2012 40
47 Lee Westwood (2) April 24, 2011 May 28, 2011 5
46 Martin Kaymer Feb. 27, 2011 April 23, 2011 8
45 Lee Westwood (1) Oct. 31, 2010 Feb. 26, 2011 17
44 Tiger Woods (10) Jun. 12, 2005 Oct. 30, 2010 281
43 Vijay Singh (3) May 22, 2005 Jun. 11, 2005 3
42 Tiger Woods (9) Apr. 10, 2005 May 21, 2005 6
41 Vijay Singh(2) Mar. 20, 2005 Apr. 9, 2005 3
40 Tiger Woods (8) Mar. 6, 2005 Mar. 19, 2005 2
39 Vijay Singh (1) Sep. 5, 2004 Mar. 5, 2005 26
38 Tiger Woods (7) Aug. 15, 1999 Sep. 4, 2004 264
37 Davids Duval (2) Aug. 7, 1999 Aug. 14, 1999 1
36 Tiger Woods (6) Jul. 4, 1999 Aug. 6, 1999 5
35 David Duval (1) Mar. 28, 1999 Jul. 3, 1999 14
34 Tiger Woods (5) Jun. 14, 1998 Mar. 27, 1999 41
33 Ernie Els (3) May 17, 1998 Jun. 13, 1998 4
32 Tiger Woods (4) May 10, 1998 May 16, 1998 1
31 Ernie Els (2) Apr. 12, 1998 May 9, 1998 4
30 Tiger Woods (3) Jan. 11, 1998 Apr. 11, 1998 13
29 Greg Norman (11) Sep. 7, 1997 Jan. 10, 1998 18
28 Tiger Woods (2) Jul. 6, 1997 Sep. 6, 1997 9
27 Greg Norman (10) Jun. 29, 1997 Jul. 5, 1997 1
26 Ernie Els (1) Jun. 22, 1997 Jun. 28, 1997 1
25 Tiger Woods (1) Jun. 15, 1997 Jun. 21, 1997 1
24 Greg Norman (9) Apr. 27, 1997 Jun. 14, 1997 7
23 Tom Lehman Apr. 20, 1997 Apr. 26, 1997 1
22 Greg Norman (8) Jun. 18, 1995 Apr. 19, 1997 96
21 Nick Price Aug. 14, 1994 Jun. 17, 1995 44
20 Greg Norman (7) Feb. 6, 1994 Aug. 13, 1994 27
19 Nick Faldo (4) Jul. 19, 1992 Feb. 5, 1994 81
18 Fred Couples (2) Apr. 5, 1992 Jul. 18, 1992 15
17 Nick Faldo (3) Mar. 29, 1992 Apr. 4, 1992 1
16 Fred Couples (1) Mar. 22, 1992 Mar. 28, 1992 1
15 Ian Woosnam Apr. 7, 1991 Mar. 21, 1992 50
14 Nick Faldo (2) Feb. 3, 1991 Apr. 6, 1991 9
13 Greg Norman (6) Oct. 14, 1990 Feb. 2, 1991 16
12 Nick Faldo (1) Sep. 2, 1990 Oct. 13, 1990 7
11 Greg Norman (5) Aug. 20, 1989 Sep. 1, 1990 54
10 Seve Ballesteros (5) Apr. 2, 1989 Aug. 19, 1989 20
9 Greg Norman (4) Mar. 26, 1989 Apr. 1, 1989 1
8 Seve Ballesteros (4) Nov. 13, 1988 Mar. 25, 1989 19
7 Greg Norman (3) Nov. 6, 1988 Nov. 12, 1987 1
6 Seve Ballesteros (3) Oct. 30, 1988 Nov. 5, 1987 1
5 Greg Norman (2) Nov. 29, 1987 Oct. 29, 1987 49
4 Seve Ballesteros (2) Nov. 22, 1987 Nov. 28, 1986 1
3 Greg Norman (1) Sep. 14, 1986 Nov. 21, 1986 61
2 Seve Ballesteros (1) Apr. 27, 1986 Sep. 13, 1986 20
1 Bernhard Langer Apr. 6, 1986 Apr. 26, 1986 3

 





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