The biggest world rankings climbers of 2022

It’s been a tough old 2022 for the Official World Golf Rankings. The organisation went through an intense revamp which was always going to divide opinion, has been questioned by players and fans alike over its legitimacy, and has had to deal with the never-ending wrath of LIV Golf.

Outside of Scottie Scheffler and Rory McIlroy – for the ninth separate time – ascending to World No 1, the narrative surrounding the OWGR has mostly been about just how far the LIV golfers have fallen, with the Greg Norman-led series still yet to be accredited by the organisation.

But what about a more positive spin? Let’s look at those players who had incredible seasons and were able to catapult themselves massively in the rankings.

We’ve crunched the stats – thanks to the Official World Golf Rankings extensive records – and picked out the biggest risers from the PGA Tour and DP World Tour throughout 2022.

Here are the success stories…

Biggest Official World Golf Rankings climbers

Benjamin Griffin
Ended 2021: 1,744th
Current ranking: 119th
Climb: 1,625 places

Rebounded after walking away from the game in 2020. Three top-five finishes on the PGA Tour this year.

world golf rankings

Davis Thompson
Ended 2021: 1,038th
Current ranking: 178th
Climb: 860 places

Transformed his game after moving to a cross-handed putting grip. Won the Rex Hospital Open on the Korn Ferry Tour and recorded two top-10s on the PGA Tour.

MJ Daffue
Ended 2021: 897th
Current ranking: 171st
Climb 726 places

Rose to fame at the US Open where he led after 27 holes. Eventually finished T31.

Justin Suh
Ended 2021: 675th
Current ranking: 120th
Climb: 555 places

Won the 2022 Korn Ferry Championship to solidify his PGA Tour status.

Benjamin Taylor
Ended 2021: 659th
Current ranking: 150th
Climb: 509 places

Recorded five top-25 finishes on the PGA Tour including a third place finish at the Houston Open.

Sahith Theegala
Ended 2021: 381st
Current ranking: 43rd
Climb: 338 places

Nominated for PGA Tour Rookie of The Year. Finished second at both the RSM Classic and Travelers Championship.

world golf rankings

Haotong Li
End 2021: 460th
Current ranking: 145th
Climb: 315 places

Won the BMW International Open to win his first DP World Tour event in four years.

Taylor Montgomery
Ended 2021: 361st
Current ranking: 63rd
Climb: 298 places

Has three two top-10 finishes already in his rookie PGA Tour season.

Davis Riley
Ended 2021: 359th
Current ranking: 65th
Climb: 294 places

Qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs in his rookie season. Eventually finished 36th. Runner-up at Valspar Championship.

Thorbjorn Olesen
Ended 2021: 432nd
Current ranking: 149th
Climb: 283 places

Produced a spectacular finish to win the British Masters and clinch a victory since his court case turmoil.

world golf rankings

Pablo Larrazabal
Ended 2021: 362nd
Current ranking: 83rd
Climb: 279 places

Before competing in the inaugural LIV Golf event, Larrazabal won the ISPS Handa Championship in Spain. Eventually qualified for the DP World Tour Championship.

Alex Smalley
Ended 2021: 321
Current ranking: 91st
Climb: 230 places

Qualified for the FedExCup Playoffs in his rookie season. Eventually finished 71st.

Kurt Kitayama
Ended 2021: 250th
Current ranking: 42nd
Climb: 208 places

Competing on both circuits, Kitayama qualified for both the FedEx Cup Playoffs and DP World Tour Championship. Finished runner-up at the Scottish Open.

Ryan Fox
Ended 2021: 213th
Current ranking: 27th
Climb: 186 places

Had a meteoric rise in 2022, winning both the Ras Al Khaimah Classic and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. Capped off the year by finishing second in the Race to Dubai. You can hear Fox discuss his remarkable season on NCG’s The Slam podcast.

Sepp Straka
Ended 2021: 214th
Current ranking: 29th
Climb: 185 places

Earned his first career victory at the Honda Classic, becoming the first Austrian to win on the PGA Tour.

Cameron Young
Ended 2021: 134th
Current ranking: 18th
Climb: 116 places

Finished runner-up at the 150th Open. Was later selected for Team USA at the Presidents Cup and won PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.

world golf rankings

Tom Kim
Ended 2021: 131st
Current ranking: 15th
Climb: 114 places

Broke countless records on the PGA Tour after winning the Wyndham Championship and Shriners Children’s Open. Starred at the Presidents Cup.

Jordan Smith
Ended 2021: 246th
Current ranking: 84th
Climb: 162 places

Breakthrough win came at the Portugal Masters where he shot a whopping 30-under par.

Thirston Lawrence
Ended 2021: 230th
Current ranking: 90th
Climb: 140 places

Catapulted in the world rankings after winning the Omega European Masters.

JT Poston
Ended 2021: 174
Current ranking: 54th
Climb: 120 places

Won the John Deere Classic and placed T2 at the Travelers Championship. Finished 15th in the FedEx Cup Standings.

Adrian Meronk
Ended 2021: 163rd
Current ranking: 56th
Climb: 107 places

Made history as the first Pole to qualify for The Open. Won the Horizon Irish Open.


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The biggest world rankings climbers of 2022