Biggest movers of 2017 in the Official World Golf Rankings

By Dan McDonald
Published on
Biggest movers of 2017 in the Official World Golf Rankings

It has been an exciting year in golf in 2017 and we've seen the rise and fall of many players over the past 12 months.

One way to look at which players took a step forward and which ones took a step back is by looking at the Official World Golf Ranking. 

MORE: The Official World Golf Ranking | Relive the top moments of 2017

Here's a look at the top 25 in the world comparing the final rankings of 2016 and 2017:

Official World Golf Ranking
2016 2017
1. Jason Day 1. Dustin Johnson
2. Rory McIlroy 2. Jordan Spieth
3. Dustin Johnson 3. Justin Thomas
4. Henrik Stenson 4. Jon Rahm
5. Jordan Spieth 5. Hideki Matsuyama
6. Hideki Matsuyama 6. Justin Rose
7. Adam Scott 7. Rickie Fowler
8. Patrick Reed 8. Brooks Koepka
9. Alex Noren 9. Henrik Stenson
10. Bubba Watson 10. Sergio Garcia
11. Danny Willett 11. Rory McIlroy
12. Rickie Fowler 12. Marc Leishman
13. Sergio Garcia 13. Jason Day
14. Paul Casey 14. Paul Casey
15. Justin Rose 15. Matt Kuchar
16. Brooks Koepka 16. Tyrrell Hatton
17. Branden Grace 17. Tommy Fleetwood
18. Russell Knox 18. Alex Noren
19. Phil Mickelson 19. Pat Perez
20. Matt Kuchar 20. Rafael Cabrera Bello
21. Jimmy Walker 21. Francesco Molinari
22. Justin Thomas 22. Charley Hoffman
23. Charl Schwartzel 23. Louis Oosthuizen
24. Tyrrell Hatton 24. Patrick Reed
25. Emiliano Grillo 25. Xander Schauffele

At the top of the ranking, the strong 2017 performances of Dustin Johnson, Jordan Spieth and Justin Thomas led to the first U.S. trio to top the rankings since Tiger Woods, David Duval and Mark O'Meara in August 1998. 

Meanwhile, the previous world No. 1s Jason Day and Rory McIlroy slid outside the Top 10 in 2017 with McIlroy finishing at No. 11 and Day at No. 13.

But who had the biggest gains in the rankings in 2017? You might think it was Jon Rahm, who rocketed up the rankings after his first career win at Torrey Pines. He finished 2016 ranked No. 137 and climbed a very impressive 133 spots to No. 4. 

Or what about PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Xander Schauffele? His wins at The Greenbriar and the Tour Championship sure helped his ranking as he climbed 274 spots from No. 299 to making his debut in the top 25. 

While both very impressive, the title of biggest mover in the Official World Golf Ranking belongs to former amateur World No. 1 Patrick Cantlay. He finished 2016 ranked 1,866. Following an impressive run of top 10 performances that allowed him to qualify for the Tour Championship and then his first career PGA Tour win at the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in November, he moved up an astonishing 1,822 spots to No. 38 in the world. 

We took a look at the current top 100 players and here are the top 10 golfers who moved up the most in the rankings in 2017 (spots moved in parenthesis). 

1. Patrick Cantlay (1,828)
2. Julian Suri (1,074)
3. Chan Kim (485)
4. Seungsu Han (435)
5. Chesson Hadley (369)
6. Wade Ormsby (361)
7. Xander Schauffele (274)
8. Peter Uihlein (227)
9. Kyle Stanley (210)
10. Paul Dunne (200)
However, not everyone had a great 2017 and some will look to gain back some ground they lost in 2018. Here are the players currently in the top 100 that lost the most amount of ground in the world ranking this year (number of spots dropped in parenthesis):
10. Brandt Snedeker (-31)
9. William McGirt (-37)
8. Kevin Na (-46)
7. Jimmy Walker (-47)
6. Emiliano Grillo (-48)
5. Chris Wood (-49)
4. Byeong Hun An (-51)
3. J.B. Holmes (-55)
2. Russell Knox (-59)
1. Bubba Watson (-79)