Hovland off and running as a pro, but not all former amateur No. 1s find fame, fortune

Bill Streicher/USA TODAY Sports

Hovland off and running as a pro, but not all former amateur No. 1s find fame, fortune

Golf

Hovland off and running as a pro, but not all former amateur No. 1s find fame, fortune

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Viktor Hovland made his professional debut in last week’s Travelers Championship with much expectation on his shoulders.

He opened with a 67 and ended up T-54, earning $16,560 in his first start.

The Norwegian ended his amateur days as the No. 1 player on the World Amateur Golf Ranking. Low amateur performances in the Masters and U.S. Open suggest the former Oklahoma State player will have a successful pro career.

However, not all former world amateur No. 1s find fame and fortune in the paid ranks.

Editor’s note: The Official World Golf Rankings listed below are as of June 24, 2019.

Jon Rahm, Spain

Weeks No. 1: 60 | Turned pro: 2016 | OWGR: 11

Professional highlights: Has three wins on both European and PGA Tours. Made Ryder Cup debut last year.

Patrick Cantlay, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 55 | Turned pro: 2012 | OWGR: 9

Professional highlights: Back injuries plagued early career but has two PGA Tour wins in last three seasons – 2017 Shriners Hospital for Children Open and 2019 Memorial.

Peter Uihlein, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 55 | Turned pro: 2012 | OWGR: 132

Professional highlights: Began on Euro Tour where he won 2013 Madeira Islands Open. Won on 2017 Nationwide Children’s Hospital Championship Web.com Tour.

Joaquin Niemann, Chile

Weeks No. 1: 48 | Turned pro: 2018 | OWGR: 97

Professional highlights: T-5 in 2018 A Military Tribute at The Greenbrier.

Maverick McNealy, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 47 | Turned pro: 2017 | OWGR: 457

Professional highlights: Best pro finish of second in this year’s Lecom Suncoast Classic on the Korn Ferry (formerly Web.com) Tour.

Chris Williams,U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 46 | Turned pro: 2013 | OWGR: 998

Professional highlights: Second in 2018 Lethbridge Paradise Canyon Open on Mackenzie Tour.

Ollie Schniederjans, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 41 | Turned pro: 2015 | OWGR: 265

Professional highlights: Second in 2017 Wyndham Championship is best PGA Tour finish. Won 2016 Air Capital Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Rickie Fowler, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 34 | Turned pro: 2009 | OWGR: 14

Professional highlights: Six PGA Tour wins, including this year’s Waste Management. Has two Euro Tour wins. Played in four of last five Ryder Cups.

Danny Lee, New Zealand

Weeks No. 1: 34 | Turned pro: 2009 | OWGR: 113

Professional highlights: Won 2009 Johnnie Walker Classic as an amateur. Won 2015 Greenbrier Classic.

Justin Suh, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 26 | Turned pro: 2019 | OWGR: 2066

Professional highlights: Has made three pro starts since graduating from USC last month. Missed cut in all three.

Matthew Fitzpatrick, England

Weeks No. 1: 21 | Turned pro: 2014 | OWGR: 30

Professional highlights: Five European Tour wins. Made 2016 European Ryder Cup team. Finished second in this year’s Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Nick Taylor, Canada

Weeks No. 1: 20 | Turned pro: 2010 | OWGR: 236

Professional highlights: Won PGA Tour’s 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship.

Matteo Manassero, Italy

Weeks No. 1: 18 | Turned pro: 2010 | OWGR: 916

Professional highlights: Four European Tour wins between 2010-2013, including 2013 BMW PGA Championship.

Braden Thornberry, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 18 | Turned pro: 2018 | OWGR: 968

Professional highlights: T-5 in this year’s Lincoln Land Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Jamie Moul, England

Weeks No. 1: 17 | Turned pro: 2007 | OWGR: N/A

Professional highlights: Won 2011 Acaya Open on European Challenge Tour. Now a teaching professional.

Danny Willett, England

Weeks No. 1: 12 | Turned pro: 2008 | OWGR: 73

Professional highlights: Won 2016 Masters. Has five other European Tour wins. Played in 2016 Ryder cup. Finished Euro No. 2 in 2015 and 16.

Victor Dubuisson, France

Weeks No. 1: 8 | Turned pro: 2010 | OWGR: 335

Professional highlights: Two European Tour wins in the 2013 and 2015 Turkish Airlines Open. Played in 2014 Ryder Cup.

C.T. Pan, Taipei

Weeks No. 1: 8 | Turned pro: 2015 | OWGR: 47

Professional highlights: Broke through in this year’s RBC Heritage for his first PGA Tour win. Has two Mackenzie Tour wins.

Jamie Lovemark, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 8 | Turned pro: 2009 | OWGR: 248

Professional highlights: Two wins on the Korn Ferry Tour, 2010 Mexico Open Bicentenary and 2013 MidWest Classic.

Cory Whitsett, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 6 | Turned pro: 2014 | OWGR: 2070

Professional highlights: T-14 in PGA Tour’s 2014 Sanderson Farms Championship.

Scott Arnold, Australia

Weeks No. 1: 5 | Turned pro: 2009 | OWGR: 1722

Professional highlights: Won 2012 Victorian Open on PGA Tour of Australasia and 2015 Cordon Golf Open on European Challenge Tour.

Doug Ghim, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 5 | Turned pro: 2018 | OWGR: 320

Professional highlights: T-3 in this year’s Country Club de Bogota Championship on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Jin Jeong, Korea

Weeks No. 1: 5 | Turned pro: 2011 | OWGR: 2070

Professional highlights: Won 2013 Perth International on European Tour.

Colt Knost, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 5 | Turned pro: 2007 | OWGR: 1221

Professional highlights: Two wins on the now-Korn Ferry (formerly Web.com) Tour in 2008: the Fort Smith Classic and Price Cutter Charity Classic. T-3 in 2016 Players Championship.

Richie Ramsay, Scotland

Weeks No. 1: 5 | Turned pro: 2007 | OWGR: 372

Professional highlights: Three European Tour wins – 2010 South African Open, 2012 Omega European Masters and 2015 Trophee Hassan II.

Jordan Spieth, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 5 | Turned pro: 2012 | OWGR: 32

Professional highlights: 11 PGA Tour wins including 2015 Masters, 2015 U.S. Open and 2017 Open Championship. Three straight Ryder Cup appearances.

Curtis Luck, Australia

Weeks No. 1: 4 | Turned pro: 2017 | OWGR: 490

Professional highlights: Won 2016 Nexus Risk TSA Group WA Open on PGA Tour of Australasia. T-5 in 2017 Quicken Loans National.

David Chung, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 3 | Turned pro: 2012 | OWGR: N/A

Professional highlights: T-6 in 2014 Transamerican Power Products CRV Mazatlan Open on PGA Tour Latinoamerica. No longer a Tour pro.

Morgan Hoffman, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 3 | Turned pro: 2011 | OWGR: 1117

Professional highlights: T-2 in 2017 Honda Classic. Career has been hampered by battle with muscular dystrophy, which was diagnosed in 2016.

Collin Morikawa, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 3 | Turned pro: 2019 | OWGR: 623

Professional highlights: Finished T-2 in 2016 Air Capital Classic on the Korn Ferry Tour as an amateur. Finished T-14 in this year’s RBC Canadian Open in pro debut.

Michael Thompson, U.S.

Weeks No. 1: 2 | Turned pro: 2008 | OWGR: 101

Professional highlights: Won 2013 Honda Classic. Also won 2016 Albertson’s Boise Open on the Korn Ferry Tour.

Hideki Matsuyama, Japan

Weeks No. 1: 1 | Turned pro: 2013 | OWGR: 31

Professional highlights: Six PGA Tour wins, including 2014 Memorial, 2016 WGC–HSBC Champions and 2017 WGC–Bridgestone Invitational. Six wins on Japanese Tour.

Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland

Weeks No. 1: 1 | Turned pro: 2007 | OWGR: 3

Professional highlights: Four major wins – 2011 U.S. Open, 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship and 2014 Open Championship. Won this year’s Players Championship and RBC Canadian Open.

Brady Watt, Australia

Weeks No. 1: 1 | Turned pro: 2013 | OWGR: 1586

Professional highlights: Second in 2012 WA Open on PGA Tour of Australasia as an amateur & second in 2015 Honduras Open on PGA Tour of Latinoamerica.

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