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Who is the No 1 player in the world

Despite what the current official World Golf Ranking claims, who is the real No. 1 player in the world right now? Senior writers Rex Hoggard and Randall Mell offer their takes. 


The math is mistaken. Has been for the better part of a year, ever since Tiger Woods caromed off a tree and littered the World Golf Ranking landscape with wayward slide rules and pocket protectors.

Woods has been the No. 1 in name only – a mathematical figurehead waiting to be dethroned, first by Phil Mickelson and now Lee Westwood.

Lefty came up short in more than a half dozen attempts to overtake Woods atop the ranking for the first time since 2005 and now it seems all Westwood must do is ice his ailing right ankle and let the arithmetic do the rest.

As untidy as this transition appears, it is, at the least, the wrong execution of the right idea.

Without question Woods is no longer the alpha male, although his successor will likely only be renting the space, and Mickelson had his chances. Westwood, however, has done his competitive due diligence.

Martin Kaymer is the hottest player right now, a winner in three of his last three starts, but the ranking is a big picture, two-year cycle, not a what-have-you-done-for-me-lately snapshot.

Worldwide in the last two years Westwood has 25 top 10s and three wins. He may not be the most able-bodied right now, but over the last two years he has been the best.


Tiger Woods may be the greatest player who ever lived.

Right now, though, he isn’t the No. 1 player in the world.

Martin Kaymer is the man.

The Official World Golf Rankings don’t say so, but the questionable two-year rolling period in the ranking’s formula is still catching up to Kaymer. Yes, Kaymer is the hottest player on the planet having won his last three starts, but he’s more than hot. At 25, he’s showing signs of becoming dominant. He’s won six times in the last 15 months, five times on the European Tour and once on the PGA Tour. That includes the last major played, the PGA Championship. Plus, you can throw in three top-10s in the last five majors.

Nobody has won more on the PGA Tour and European Tour in the last 15 months. In fact, his six titles are twice as much as the player the world ranking numbers designate to succeed Woods as the new No. 1 on Oct. 31. That would be Lee Westwood, whose consistency as a contender gets him to No. 1, not his consistent ability to close.

Westwood will get to No. 1 by default, thanks to Woods’ shrinking numbers. Kaymer’s charging, the way No. 1 players do.