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The end of the 2023 season on the PGA and DP World Tour gives players the chance to reflect on another whirlwind year in golf.

Changes have come in abundance this calendar year on the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), as LIV Golf pros tumbled down the ladder.

Only Brooks Koepka and Cameron Smith have held on to their spot in the world’s top 50, leaving space for a host of elite players to scale the standings.

From breakout stars to rampant resurgences, here are nine players who have drastically shot up the world rankings in 2023.

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Ludvig Aberg

End of 2022: 3,064

Current: 32

Nobody in men’s professional golf could have been named sooner on this list than Ludvig Aberg. The Swedish prodigy has had a year to remember, climbing over 3,000 places on the OWGR. Aberg only turned pro in June and has already won the Ryder Cup and picked up wins on the PGA and DP World Tour. Remember, the 23-year-old is yet to play a major championship.

Rickie Fowler

End of 2022: 103

Current: 23

Rickie Fowler’s popularity was on display when the American won the Rocket Mortgage Classic in July. It was the former World No. 4s first win since 2019 and was deservedly an emotional one. His form in the run-up to that event brought him back inside the top 50 for the first time since November 2020, and the hunt for that elusive major will go on to 2024 in better spirit.

Jason Day

End of 2022: 112

Current: 21

Another return to the summit on the PGA Tour came in the form of Jason Day, as the Australian scooped his first title in five years. A nine-under 62 on Sunday at the AT&T Byron Nelson was reminiscent of the old Day and moved him back into the top 20 in the world.

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Wyndham Clark

End of 2022: 163

Current: 10

One of the surprise packages in 2023, Wyndham Clark cemented his potential on the PGA Tour by earning the only two professional wins of his career within five weeks. Success at the Wells Fargo Championship was the breakthrough before an unlikely U.S. Open triumph. Only one missed cut this year lifted the American over 150 spots on the rankings.

Nicolai Hojgaard

End of 2022: 134

Current: 50

What a year for Scandinavian golf, and Nicolai has put the Hojgaard name at golf’s top table. The 22-year-old Dane won the biggest title of his career at the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai, just a month after repaying Luke Donald’s Ryder Cup faith. It had been coming, too, as Hojgaard notched seven other top-ten finishes.

Eric Cole

End of 2022: 384

Current: 41

At 35 years old, Eric Cole has 12 professional wins, but those were all in the Minor League. A prolific winner, Cole earned his PGA Tour card for 2023 and has taken advantage. A play-off defeat to Chris Kirk at the Honda Classic was the closest the American has come to a maiden win, but with four top-five finishes in his last five starts, Cole is in a great spot to earn major exemptions for 2024.

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Alex Fitzpatrick

End of 2022: 785

Current: 134

Alex Fitzpatrick has burst onto the scene in 2023 to become one of the biggest OWGR climbers of the year. Starting as low as 785 in the world, the Englishman is up over 600 places thanks to a notable scalp at the British Challenge on the Challenge Tour in August. A second-place finish on the DP World Tour that month was a sign of his promise after placing T17 at The Open.

Nick Taylor

End of 2022: 257

Current: 51

Candian Nick Taylor will have fond memories of 2023, as the 35-year-old won home honours by lifting the Canadian Open title in June. The play-off win over Tommy Fleetwood was his third title on tour. A handful of other top-20s has Taylor on the brink of breaking the top 50 in the world from an unimaginable position.

Vincent Normann

End of 2022: 324

Current: 75

Capping a stunning year for Swedish golf is the rise of Vincent Normann. Wins at the Barbasol Championship and Horizon Irish Open have turned heads as the 25-year-old continues to shine. Up 249 places from the end of 2022, Normann has established himself as a threat on both sides of the Atlantic and is set for a big year in 2024.


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John Turnbull A graduate of the University of Stirling, John joined the bunkered team in 2023 as a Content Producer, with a responsibility for covering all breaking news, tour news, grassroots content and much more besides. A keen golfer, he plays the majority of his golf at Falkirk Golf Club. Top of his 'bucket list' is a round of Pebble Beach... ideally in the company of Gareth Bale.

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