Adam Scott

Without so much as a swing of a club, Adam Scott has become the number 1 golfer in the world, quietly eclipsing Tiger Woods and taking the top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings.

Scott, 33, took the top honours following the HP Byron Nelson Championship. Though Scott didn’t play in the event, his two-year rolling average—the calculation used to determine the world rankings—finished higher than Woods’ average following the event. Woods—who has been out of action due to surgery to ease a pinched nerve, has spent an amazing 683 weeks at number 1 during his career.

With the achievement, Scott became just the second Australian to take the top spot, following Greg Norman who held the honour for 331 weeks.  He is the 17th player to become world No.1, and the fourth to take the top spot in a week when he wasn’t playing, joining Lee Westwood , Nick Faldo and Ian Woosnam.

“This is another outstanding achievement for Adam Scott,” said Brian Thorburn, CEO of the PGA of Australia.

“The Australian golfing community is very proud of Adam and we look forward to watching his progress throughout the year.”

According to Scott, the top spot hasn’t been his top priority.

“I’m here to win golf tournaments,” Scott said prior to the accomplishment. “That’s been the goal, and from that you can get to No.1 in the world if you win enough often enough. I’ve had a couple good chances this year already and haven’t been able to pull it off, not because it’s been weighing on my mind, but I just wasn’t sharp enough playing the last couple rounds at a few events.”

The Official World Ranking Points were established in 1986, and are calculated on a rolling two-year basis. Players gain OWGR points by finishing highly in eligible events. The majors are weighted the highest, with 100 points to the winner, while other PGA Tour events offer less—sometimes 30 or 40 points to the winner, depending on field strength, etc.

Players keep the full value of points for the following 13 weeks, after which the points are reduced over the next 91 weeks by equal decrements. To determine the OWGR average, the system divides a player’s points by their number of tournaments (minimum 40, max 52).



The top spot in the Official World Golf Rankings has changed hands 55 times since Bernhard Langer first took the position on April 6, 1986. Tiger Woods holds the record for the most consecutive weeks at number one (281, from June 12, 2005 to October 30, 2010), and the most total weeks in the position (683).

The 16 holders,and the total number of weeks at number one:

Bernhard Langer 3 weeks
Severiano Ballesteros 61 weeks
Greg Norman 331 weeks
Nick Faldo 97 weeks
Ian Woosnam 50 weeks
Fred Couples 16 weeks
Nick Price 44 weeks
Tom Lehman 1 week
Ernie Els 9 weeks
David Duval 15 weeks
Vijay Singh 32 weeks
Tiger Woods 683 weeks
Lee Westwood 22 weeks
Martin Kaymer 8 weeks
Luke Donald 56 weeks
Rory McIlroy 39 weeks




About Richard Fellner

A four-time winner of the Australian Golf Media Awards, including Best Photojournalism, Best Opinion, Best Column and Best Photographic Presentation, Inside Golf Group Editor Richard Fellner is the quintessential Golf Tragic, having played the game for over 50 years (but has never gotten any better!) He has played and reviewed courses all over the world, and has interviewed many of the great players of the game (including Jack Nicklaus, Tom Watson and Greg Norman). Richard is a member of both the Australian Golf Media Association and the Golf Society of Australia, and has been a featured guest on many Australian "sports talk" radio shows and networks, including ABC Grandstand, SEN 1116, Melbourne Talk Radio 1377, 2GB and others. Follow Richard Fellner on Quora


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