We crunch the stats and pick out the players who made massive OWGR leaps this year

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: 114th
Climb: 1,630 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: 174th
Climb: 864 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: 148th
Climb 749 places

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

Justin Suh
Ended 2021: 675th
Current ranking: 115th
Climb: 560 places

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

Benjamin Taylor
Ended 2021: 659th
Current ranking: 138th
Climb: 521 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: 146th
Climb: 314 places

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

Taylor Montgomery
Ended 2021: 361st
Current ranking: 62rd
Climb: 299 places

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

Davis Riley
Ended 2021: 359th
Current ranking: 64th
Climb: 295 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: 144th
Climb: 288 places

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

world golf rankings

Pablo Larrazabal
Ended 2021: 362nd
Current ranking: 75th
Climb: 287 places

Won the ISPS Handa Championship on home soil. Would then tee up in the inaugural LIV Golf Invitational before returning to Keith Pelley’s circuit to qualify for the DP World Tour Championship.

Alex Smalley
Ended 2021: 321
Current ranking: 92nd
Climb: 229 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 the FedEx Cup Playoffs and DP World Tour Championship. Finished runner-up at the Scottish Open.

Sepp Straka
Ended 2021: 214th
Current ranking: 27th
Climb: 187 places

Earned his first career victory at the Honda Classic, becoming the first Austrian to win on the PGA Tour. Has been picked for the Hero Cup by Luke Donald.

Ryan Fox
Ended 2021: 213th
Current ranking: 28th
Climb: 185 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.


Jordan Smith
Ended 2021: 246th
Current ranking: 78th
Climb: 168 places

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

Thirston Lawrence
Ended 2021: 230th
Current ranking: 63rd
Climb: 167 places

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

JT Poston
Ended 2021: 174
Current ranking: 53rd
Climb: 121 places

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

Cameron Young
Ended 2021: 134th
Current ranking: 16th
Climb: 118 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

Adrian Meronk
Ended 2021: 163rd
Current ranking: 48th
Climb: 115 places

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

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.

George Cooper

A golf fanatic his entire life, George Cooper is NCG's man for all goings-on at the top level of the game, whether it's the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LIV Golf. He also looks after NCG's Twitter and Facebook accounts. George is a member of Woburn, but is not friends with Ian Poulter.

Handicap: 14

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