Tiger Woods finished 2019 at No. 6 in the official world golf rankings, his highest year-end ranking since completing 2013 at No. 1.
Woods was a two-time winner in ‘19 — the Masters in April for his 15th career major title and the ZOZO Championship in October to tie Sam Snead’s PGA Tour career record of 82 career victories. He rose as high as fifth in the world after finishing tied for ninth at the Memorial in June.
After finishing at No. 1 in 2013, Woods dropped to No. 32 at the end of the following year, playing in only nine tournaments. As he went through several injury-plagued years, Woods plummeted to No. 656 at the end of 2017.
He quickly shot back up the rankings in 2018, playing 19 times and winning once to go with six other top-10 results. Woods dialled back his schedule in 2019, playing in only 14 official events while also serving as the winning captain for the United States’ Presidents Cup team.
Brooks Koepka finished 2019 ranked No. 1 in world, despite having not played since withdrawing from The CJ Cup in October due to a knee injury that has kept him from competing since.
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy is No. 2, followed by Spain’s Jon Rahm and Americans Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson ahead of Woods. Patrick Cantlay is No. 7, finishing a year inside the top 10 for the first time in his career, followed by former No. 1 Justin Rose of England, Xander Schauffele of the United States and Tommy Fleetwood of England.
A few Top 100 players made enormous strides in 2019, led by Denmark’s Bernd Wiesberger, who skyrocketed 163 spots to No. 22 on the strength of three wins in 26 worldwide events. Other big movers included Thailand’s Jazz Janewattananond (No. 40 from No. 123), South Africa’s Erik van Rooyen (49 from 141) and Jim Furyk (57 from 223).
Brendon Todd, who won twice during the PGA Tour’s fall swing, moved from No. 2,006 to No. 63 — a startling jump considering he was ranked 522nd as recently as October. Collin Morikawa, a first-time winner, rose from No. 2 006 to No. 65, while fellow rookie Viktor Hovland of Norway leapt to No. 93 from No. 1 157. Korn Ferry Tour graduate Scottie Scheffler improved 1 523 spots to No. 66.
While several of the world’s rising stars made meteoric leaps up the rankings, it was a different story for a few household names.
Phil Mickelson finished the year at No. 70, his lowest year-end ranking since 1992. He won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am early in the year, but managed only two top-10s while missing nine cuts in 23 events played.
Jordan Spieth also continued his slide, ending the year at No. 44. Spieth, who finished No. 1 at the end of 2015, doesn’t have a win or a runner-up finish since 2017.
Australia’s Jason Day, another former No. 1, closed out the year at No. 37, while also battling an ongoing back problem. It’s the first time Day has finished a year outside of the top 15 since 2012.