Australian Golf Digest Ranks The Country’s 50 Greatest Golfers Of All Time
Australian Golf Digest, the country’s oldest and largest golf media brand, celebrates its 50-year anniversary in style this month with its 600th issue Collector’s Edition, which includes a detailed ranking of the 50 Greatest Australian Golfers of all time.
The ranking, compiled by long-time Australian Golf Digest senior writer Rohan Clarke (whose time with the magazine spans half of its 50 years), reignites the long-held debate over who is the best Australian golfer ever.
In order, the top 10 is:
- No.1: Greg Norman
- No.2: Karrie Webb
- No.3: Peter Thomson
- No.4: Kel Nagle
- No.5: Walter Travis
- No.6: Adam Scott
- No.7: David Graham
- No.8: Jan Stephenson
- No.9: Jim Ferrier
- No.10: Jason Day
Here is what they wrote about No.1:
A powerful straight driver, a daring shotmaker with exquisite touch and a charismatic presence on the fairways. At his peak, Greg Norman was much more than a two-time British Open winner. The Great White Shark burst onto the scene as a 21-year- old when he won the 1976 West Lakes Classic in Adelaide for the first of 33 Australian victories. Norman’s exploits abroad are legendary. It’s challenging to pinpoint his most remarkable accomplishment, singularly or over a period of time:
- First Australian to be officially recognised as world No.1, spending 331 weeks on top
- Winning 20 titles on the PGA Tour, the most by an Australian
- Sharing the record for most Australian Opens titles by an Australian (five)
- Holding the record for most Australian Masters (six)
- Shooting 24-under par to win the 1994 Players Championship at TPC Sawgrass
- Winning the PGA Tour’s Vardon Trophy for lowest scoring average three times(1989, 1990, 1994)
- Leading money winner on the PGA Tour three times (1986, 1990, 1995)
- Leading the PGA Tour’s total driving statistic three times (1988, 1989, 1993)
- Registering 129 top-10s from 330 appearances on the PGA Tour (39.1%)
- Notching 30 top-10s in men’s Majors, the most by an Australian.
- Leading all four Majors through 54 holes in one season (‘Saturday Slam’ in 1986)
- Finishing second at eight Majors
- Losing all four Majors in playoffs (1984 US Open, 1987 Masters, 1989 British Open, 1993 PGA Championship)
- Leading the 2008 British Open with nine holes to play at the age of 53.
Norman was a mesmerising presence on television screens, especially Monday mornings in April and Sunday afternoons in summer. For that reason alone, Norman’s greatest legacy is the many, many Australians he lured to the game.