Richie Ramsay, Scotland
2007 – World number 1 for 6 weeks
Richie Ramsay’s place in the history of the World Amateur Golf Ranking® cannot be surpassed. The Scot was the first player to hold the honour of world number one when the World Amateur Golf Ranking® launched in 2007.
Ramsay was well worth his number one status, a position he held for six weeks before turning professional. He has an outstanding record in the unpaid game.
Victory in the 2004 Scottish Amateur Open Stroke Play Championship proved Ramsay had the calibre to be one of Scotland’s best players. He added the 2005 Irish Open Stroke Play Championship to his resume, and represented Great Britain & Ireland in the Walker Cup at Chicago Golf Club that year. His greatest individual feat in amateur golf came in 2006 when he won the U.S. Amateur Championship at Hazeltine. He defeated American John Kelly 4&2 to become the first British winner since 1911, and first Scottish champion since 1898.
Ramsay, who graduated from Stirling University with an honours BA in Marketing and Sports Studies, topped the Scottish Amateur Order of Merit in 2006. It was no surprise when he naturally stepped into the number one spot on the WAGR® table when the rankings officially launched in 2007 after a year of rigorous testing.
Ramsay made a seamless step to the professional ranks. He gained his European Tour card on his first attempt at the Qualifying School at the end of 2007, and has maintained a consistent presence on the circuit ever since.
Victory in the 2010 South African Open Championship was Ramsay’s maiden European Tour win. In 2012, he won the Omega European Masters in Switzerland. His last victory came in the 2015 Trophée Hassan II in Morocco.
The 2012 season counts as Ramsay’s best season in the professional game. He finished 26th on the European money list with just over €1 million in earnings. He has made just short of €8 million since turning professional.
Mitsuki Katahira, Japan
2011 – World number 1 for 11 weeks
Like Fisher, Katahira’s place in World Amateur Golf Ranking® history is cemented in stone. The Japanese player was the first female to hold the distinction of world number one when the women’s rankings were launched in 2011.
Born in Kanagawa, Japan, Katahira joined Daytona State University in Florida after a spell at the Hank Haney International Junior Golf Academy. In her first college season, Katahira won the individual title at the NJCAA National Championship with the lowest score in championship history. She was peerless in her final college season of 2010/2011, winning six times in nine events, and finishing runner-up in the other three. She posted a stroke average of 70.92. She then closed out her college career by helping Daytona State win the NJCAA Women’s National Championship, taking the individual title by three shots.
Unfortunately, Katahira couldn’t carry her amateur form into the professional game. She failed to get her LPGA Tour card, and resorted to the Symetra Tour to try to graduate to the LPGA. She spent three seasons on the Symetra circuit, finishing 78th on the 2012 money list, 30th in 2013 and 90th in 2014. She eventually gave up her LPGA dream and embarked on a career as a TV reporter back in her homeland.