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On this day: April 19th 1997

Norman playing the 1997 Masters - his last event in his consecutive 96 week reign (Photo: Getty Images)
On this day in 1997, Greg Norman’s longest reign of 96 weeks as the World Number One came to an end a week after missing the cut at the Masters that year.

It had been one of eleven occasions that Norman had reached or would reach the number one position having first taken the mantle in September of 1986, just a few months after the world rankings as we now know them were instigated.

Bernhard Langer and Seve Ballesteros had preceded the Australian before Norman took over the first time, holding that initial position for a total of 62 weeks.  

Norman was replaced at the top of the game in 1997 by Tom Lehman whose 4th place finish at Hilton Head the day before saw him elevated to the coveted number one position for the first and only time.  

Norman would return to the world number one position a week later although on the three further occasions he stood at the top of the game he was there for only brief periods.    

Only Tiger Woods with 264 weeks between 1999 and 281 weeks between June 2005 and October 2010 would surpass Norman’s longevity at the top.

Norman would hold the top position a collective 331 weeks compared to the almost unimaginable 683 weeks off Woods, a total he (Woods) gathered on a total of ten occasions.

He might have recorded only two major championships in his outstanding career but Greg Norman's domination of the world rankings over such a long period is perhaps a better indication as to where he stands in the history of the modern game.     

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Bruce Young
About The Author : Bruce Young

A multi-award winning golf journalist, Bruce's extensive knowledge of and background in the game of golf comes from several years caddying the tournament circuits of the world, marketing a successful golf course design company and as one of Australia's leading golf journalists and commentators.

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