The season might be young, but the PGA leaderboard is already heating up to this point in 2016. A true gentleman’s sport, golf has surged globally in popularity in recent decades to become one of the most sought after spectator events in history. With a major PGA Tour event taking place almost weekly, fans are lining up to see their favorite golfer. It is often difficult, however, to stay abreast of who is at the top of the leaderboard. And please keep in mind as you read this “current list” that changes can take place rather frequently! But let’s take a quick look at the top golf players in the world. Currently, Jordan Spieth from the United States is at the top of the world tour rankings. Rounding out the top 10 is as follows: • Number 2 – Rory Mcllroy • Number 3 – Jason Day • Number 4 – Rickie Fowler • Number 5 – Bubba Watson • Number 6 – Henrik Stenson • Number 7 – Justin Rose • Number 8 – Dustin Johnson • Number 9 – Patrick Reed • Number 10 – Jim Furyk Some of these names may be familiar to our readers, while others might be relative newcomers to the golf leaderboard. To facilitate fan enjoyment of the 2016 season as it progresses, we have assembled a brief biography of the top 5 golfers in the standing to this point.
Jordan Spieth is a rising star on the PGA Tour, as evidenced by his current number one ranking. He has two majors to his name and is also currently the defending champion of the FedEx Cup. All of this has been accomplished at the relatively young golfing age of 22. Just last year he shattered the scoreboard with an 18 under at the Master’s, with the victory netting him $1.8 million. This tied the 72 hold record at the event set by Tiger Woods back in 1997, an he became the second youngest golfer in history to win the Master’s. Again, that record is still held by Tiger Woods. He went on to win the 2015 U.S. Open as well, with a most respectable final score of 5 under par. This made him the youngest U.S. Open champion since Bobby Jones won way back in 1923. He was not finished last year, as he also won the 2015 Tour Championship. Spieth hails from Dallas, Texas where he attended St. Monica Catholic School, later graduating from Jesuit College Preparatory School back in 2011. As a junior amateur, he won multiple titles in 2009 and 2011, which puts him in the record book alongside Tiger Woods once again as the only multiple winner in the United States. Spieth was offered and accepted the first PGA tour exemption since 1995 in entering the PGA HP Byron Nelson Championship back in 2010. He went on to make the cut in that tournament, and finished it tied for 16th place. In total, he has already won 7 titles on the PGA Tour and 1 in the PGA Tour of Australasia. In addition to his Masters and U.S. Open titles, he has finished tied for fourth place at The Open Champions and second at the PGA Championship.
Rory Mcllroy is a well known golfer from the nation of Northern Ireland. He is only 26 years of age and has quite a few accomplishments to his name already. He is currently a member of both the PGA and European Tours. He once held the title of world number one for 95 weeks, having already been a four-time major Champion. For the 2011 U.S. Open, he won the title with a record low tournament score of 16 under par. He also won the 2012 PGA Championship by a record eight strokes, in addition to also winning the 2014 Open Championship and the 2014 PGA Championship. This has earned him the distinction of becoming the first European professional golfer to win three different majors. In addition, along with Jack Nicklaus and Tiger Woods, he is one of the three that achieved three majors’ titles by the time he reached 25 years of age.
As the only Australian at the top of the PGA leaderboard, Jason Day is currently ranked #2 in the world. He first arrived in the top 10 back in 2011 after his second place finish at the US. Open. In 2014, he claimed his first WGC title at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship before continuing on to win his first major in 2015 at the PGA Championship. It was at that major that he shot a record 20 strokes under par, catapulting him to number three in the world rankings. He even had a brief stint at Number One before settling into his current position at Number Two. As an amateur playing Down Under, Day was twice granted the honor of being named the Australian Junior Order of Merit. He is also remembered for finished seventh at the Queensland Open, being the top ranking amateur at that event. Back in 2004 he was the Australians Boys’ Amateur of the year, and the awards would only continue to pile on from there. Day became a profession in mid-2006, at which time he was immediately ushered into playing PGA Tour events on the basis of exemptions granted by his sponsors. In his first six tournaments, he was able to make the cut in five of them. He won his first Nationwide Tour event back in 2007 at the Legend Financial Group Classic, which earned him the honor of becoming the youngest man to win on any of the three major PGA tours. He consistently elevated through the ranking to get where he is today, near the top of the leaderboard.
Rickie Fowler is 27 years of age and hails from the state of California. Having turned pro in 2006, he already has 6 professional wins to his name currently sits in the fourth place in the PGA rankings. During a two year period spanning from 2007-2008, he was ranked number one in the world for 37 consecutive weeks in the amateur golf standings. His current ranking of fourth in the world comes after recently winning the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship.
Rounding out the top 5 is popular American golfer Bubba Watson. Having played collegiate golf at the University of Georgia, Fowler turned pro back in 2003. He has 8 PGA Tour titles to his name and has won two majors to this point in his career, both of them being the Masters Tournament and 2012 and again in 2014. He is one of the few left handed golfers to have ever been successful on the PGA tour. Watson is known for have one of the longest drivers on the PGA Tour, averaging a shocking 315.2 yards in 2012. He has been known to hit the ball over 350 yards at a sped of up to 194 mph.