McIlroy’s short-lived reign at #1 was not the shortest

Rory McIlroy spent a short two weeks ranked as the world’s best golfer. But it wasn’t the shortest reign in the history of the rankings.
Since the inception of the world golf rankings in 1986, 16 golfers have assumed the title of world’s number one golfer. Rory McIlroy was the newest golfer to hold the position but only held the title for two weeks before Luke Donald took over with a win at the Transitions Championship.
But the two week reign by McIlroy was not the shortest in the (relatively short) history of the world golf rankings. Tom Lehman held the number one position for one week in 1997, just before the record breaking reign of Tiger Woods.
Here is the full list of golfers who have held the number one golf ranking.

  1. Bernard Langer (3 weeks)
  2. Sever Ballesteros (61)
  3. Greg Norman (331) 
  4. Nick Faldo (97)
  5. Ian Woosnam (50)
  6. Fred CouplesS (16)
  7. Nick Price (44)
  8. Tom Lehman (1)
  9. Ernie Els (9)
  10. David Duval (15)
  11. Vijay Singh (32)
  12. Tiger Woods (623)*
  13. Martin Kaymer (8) 
  14. Lee Westwood (22)
  15. Luke Donald (41)
  16. Rory McIlroy (2)
*Woods holds the longest consecutive streak as No. 1 at 281 weeks.

4 thoughts on “McIlroy’s short-lived reign at #1 was not the shortest

  • March 21, 2012 at 00:18
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    If you love Aussie Golf & for that matter an EVEN spread of golf throughout the World, could you please refrain from NOT naming Golfers as Number 1 in the WORLD.. If they don’t PLAY THROUGHOUT the world.. The Aussie Tour, the European Tour and others throughout the World have been decimated by the outrageous MONOPOLY of the U.S Tour.. Once the Aussie Tour and others enjoyed an EVEN Status because NICKLAUS, 6 Aussie Opens, PLAYER 7 Aussie Opens, Palmer, Watson, Ballesteros, and many more, took the time & had the pride to play THROUGHOUT THE WORLD. The Title Nbr 1 in the World is NOT correct if they don’t play throughout the World.. Kind Regards Ross Baker

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  • March 21, 2012 at 00:42
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    Ross, the Official World Golf Rankings do take into account golfers across the world. In fact, only 2 Americans are in the top 10 at the moment. 2 Aussies, 3 English, 1 N Irishman, 1 German and 1 South African. Sounds pretty global to me, as all of these guys play across the world. Luke Donald was just here in Oz, Rory and Westwood (and others) play in Asia, Dubai, etc. Sure, the Oz events aren’t equal to the others, but our players are.

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    • March 22, 2012 at 14:20
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      Dear Richard, I didn’t say that the “Official World Rankings” don’t take into account golfers across the world, of course they do.. Nor did I say that our guys aren’t equal, In fact per capita they are performing better than many countries. What i was trying to point out & which you failed to address is that Monopolies of any kind are not acceptable in this day & age. Dare I suggest you have a look at John Huggan’s article published in the Scotsman on Sun 26.2.12 & republished in Aussie Golfer the following day. (If you don’t want to support my efforts to re kindle some of Australia’s Past Golfing Pride, perhaps a true independant & extremely learned Golf Writer such as John Huggan may help you..) The comment from “Anonymous” isn’t even worth replying to.. Thanks Richard for taking the time to reply, at least you did, thousands of others are too complacent. Kind Regards Ross Baker

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  • March 21, 2012 at 03:31
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    I recently saw a documentary on the fattest person in the world. I will have to contact the makers of this program as the person has never left their hometown in Mexico so how is possible they are the fattest person in the world when they haven’t eaten food in all 4 corners of the world!!

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