Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Best Of The Best: Ranking The All-Time No. 1 Players

   With Luke Donald supplanting Lee Westwood as the No. 1 player in the world golf rankings this week, it got me to thinking about who have been the best of the best since the rankings began 25 years ago.

   Donald became the 15th player to be ranked No. 1, remarkably none of them named Phil Mickelson. Here's my top five No.1 players in the Official World Golf Rankings era:

  1. Tiger Woods

    What a shock. He's spent 623 weeks at No. 1, which equals 11.9 years. He may never be No. 1 again but he owned it for more than a decade, almost as much as everyone else combined.

  2. Greg Norman

    It's almost easy now to forget how big and dominant Norman was for a long time. He occupied No. 1 for 331 weeks with a game that was almost as big as his personality and image.

   3. Nick Faldo

   He was bigger in Europe than he was in the States because he played more there but Faldo -- long before we knew he could be funny -- was a classic grinder. He kept giving himself chances in major championships and wound up with six of them.

   4. Seve Ballesteros

    He was No. 1 for 61 weeks but the rankings came along during the back-half of his prime. At his best, Seve was unlike anyone else, both in his style and his game.

   5. Vijay Singh

    He bumped Tiger off his throne a few years back, which was a monumental achievement. He won nine times in 2004 when he overtook Tiger and is the PGA Tour's best ever in his 40s.

   If you're wondering, the other No. 1 ranked players are Bernhard Langer, Ian Woosnam, Fred Couples, Nick Price, Tom Lehman, Ernie Els, David Duval and Martin Kaymer, as well as Westwood and Donald.


Quit hatin said...

Tiger should be #'s 1-8. Ther is not anyone even close.

HokieTT said...

Good assessment...I think I would have ranked them the same.