Nick Taylor, Canada
2009 – World number one for 20 weeks
Taylor holds the distinction of being the first Canadian to hold the title as the world’s number one amateur. He remains the only male player to do so. Brooke Henderson followed him when she became the first, and so far only, Canadian woman to reach world number one in 2014.
Taylor first announced himself to the wider world of golf when he won the 2006 Canadian Junior Championship by a record 11 shots. The following year he achieved a Canadian double with victory in the Canadian Amateur.
The 2009 season saw Taylor finish runner-up in the U.S. Amateur Public Links Championship, and win the Sahalee Players Championship. He also qualified for the U.S. Open at Bethpage Black, where his second round 65 set a record as lowest round by an amateur. He eventually finished joint 36th to take low amateur honours. Taylor finished the season by winning the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the world’s top amateur. He remains the only Canadian to win the prestige award.
The Winnipeg native was a standout in college golf, winning four times at the University of Washington. He was a first team All-American and finished runner up in the 2008 NCAA Championship. He closed out 2010 by being awarded the Ben Hogan award as college golf’s best player.
Taylor turned professional in 2010 and spent the first part of his professional career playing the PGA Tour of Canada. He joined the PGA Tour in 2015 and found immediate success when he won the Sanderson Farms Championship that season. He earned his second PGA Tour title earlier this year with victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.
Taylor is currently ranked 103 on the Official World Golf Ranking, two spots outside his career high.
Jennifer Kupcho, United States
2018/19 – World number one for 34 weeks
Kupcho took over the world number one spot in 2018 thanks to an outstanding season that saw her win the NCAA Championship, becoming the first Wake Forest woman to lift college golf’s most prized title. The victory made up for the disappointment of finishing runner-up the previous year.
The NCAA victory was just a continuation of a run of wins during the 2017/18 college golf season that included the NCAA Tallahassee Regional, the Bryan National Collegiate and the Ocean Course Invitational.
Kupcho was selected to play in the 2018 Curtis Cup match, where she helped the USA win the trophy by posting three and half points from her five appearances. She also helped her country win the Palmer Cup and Espirito Santo Trophy.
It was no surprise when she ended 2018 by being awarded the Mark H. McCormack Medal as the world’s top amateur. She justified that award in April last year when she became the inaugural winner of the Augusta National Women’s Amateur.
The Colorado native made an immediate impression upon turning professional last year when she finished runner-up in the Evian Championship. She recorded two further top five finishes to place 39th on the 2019 LPGA money list with $525,432 in earnings.
Kupcho earned her first professional win this month when she won the Colorado Women’s Open by three shots from Spain’s Carlotta Ciganda. The 23 year old is currently 50th on the Rolex Women’s Golf Rankings, but has been as high as 47th.