Dunlap climbs rankings, never anyone like him

His extraordinary performance in California caused Dunlap to jump from position 4,129 to 68 in the official world golf rankings

by Andrea Gussoni
Dunlap climbs rankings, never anyone like him
© Getty Images Sport - Orlando Ramirez / Stringe

Nick Dunlap wrote a page of history in the world of golf when in 1991 he won The American Express, a PGA Tour event, despite still being an amateur and without receiving any prize money for his victory. This exceptional feat made him the first amateur to win a PGA Tour event in many years.

Nick Dunlap, results

His extraordinary performance in California caused Dunlap to jump from position 4,129 to 68 in the official world golf rankings. This exploit is unprecedented, since since 1986, the year in which the world ranking was created, no player had managed to make such a leap in the ranking.

The golf world is currently fascinated by the talent of this young 20-year-old American. Even Jon Rahm, one of the highest paid golfers in the world, who recently made the move to the Arab Super League, LIV Golf, praised Dunlap's incredible performance and skills.

Rahm said: "What an extraordinary achievement, featuring stellar play. This talent has a great future ahead of him." Nick Dunlap's story is an example of extraordinary dedication and talent in the world of golf, and many see him as having a bright future in the world of golf.

The push for the creation of the Official World Golf Rankings came from the tournament committee of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, which in the 1980s realized that the system it adopted, i.e. sending invitations for participation in the British Open by analyzing each tour individually, was leading to the exclusion of more and more top-level players as they split their commitments across multiple different tours, and by the influential sports manager Mark McCormack, who became the first president of the international committee that oversees the creation of the rankings.

The system used to develop the rankings was developed based on that of McCormack's World Golf Rankings, which had previously been published in his World of Professional Golf Annual from 1968 to 1985, which was an unofficial ranking and was not used for other purposes such as selecting players to invite to tournaments.

The first ranking was published before the 1986 edition of The Masters. The top six players were: Bernhard Langer, Severiano Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle, Tom Watson, Mark O'Meara and Greg Norman. The top three were therefore European players, but among the top fifty, thirty-one were Americans.

Over the years the method of calculating the ranking has changed a lot. Initially the ranking was calculated over a three-year period, with the current year's score multiplied by four, the previous year's score by two and the score from two years earlier left unchanged.

The ranking was drawn up with the total score and the overall points rounded to the nearest whole value. All tournaments recognized by the professional tours and some of the invitational tournaments were classified into categories, ranging from "major tournaments" (where the winner received 50 points) to "other tournaments" (where the winner received a minimum of 8 points ).

In each tournament the other classified players also received points in proportion to their placement starting from the second place which received 60% of the points due to the winner.