The Top 15 Non-American Golfers

1 of 16

15 Best Golfers From Outside of America

1
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As amazing as this might sound to some, there are quality golfers from places outside of the United States. In fact, some of the best golf in the world is currently being played by individuals that are not American. If you take a look at the latest official world golf rankings, four of the top five ranked golfers in the world are from somewhere other than America.

Non-American golfers have been resurgent in recent years, and those individuals have taken the game of golf by storm. Over the last four years, 10 of the 16 major championships have been won by a golfer from outside of the United States.

One of the best examples of the recent the dominance by the west of the world with respect to golf was the 2012 Ryder Cup. In this event, the European team engineered an historical comeback on the final day of competition to capture the victory. The American team simply had no answer for the level of golf played by their opponents.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the increased competition from the rest of the world in the last several years. It has made things exponentially more interesting. For a very long time, the United States boasted the best player in the world, in Tiger Woods. Now, the best player in the world, Rory McIlroy, is from Northern Ireland. Much to the chagrin of some in the United States, it doesn’t look like McIlroy is going to surrender that title any time soon. He is on the verge of dominating the golf world for years to come.

In my opinion, the better and more diverse the competition from around the world, the better it is for the game of golf. Following, you will find my list of the top 15 non-American golfers.

2 of 16

15 Nicolas Colsaerts

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Colsaerts made himself a household name with an incredibly solid 2012 season that included a seventh place finish at the Open Championship and a win at the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

3 of 16

14 Francesco Molinari

1
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Molinari has been enjoying a significant amount of success in Europe. He is definitely one of the players to look out for over the next few years.

4 of 16

13 Paul Lawrie

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY

Lawrie spends the majority of his time on the European Tour, where he won twice in 2012, in addition to a handful of top 10 finishes.

5 of 16

12 Martin Kaymer

1
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Kaymer has had his ups and downs since winning the PGA Championship in 2010, but he’s played well enough overall to be ranked 28th in the world to close out 2012.

6 of 16

11 Ernie Els

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people thought it was the end of the line for “The Big Easy”, especially when he didn’t even qualify for The Masters. His win at the 2012 Open Championship made those people rethink their stance.

7 of 16

10 Peter Hanson

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Quite possibly as overlooked as anyone that has ever been ranked 19th in the world. Hanson isn’t flashy, but he gets results and that’s all that really matters

8 of 16

9 Sergio Garcia

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Garcia is often overlooked because he has never won a major, but 2012 was a year that saw become relevant once again. If he builds up on that in 2013, the wins are likely to pile up.

9 of 16

8 Graeme McDowell

1
Bruce Chapman-USA TODAY Sports

Mr. Consistency, McDowell is used to being on the first page of the leader board despite not recording a victory in 2012. It’s only a matter of time before he breaks back through.

10 of 16

7 Charl Schwartzel

1
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Schwartzel is the 2011 Masters Champion and has taken advantage of his opportunities since then to move up to 14th in the world.

11 of 16

6 Ian Poulter

1
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The master of match play, Poulter seems to play in another stratosphere in that particular format. That was never more evident than in this year’s Ryder Cup. That’s not to say that he’s a slouch when it comes to stroke play tournaments, though. His win at the World Golf Championship – HSBC Champions tournament proved that he can compete with the best of the best.

12 of 16

5 Louis Oosthuizen

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Oosthuizen, a South African, exploded onto the scene in 2010 when he won the Open Championship. Since then, he’s been consistently in contention and is currently ranked sixth in the official world golf rankings.

13 of 16

4 Adam Scott

1
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Scott failed to record a victory on the year, he seemed to constantly be in contention, including a second place finish at the Open Championship and top 15 finishes at both the PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

14 of 16

3 Justin Rose

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Rose is on the heels of Tiger Woods for the third spot in the official world golf rankings. He had very solid seasons on both tours, winning once one each, with several top ten finishes mixed in, as well.

15 of 16

2 Luke Donald

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

McIlroy is getting a lot of hype for leading the money list on both tours (and deservedly so), but let’s not forget that Donald was the first person to ever accomplish that feat, and it happened just last year.

16 of 16

1 Rory McIlroy

1
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Winning multiple major championships, being at the top of the official world golf rankings and leading both the European and PGA Tour money lists will get you at the top of a lot of “best of” lists.

1 of 16

15 Best Golfers From Outside of America

1
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

As amazing as this might sound to some, there are quality golfers from places outside of the United States. In fact, some of the best golf in the world is currently being played by individuals that are not American. If you take a look at the latest official world golf rankings, four of the top five ranked golfers in the world are from somewhere other than America.

Non-American golfers have been resurgent in recent years, and those individuals have taken the game of golf by storm. Over the last four years, 10 of the 16 major championships have been won by a golfer from outside of the United States.

One of the best examples of the recent the dominance by the west of the world with respect to golf was the 2012 Ryder Cup. In this event, the European team engineered an historical comeback on the final day of competition to capture the victory. The American team simply had no answer for the level of golf played by their opponents.

I have thoroughly enjoyed the increased competition from the rest of the world in the last several years. It has made things exponentially more interesting. For a very long time, the United States boasted the best player in the world, in Tiger Woods. Now, the best player in the world, Rory McIlroy, is from Northern Ireland. Much to the chagrin of some in the United States, it doesn’t look like McIlroy is going to surrender that title any time soon. He is on the verge of dominating the golf world for years to come.

In my opinion, the better and more diverse the competition from around the world, the better it is for the game of golf. Following, you will find my list of the top 15 non-American golfers.

2 of 16

15 Nicolas Colsaerts

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Colsaerts made himself a household name with an incredibly solid 2012 season that included a seventh place finish at the Open Championship and a win at the Volvo World Match Play Championship.

3 of 16

14 Francesco Molinari

1
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Recently, Molinari has been enjoying a significant amount of success in Europe. He is definitely one of the players to look out for over the next few years.

4 of 16

13 Paul Lawrie

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY

Lawrie spends the majority of his time on the European Tour, where he won twice in 2012, in addition to a handful of top 10 finishes.

5 of 16

12 Martin Kaymer

1
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Kaymer has had his ups and downs since winning the PGA Championship in 2010, but he’s played well enough overall to be ranked 28th in the world to close out 2012.

6 of 16

11 Ernie Els

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

A lot of people thought it was the end of the line for “The Big Easy”, especially when he didn’t even qualify for The Masters. His win at the 2012 Open Championship made those people rethink their stance.

7 of 16

10 Peter Hanson

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Quite possibly as overlooked as anyone that has ever been ranked 19th in the world. Hanson isn’t flashy, but he gets results and that’s all that really matters

8 of 16

9 Sergio Garcia

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Garcia is often overlooked because he has never won a major, but 2012 was a year that saw become relevant once again. If he builds up on that in 2013, the wins are likely to pile up.

9 of 16

8 Graeme McDowell

1
Bruce Chapman-USA TODAY Sports

Mr. Consistency, McDowell is used to being on the first page of the leader board despite not recording a victory in 2012. It’s only a matter of time before he breaks back through.

10 of 16

7 Charl Schwartzel

1
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Schwartzel is the 2011 Masters Champion and has taken advantage of his opportunities since then to move up to 14th in the world.

11 of 16

6 Ian Poulter

1
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The master of match play, Poulter seems to play in another stratosphere in that particular format. That was never more evident than in this year’s Ryder Cup. That’s not to say that he’s a slouch when it comes to stroke play tournaments, though. His win at the World Golf Championship – HSBC Champions tournament proved that he can compete with the best of the best.

12 of 16

5 Louis Oosthuizen

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Oosthuizen, a South African, exploded onto the scene in 2010 when he won the Open Championship. Since then, he’s been consistently in contention and is currently ranked sixth in the official world golf rankings.

13 of 16

4 Adam Scott

1
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Even though Scott failed to record a victory on the year, he seemed to constantly be in contention, including a second place finish at the Open Championship and top 15 finishes at both the PGA Championship and U.S. Open.

14 of 16

3 Justin Rose

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Rose is on the heels of Tiger Woods for the third spot in the official world golf rankings. He had very solid seasons on both tours, winning once one each, with several top ten finishes mixed in, as well.

15 of 16

2 Luke Donald

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

McIlroy is getting a lot of hype for leading the money list on both tours (and deservedly so), but let’s not forget that Donald was the first person to ever accomplish that feat, and it happened just last year.

16 of 16

1 Rory McIlroy

1
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Winning multiple major championships, being at the top of the official world golf rankings and leading both the European and PGA Tour money lists will get you at the top of a lot of “best of” lists.


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