Here are golf's biggest risers in the world rankings this year, including Julian Suri, Jon Rahm and Xander Schauffele
Biggest Risers In The World Rankings 2017
Ended 2016: 137
Current ranking: 4
The Spaniard burst on the scene in late 2016, turning pro after the US Open. He’s had a phenomenal year in 2017, winning three times at the Farmers Insurance Open, Irish Open and DP World Tour Championship. He placed inside the top-7 at all four of the FedEx Cup Playoffs events, was runner-up at the WGC-Match Play, 3rd at the WGC-Mexico Championship, fourth at the Wells Fargo Championship, T2nd at the Dean and Deluca Championship and finished in a respectable T27th in his first Masters. As well as moving up 133 spots in the Official World Golf Ranking, he finished 5th in the FedEx Cup and 3rd on the Race to Dubai, which saw him pick up the European Tour Rookie of the Year award. Now that’s some year.
Ended 2016: 22
Current ranking: 3
The world number three began the year at 22nd and could well reach the #1 spot in 2018 if keeps up his form. He began the year with a victory at the Tournament of Champions before winning the next week at the Sony Open after an opening round of 59. He then won three more times at the USPGA Championship, his first major, the Dell Technologies Championship and the CJ Cup @ Nine Bridges. He was 2nd in the Tour Championship to win the FedEx Cup and was also awarded the PGA Tour Player of the Year accolade.
Ended 2016: 118
Current ranking: 19
After a near career-ending shoulder injury in 2016, Perez has certainly made up for lost time in 2017, his 16th season on the PGA Tour. The American won the OHL Classic in late 2016 to move from 271st to 106th in the OWGR and he has been moving up ever since. He began 2017 with a T3 at the Tournament of Champions and a T5 at the Farmers Insurance Open and was T2nd at the Wells Fargo Championship in May. He wrapped up 2017 with his third PGA Tour title at the CIMB Classic in Malaysia.
Ended 2016: 299
Current ranking: 25
What a year it’s been for Xander Schauffele, who won not once but twice in his maiden season on the PGA Tour. The American captured the Greenbrier Classic in July and then shocked the world of golf with victory at the Tour Championship, pipping FedEx Cup winner Justin Thomas. Since then he’s had two further top-3s. He also won the PGA Tour Rookie of the Year award. Just 11 rookies have made it to the Tour Championship since the FedEx Cup Playoffs began in 2007 and none had won it until Schauffele. Oh, and he’s only 24-year-old, definitely a star of the future.
Ended 2016: 1,866
Current ranking: 42
Cantlay rose over 1,800 spots in the OWGR this year in what has been a simply incredible run. The American turned pro in June 2012 after 55 weeks as the #1 ranked amateur in the world, but just a year later had to sit out for seven months with injury. In 2016 he had a further 10 months off but has been back to full fitness this year. He’s still only played 14 times in 2017 and hasn’t missed a cut, won his first PGA Tour title, was runner-up at the Valspar Championship, T3rd at the RBC Heritage and finished 29th in the FedEx Cup despite playing less events than anyone inside the top 114. Cantlay, without doubt, has the game to be one of the world’s finest players. Let’s hope he can stay injury free.
Ended 2016: 279
Current ranking: 49
Uihlein loves to travel and has had nine top-10s around the world on the various tours he’s plied his trade on. Highlights include a 2nd at the Open de France, a Rolex Series tournament, and a win in the Web.com Tour Finals which saw him earn his PGA Tour card. After turning pro in 2011 as the #1 ranked amateur in the world, Uihlein, the son of Acushnet/Titleist CEO Wally, reached the world’s top-50 this year for the first time.
Ended 2016: 182
Current ranking: 52
Poults missed much of late 2016 with a foot injury that also saw him ruled out of the Ryder Cup. The Englishman fell to 182 by the end of 2016 and has worked his way back up very impressively this year. He was T2nd at the Players Championship and 3rd at the Canadian Open and has missed just two cuts all year. He had a great week at the Open as well, finishing in a tie for 14th spot.
Ended 2016: 152
Current ranking: 55
The South African won his first two European Tour titles in 2017, at the Austrian Open and Mauritius Open, and moved up almost 100 places in the world rankings. He also recorded four other top-fives and is now within touching distance of the world’s top 50.
Ended 2016: 1,137
Current ranking: 63
One of 2017’s standout players, Julian Suri moved up over 1,000 places in the OWGR. The American began the year on the Challenge Tour and won the Czech Challenge on that Tour in May. He then won Made in Denmark on the European Tour in August and recorded a further six top-10s in a stunning season.
Ended 2016: 275
Current ranking: 76
The Irishman produced one of the finest performances of the year at the British Masters where he closed with a 61 and a chip-in birdie at the last to pip Rory McIlroy. That was his maiden European Tour title. He’s jumped almost 200 places in the world rankings. He must now have eyes on the world’s top-50 and, who knows, a couple more wins in 2018 may put him on the Ryder Cup team.
Ended 2016: 448
Current ranking: 80
Hadley has jumped over 350 spots in the world rankings this year and won twice on the Web.com Tour. He graduated onto the main tour for the 2017-18 season and has already had three top-4 finishes.
Ended 2016: 515
Current ranking: 84
The relatively unknown American Seungsu Han has quietly jumped over 400 spots in the world rankings this year playing over in Asia. He has won just once at the Casio World Open on the Japan Golf Tour but has had nine other top-10 finishes.
Ended 2016: 461
Current ranking: 101
The Aussie won his first European Tour title in November in his 264th start at the Hong Kong Open. He has jumped up over 350 places in the world rankings this year thanks to that win and five other top-10s.
Erik Van Rooyen
Ended 2016: 636
Current ranking: 143
South African Erik Van Rooyen is one to keep an eye on, having jumped almost 500 places this year. He won the Africa PGA Championship in February on the Sunishine Tour then the Hainan Open in October on the Challenge Tour. He was recently 2nd at the Joburg Open on the European Tour and has had five other top-10s this year.
Ended 2016: 369
Current ranking: 158
Englishman Aaron Rai has had a fantastic 2017, highlighted by his first appearance at the US Open. He won three times on the Challenge Tour in 2017 to move up to the European Tour.
Ended 2016: 1,039
Current ranking: 170
Pulkkanen has jumped up over 950 spots in the world rankings this year after five top-10s and his maiden Challenge Tour victory at the Kazakhstan Open. He recently came T3rd at the Joburg Open where he led after 36 holes.
Ended 2016: 759
Current ranking: 198
The veteran Gay has had four top-6 finishes on the PGA Tour this season to catapult himself back up the world rankings. He dropped to as low as 1,748 in early 2016 after two thumb surgeries in late 2014 and mid-2015.
Ended 2016: 879
Current ranking: 208
Connelly, who is pals with Jordan Spieth, burst on the scene at this year’s Open Championship where he placed T14th. His best result of the season was a 2nd place at the KLM Open and he has another two top-10s as well.
Before Hero World Challenge: 1,189
Current ranking: 668
Woods jumped 500 spots in the space of a week after his T9th finish in the Hero World Challenge in December, despite its 18-man invitational field. Tiger has his fourth back surgery in April, having played his final event in January when he pulled out of the Dubai Desert Classic before his second round.
Don’t forget to follow Golf Monthly on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram