Rickie Fowler, United States
2007-2008 – World number one for 36 weeks
Fowler became World Amateur Golf Ranking® number one when 2007 Walker Cup teammate Colt Knost turned professional. Fowler won three of his four matches at Royal County Down to help the United States win. He went one point better two years later with four points out of four as the USA won the trophy at Merion Golf Club.
Born in Murrieta, California, Fowler was a dirt bike enthusiast as a teenager. He gave up that sport just before high school when an accident resulted in two broken bones in his foot. That’s when Fowler began to seriously concentrate on golf.
Fowler was an outstanding junior golfer, good enough to attract the attention of college golf powerhouse Oklahoma State. He made an immediate impact in his first year in college golf, winning the Ben Hogan Award as the top collegiate golfer and the Phil Mickelson Award as top freshman. He was also a two-time All-American at Oklahoma State. Away from the collegiate scene, Fowler won the prestigious Sunnehanna Amateur in 2007 and 2008.
Unsurprisingly, Fowler made a seamless transition to the professional game when he turned professional after the 2009 Walker Cup. He has five career PGA Tour victories since his rookie 2010 season, including the 2015 Players Championship, one of two wins that year along with the Deutsche Bank Championship. The Californian also has two European Tour wins, the 2015 Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open and the 2016 Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship. He reached a career high of fourth on the Official World Golf Ranking after his latter win.
Along with his two Walker Cup appearances, Fowler has played in four Ryder Cups and three Presidents Cups.
Minjee Lee, Australia
2014 – World number one for 28 weeks
Lee is one of two Australian women to hold the number one position on the World Amateur Golf Ranking® along with Su-Hyun Oh. Lee took over the number one spot in February 2014 when she won the Oates Victoria Open on the Australian Ladies Professional Golf Tour.
The Perth native made history in 2012 when she became the first, and so far only, Australian to win the U.S. Girls’ Junior Championship. In 2013, she won the Australian Women’s Amateur Championship. She successfully defended her title in 2014.
Lee turned professional in September 2014 after leading Australia to victory in the World Amateur Team Championship in Turkey. She qualified for the LPGA by finishing joint first at the LPGA Qualifying School with namesake Alison Lee, whom she succeeded as world number one.
It didn’t take Lee long to make her mark on the LPGA. She won in her rookie 2015 season, triumphing in the Kingsmill Championship. She had two wins in 2016, the LOTTE Championship and the Blue Bay LPGA. She added further victories in 2018, the LPGA Volvik Championship, and 2019, the HUGEL-AIR PREMIA LA Open.
The 2018 season saw Lee finish second on the LPGA money list, thanks to her Volvik win and three second-place finishes. She is currently eighth on the Rolex Ranking but has been as high as second, a position she reached last year after her LA Open victory.
Lee had much to celebrate at the beginning of this year when younger brother Min Woo won the ISPS Handa Vic Open, his first European Tour victory.