Scott Arnold, Australia
2009 – World number one for five weeks
The Sydney native started moving up the World Amateur Golf Ranking® in 2006 when he won the Hong Kong Amateur Championship. He added the prestigious Riversdale Cup in 2008 before his crowning moment in amateur golf. Early in 2009, Arnold won the Australian Amateur Championship by defeating countryman Daniel Beckmann 3&1 at Royal Queensland. Victory in the Lake Macquarie Amateur Championship followed before Arnold turned professional.
Arnold has found success hard to come by in professional golf, despite his amateur pedigree.
Two trips to the European Tour Qualifying School resulted in failure before Arnold found success on his third attempt. He took the 26th card at the 2012 Q School to earn his European Tour stripes. He earned his first professional victory early that year, winning the Victoria Open Championship. Unfortunately, Arnold couldn’t emulate that success among Europe’s elite, and he headed to the European Challenge Tour to try to find a route back to the main tour.
Victory in the 2015 Cordon Golf Open on the Challenge Tour marks Arnold’s best showing in Europe. He never did graduate to the main tour via the junior circuit, and suffered three more failures at the Q School.
The Australian has stuck to his home circuit, the PGA Tour of Australia, over the past few seasons. He came close to another win in his homeland earlier this year when he lost a playoff to Michael Sim for the Coca Cola Queensland PGA Championship.
Arnold is currently 837th on the Official World Golf Ranking. He reached a career high of 325th in 2015 after his Cordon Golf Open victory.
Leona Maguire, Ireland
2015-2018 – World number one for 135 weeks
No player, male or female, has spent as many weeks as the world’s best amateur player as the player from Cavan, Ireland. Only Lydia Ko comes close. She spent 131 weeks as the world’s number one unpaid player, four short of Maquire’s tally. The pair share the honours for most Mark H. McCormack Medals, winning the prestigious award three times. Maguire took the medal handed out to the best amateur player of the year in 2015, 2016 and 2017.
Victory in the 2015 NCAA South Bend Regional Championship saw the Duke University student become the world’s number one player for the first time. It was hard for peers to unseat her for the next three years.
Maguire won 10 times in her four years at Duke. She was twice voted National Player of the Year and was a four-time All-American. She compiled a career stroke average of 70.97 and recorded 87 rounds at even par or better.
Outside of college golf, Maguire played in three Curtis Cups. She made her debut along with twin sister Lisa in a Great Britain & Ireland loss in 2010. However, she played key roles in helping GB&I win the 2012 and 2016 matches. She played in two Junior Solheim Cups, 2009 and 2011, and played in the 2008 Junior Ryder Cup.
The highlight of her many amateur wins outside her Duke career came in 2017 when she won the Women’s Amateur Championship at Pyle and Kenfig, Wales.
Maguire graduated from Duke in 2018 and used the Symetra Tour to gain her card for this year’s LPGA Tour. Two wins on that circuit – the Windsor Golf Classic and Symetra Classic - helped her finish seventh on the 2019 money list to earn her a card for this year’s LPGA circuit. Maguire got her rookie season off to a good start with a fourth-place finish in the ISPS Handa Vic Open before the coronavirus shut down the LPGA season.