Only 50 Golfers Have Appeared in the World Top 10 This Long

Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods
Justin Thomas and Tiger Woods during day one of the 2018 PGA Championship at Bellerive CC in St Louis, MO. Credit: Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The Official World Golf Rankings started on April 6, 1986. Since then, only 106 golfers have reached the top 10, which is incredible when you think about the number of players who’ve moved in and out of the various tours for some 30-plus years.

Anyone who has made the top 10, even just for a week, can say they were truly the elite of the elite at one moment in time (we’re talking to you Thomas Bjorn, July 15, 2001).

But this list is about staying power – about the players who performed consistently on a higher level.

Leading the way is none other than Tiger Woods who holds the record for the most weeks in the world top 10 with 860. He is followed by Ernie Els with 788 weeks, and Phil Mickelson with 775.

Woods had a record run of 736 consecutive weeks in the top 10, from April 1997 to May 15, 2011 and had a second stretch from March 25, 2012 to August 3, 2014, totaling 124 weeks.

Greg Norman was in the top 10 for 646 consecutive weeks from the start of the rankings in 1986, when he’d already turned 30, until August 16, 1998. Sergio Garcia is the youngest player to reach the top 10, a week after his 20th birthday.

Of the 101 players who’ve made the list, only 50 have had the staying power of 100 weeks. Of those 50, less than half (23) are currently active on the PGA Tour, and under 50-years old. Further, just 16 are currently full-time PGA Tour players.

Of the current top-10 crop, Dustin Johnson (No. 1), Justin Rose (No. 2), Rory McIlroy (No. 3), Justin Thomas (No. 5), and Rickie Fowler (No. 8) have appeared at least 100 weeks on the exclusive list.

For Thomas, at just 25, it shows how consistent he’s performed of late, as he didn’t appear in the top 10 until January 15, 2017 after winning back to back in Hawaii. The Kentucky native stayed there for 14 weeks, and after bouncing between Nos. 11 and 15, he jumped in deep, going from 14th to 6th after winning the PGA Championship in August. He’s remained there ever since, and in fact he’s never moved outside the top-5 for 83 straight weeks.

That’s elite consistency.



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