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Reaching world No.1 is regarded by many as the pinnacle of golf – but only a select few ever reach the top of the rankings.

Doing so requires not just incredible ability but a consistent level of performance at the highest of standards.

Surprisingly there was no definitive system for deciding the best golfer in the world before 1986, when the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) was introduced.

In the 36 years since no fewer than 25 golfers have become world No.1. The very first was Germany’s Bernhard Langer.

Tiger Woods holds the record for most weeks at the top of the rankings on 683. That’s more than twice as long as anyone else, with Greg Norman the next longest-serving on 331 weeks.

Dustin Johnson has spent a total of 135 weeks in pole position, while current No.1 Rory McIlroy has been there for 107 weeks across nine different spells.

Legends of the game including Sir Nick Faldo, Seve Ballesteros, Ian Woosnam and Vijay Singh have all been world No.1, as have the likes of Jason Day, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth.

Scottie Scheffler is the most recent first-time No.1, reaching top spot just before the 2022 Masters and remaining there until McIlroy overtook him in October.

England’s Luke Donald, Lee Westwood and Justin Rose are also among the select group.

Adam Scott, Ernie Els and Martin Kaymer have all been the world’s best, as has Tom Lehman – albeit only for one week.

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