Golfers Who Played Second Fiddle
March 26, 2014
Year(s) at No. 2: 1988Brush with No. 1: The 1988 Masters winner climbed as high as No. 2, but he never won another PGA Tour event. By the end of 1989, he was out of the top 10 for good.
Year(s) at No. 2: 1998Brush with No. 1: O'Meara won the Masters and British Open in 1998, but it was his victory at the 1998 Cisco World Match Play Championship in October that moved him to No. 2. However, he couldn't quite catch friend Tiger Woods. Instead, David Duval did, becoming No. 1 with a win at the Players in 1999 -- part of a torrid stretch of golf in which Duval won 11 times in 34 starts.
Year(s) at No. 2: 2001, 2002, 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2013Brush with No. 1: The man who has spent more weeks than anyone ranked No. 2 has had many chances to reach the top spot, but his best opportunity came in 2010. Mickelson needed just a T-4 or better at the 2010 WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to take over top spot from a struggling Tiger Woods and he entered the weekend one stroke behind, but he shot 71-78 to finish T-46. He only managed one more top 10 in his final five starts of the season and was passed by Lee Westwood, who assumed the No. 1 ranking in October.
Year(s) at No. 2: 2006, 2007Brush with No. 1: Furyk moved to No. 2 by winning the 2006 Canadian Open in September. He remained second until the 2007 Players, but never seriously threatened overtaking Tiger Woods, who built a huge lead after winning the British Open and PGA Championship in 2006.
Year(s) at No. 2: 2008, 2009Brush with No. 1: After winning the 2008 Players, Garcia won the 2008 HSBC Champions to move to No. 2. He entered 2009 poised to overtake Tiger Woods, who was still out recovering from left knee surgery. But Garcia got off to a slow start and Woods reestablished his grip on the top spot with a win at Bay Hill in March.
Year(s) at No. 2: 2010Brush with No. 1: Stricker moved to No. 2 with his win at the 2010 Northern Trust Open. He remained in the spot until that year's Masters, but couldn't overtake Tiger Woods, even with the World No. 1 not playing in the wake of his sex scandal.
Year(s) at No. 2: 2013-presentBrush with No. 1: Scott looked like he'd be the No. 1 player in the world heading into the 2014 Masters when he took a commanding seven-shot lead through 36 holes at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. A final-round 76 kept him from the win and the top spot, though he'll have another great chance when he defends his title at Augusta National.