The five UK golfers who spent the longest at number one

Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 17, 2021 09:31

British golfers have a rich tradition of success in the majors and have produced some of the world’s greatest champions. Here, Essential Living gives you the top five British golfers who spent the longest at world number one.

All images on this page are from Essential Living

Rory McIlroy – 146 weeks

This iconic Irishman has spent more weeks at No.1 than any other British golfer, boasting over 100 weeks on the top spot, ranking him in the top five players in the world.

The four-time major champion won all majors before the age of 25. Smashing records and securing many partnerships and endorsements around the world with his elite athleticism.

Nick Faldo –  97 weeks

Faldo sat as the world’s best golfer for 97 weeks, with over 40 wins across many championships.

Dominating globally during his career, he was inducted into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1997, Faldo was awarded an MBE in 1998 before becoming a Knight Bachelor in 2009.

Luke Donald – 56 weeks

Incredible performances spanning 20 years from Donald have landed him as the No.1 golfer for 56 weeks and the top 10 for more than 200 weeks.

He is one of the very few golfers to secure the top spot in the industry without winning a major. In 2012 Donald was awarded an MBE for his services to golf.

Ian Woosnam – 50 weeks

Woosnam’s golf career spans back to 1976 where he began his award-winning career, in 1991 he reached the No.1 spot on the Official World Golf Ranking where he sat for 50 weeks.

That very same year he became the first Welshman to win a major championship, an honour that will go down in history. Recently he reflected on this victory, winning wearing his famous Green Jacket.

But the jacket did not quite fit. Not because it was not deserved, but because neither the American organisers nor the patrons watching thought he would win.

“They weren’t expecting me to win. I ended up having to use the media director’s jacket – it was a second-hand jacket!”

Lee Westwood – 22 weeks

Westwood is an incredibly well-known golfer with equally incredible talent, starting the sport at age 13. He is amongst the elite that has held onto the No.1 spot.

In the last 25 years, Westwood has come closer than any Englishman to lifting the Claret Jug, experiencing near-misses at The Open in 2009 and 2013, which is why he has always done well in the British online bookmakers list.

In 2011, Westwood’s good friend Darren Clarke produced a wonderful showing at Royal St George’s to claim his first major championship. Now based in Newcastle, he has over 40 professional wins which have earned him an OBE in 2011.



Seamus Rotherick
By Seamus Rotherick September 17, 2021 09:31
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