Golf’s best professional players are ranked from top to bottom using the OWGR or the official world golf rankings.
The Official World Golf Ranking is a system used to rate the performance of male professional golfers. It is based on a golfer’s individual tournaments over a two-year “rolling” period.
Last year, a total of 400 tournaments in 20 tours were covered by the OWGR ranking system. All players participating in those tournaments were ranked by the system. This year, the OWGR has expanded to 23 tours all over the world.
The first OWGR was published prior to the 1986 Masters. Bernhard Langer was the first #1 golfer in the world in the OWGR. He has ranked ahead of Seve Ballesteros who was the #1 ranked golfer in the McCormack World Golf Rankings at the end of the previous year. In the year 2000, Tiger Woods had unprecedented success which gave him the #1 rankings which he held until Vijay Singh briefly took it in 2004. Woods regained the title quickly and held it for the next five years. Lee Westwood finally dethroned Tiger Woods in October 2010.
On February 2017, Dustin Johnson became the 20th #1 ranked player in the OWGR before Justin Thomas would take over in May 2018. Johnson and Justin Rose would battle for the top spot the rest of the way before Brooks Koepka ended 2018 as the #1 ranked player in the World. DJ would regain the top spot again earlier this year but Koepka grabbed it after winning the most recent major tournament, the 2019 PGA Championship at Bethpage Black earlier this month.
Here is the full list of the latest top 10 golfers in the world as of May 28, 2019:
1. Brooks Koepka
Brooks Koepka is, without a doubt, the hottest golfer in the PGA tour right now. He recently claimed the #1 ranking after winning the 2019 PGA Championship earlier this month. Koepka has now won the PGA Championship in back-to-back years and is the first golfer since 1983 to do so. He is also the first player to win the tournament wire-to-wire and has done so for the second straight year. Last summer, Koepka also won the U.S. Open for the second straight year, making him the first golfer to hold back-to-back wins in two majors, simultaneously. He also finished T2 in the Masters last month. Koepka is the 2014 PGA Rookie of the Year and the 2018 PGA Player of the Year.
2. Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson has been Brooks Koepka’s chief rival for the #1 spot in the past year. The 34-year old Johnson first held the top ranking in February 2017 and owned the spot for 64 consecutive weeks, the 5th longest reign as world #1. Despite being considered as one of the best golfers in this generation, DJ has won just one major tournament so far and that was the 2016 U.S. Open. He’s come close, having placed second in the other three majors at various stages during his career. Johnson finished T2 in the Masters last month and was a close second to Brooks Koepka at Bethpage Black earlier this month. Johnson was the 2016 PGA Tour Player of the Year PGA Tour leading money winner that same year.
3. Justin Rose
Justin Peter Rose is the first English player to win a major since Nick Faldo in 1996 and the first English to win the U.S. Open since 1970. He did so after winning the 2013 U.S. Open at Merion Club. In 2016, he won Olympic gold by winning the men’s individual golf event and in doing so, he became one of five players to win an official golf tournament on all six continents where golf is played. He was the European Tour Order of Merit Winner in 2007 and was awarded the Order of the British Empire in 2016. Rose won the 2018 FedEx Cup Playoffs and its $10M prize.
4. Rory McIlroy
Rory McIlroy is a former world #1 who held the top spot for 95 weeks. He is a four-time major winner with his last victory at the 2015 Masters. McIlroy is the fourth golfer after Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth to win three majors by the age of 25. McIlroy has helped Europe win four Ryder Cups against the United States. In 2012, he became the youngest player to reach $10M earnings in the PGA Tour. He was PGA Player of the Year in 2012 and 2014 while also leading the tour in money earnings in those years.
5. Tiger Woods
Some say he is the greatest golfer of all-time but that accolade may not become official until he breaks Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18 major tournaments won. Woods already has 15 and he just won his most recent one, at the 2019 Masters last month. It was his first win in over a decade and he’s made a remarkable comeback from being unranked on the tour after his controversies and injuries back to the Top 10. His current ranking of #5 is his highest in the OWGR since 2014. Woods has been PGA Player of the Year a record 11 times and is the youngest player to accomplish the Grand Slam. His 81 PGA tour wins rank only second to Sam Snead’s record of 82.
6. Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas is another former world #1 who had his breakout year in 2017. That year, Thomas won 11 PGA Tour events including the 2017 PGA Championship, his first major and he was also the FedEx Cup champion in 2017. In May 2018, he became the 21st #1 ranked golfer in the OWGR. Thomas was 2017 PGA Tour Player of the Year. The 26-year old from Louisville, Kentucky was the 2012 Haskins Award winner as the best collegiate golfer in the United States.
7. Francesco Molinari
Francesco Molinari won his first and only major so far, the 2018 Open Championship. It was the first major golf tournament ever won by an Italian professional golfer. The Turin, Italy native also won the 2018 BMW PGA Championship which was his sixth win in the European Tour. He has represented Europe in three winning Ryder Cup teams. Molinari has been in the Top 100 of the OWGR since 2008. He was named as 2018 European Golfer of the Year.
8. Bryson DeChambeau
Known as the Scientist, Bryson DeChambeau became the fifth player to win both the NCAA Division 1 golf championship and the U.S. Amateur during the same year. He turned professional in 2016 and a total of five wins in the PGA Tour. He has yet to win a major with his highest finish in such tournaments was a T15 at the 2016 U.S. Open. Last January, he won the Omega Dubai Desert Classic to win his first European Tour title.
9. Xander Schauffele
Xander Schauffele turned professional in 2015 after playing collegiate golf at the Long Beach State University and San Diego State University. He has a total of four wins in the PGA Tour. Although he hasn’t won a major tournament yet, he has come close in a pair, having finished T2 in The Open Championship in 2018 and T2 in the 2019 Masters last month. Schauffele was the 2017 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
10. Rickie Fowler
Rickie Fowler is a former #1 ranked amateur golfer, having held that spot for 37 weeks between 2007 and 2008. Fowler turned professional in 2009 and PGA Tour Rookie of the Year winner in 2010. After his victory in the 2016 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, he rose to a career-best 4th in the OWGR. The 30-year old American last won back in February when he topped the 2019 Waste Management Phoenix Open.