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7 interesting stats that help flesh out the final World Ranking of 2020

December 28, 2020
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Keyur Khamar

The 2020 men’s professional golf season finally, thankfully, (mercifully) comes to an end this week. With it, those who oversee the Official World Golf Ranking released their year-end list for the most surreal year in golf in memory.

Below are the top 50 golfers as 2020 wraps up. Augusta National uses this list to help fill out its Masters field, so anyone here who didn’t already have an invite into the 2021 tournament secured will likely be seeing something in the mail shortly.

Before looking at the names, here are a few fun facts/oddities about the final list:

1. Dustin Johnson ends the season at World No. 1. While having held the top spot 110 weeks in his career (third most of any golfer behind Tiger Woods and Greg Norman), this is just the second time that Johnson has been the top-ranked golfer in the world at the end of a calendar year, the other coming in 2017. He is the sixth player to ever end the year as No. 1 more than once. The others? Woods (12 times), Norman (7), Nick Faldo (2), Rory McIlroy (2) and Brooks Koepka (2).

2. The tournament with the strongest strength of field in 2020 was the PGA Championship at TPC Harding Park, won by Collin Morikawa, which earned 899 “strength of field” points. The U.S. Open was second (873), followed by Memorial (803), The Northern Trust (787), the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Classic (787) and the Masters (761).

3. Fourteen golfers ranked outside the top 50 at the end of 2019 found their way into the list in 2020. The highest of anyone who jumped in was Collin Morikawa, who finished seventh after being 65th 12 months earlier. The biggest mover: Harris English jumped 155 spots from No. 183 to 28, followed by Daniel Berger, who went from 141 spots up (154th to 13th).

4. Of course, that means 14 golfers ranking inside the top 50 at the end of 2019 found their way out of the list in 2020. The biggest drop: Shugo Imahira, who went from 31st to 76th, a 45-point fall, followed by Henrik Stenson (26th to 65th), who was 39 spots behind where he was at the end of last year.

5. Tiger Woods finished 2020 ranked No. 41, down from being No. 6 at the end of 2019. Of course, Tiger’s career record creates an incredibly high bar to compare to, but this is just the sixth time in his pro career he’s ended the year outside the top 25 at the end of a calendar year. Mind you it’s also the 22nd time in 25 years he’s been ranked inside the top 50.

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Harry How

Ryan Palmer, at 44, ended 2020 ranked higher than he's ever been at the end of the calendar year in his pro career.

6. Twenty-four players are ending 2020 setting or matching their best year-end ranking in their career (names in bold below). The oldest among them: 44-year-old Ryan Palmer who ended the year ranked 30th. His best previous ranking at the end of a calendar year was 58th in 2015.

7. Speaking of age, we’ll let Twitter’s foremost expert on the Official World Golf Ranking toss in one other interesting nugget based on how young the OWGR looks in 2020:

OK … here’s the top 50:

2020 RANK (2019 RANK): PLAYER, COUNTRY, POINTS

1 (5): Dustin Johnson, U.S., 12.6701

2 (3): Jon Rahm, Spain, 9.9819

3 (4): Justin Thomas, U.S., 9.1738

4 (2): Rory McIlroy, No. Ireland, 7.1437

5 (14): Bryson DeChambeau, U.S., 7.1014

6 (11): Webb Simpson, U.S., 7.0184

7 (65): Collin Morikawa, U.S., 7.0079

8 (9): Xander Schauffele, U.S., 6.8987

9 (7): Patrick Cantlay, U.S., 6.221

10 (32): Tyrrell Hatton, England, 6.1431

11 (12): Patrick Reed, U.S., 5.8648

12 (1): Brooks Koepka, U.S., 5.3323

13 (154): Daniel Berger, U.S., 4.818

14 (93): Viktor Hovland, Norway, 4.6594

15 (117): Matthew Wolff, U.S., 4.6101

16 (25): Matthew Fitzpatrick, England, 4.5793

17 (10): Tommy Fleetwood, England, 4.1992

18 (34): Sungjae Im, South Korea, 4.1904

19 (16): Tony Finau, U.S., 4.1049

20 (21): Hideki Matsuyama, Japan, 4.0972

21 (13): Adam Scott, Australia, 4.0628

22 (20): Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa, 3.941

23 (38): Abraham Ancer, Mexico, 3.6768

24 (15): Paul Casey, England, 3.5696

25 (35): Kevin Kisner, U.S., 3.4344

26 (62): Jason Kokrak, U.S., 3.4295

27 (53): Cameron Smith, Australia, 3.3294

28 (183): Harris English, U.S., 3.2491

29 (28): Marc Leishman, Australia, 3.222

30 (91): Ryan Palmer, U.S., 3.1315

31 (66): Scottie Scheffler, U.S., 3.1071

32 (45): Victor Perez, France, 3.0379

33 (19): Shane Lowry, Ireland, 3.0326

34 (87): Christiaan Bezuidenhout, South Africa, 3.0131

35 (8): Justin Rose, England, 2.9891

36 (59): Lee Westwood, England, 2.8892

37 (24): Matt Kuchar, U.S., 2.8721

38 (27): Kevin Na, U.S., 2.8471

39 (17): Gary Woodland, U.S., 2.8067

40 (22): Bernd Wiesberger, Austria, 2.7415

41 (6): Tiger Woods, U.S., 2.7241

42 (33): Billy Horschel, U.S., 2.6998

43 (37): Jason Day, Australia, 2.5798

44 (47): Bubba Watson, U.S., 2.5089

45 (58): Joaquin Niemann, Chile, 2.4945

46 (39): Sergio Garcia, Spain, 2.4703

47 (63): Brendon Todd, U.S., 2.4265

48 (43): Ian Poulter, England, 2.2924

49 (264): Mackenzie Hughes, Canada, 2.2684

50 (30): Matt Wallace, England, 2.2479