The fourth and final major championship of the year concluded on Sunday, and a new class of young golfers has officially taken over as the best in the sport. After the 2015 PGA Championship, golf's top three players are all 27 years old or younger.
Jason Day won the tournament on Sunday, catapulting him to No.3 in the world golf rankings. Jordan Spieth wasn’t able to win his third major of the year, but his play helped him take control of the No.1 ranking from Rory McIlroy. McIlroy now sits at No.2 in the world.
Day, 27, is the oldest of the group, and he finally won his first ever major. After a few close calls in recent years, including a second-place finish at the Open Championship last month, Day had one of the best performances in the sport’s history. He set a record by becoming the first player to ever win a major at 20-under par, topping the 19-under par that Tiger Woods posted at the 2000 British Open.
Spieth, 22, would have been good enough to win the PGA Championship on almost any other day with a total score of 17-under par. But he became the world’s top player as he set a record of his own. With wins at the Masters and U.S. Open, as well as a fourth-place finish at St. Andrews, Spieth ended 2015 at a combined 54-under par in the year’s four majors. Woods set the previous record when he went 53-under par in 2000.
McIlroy, 26, finished in 17th place at the PGA Championship. He didn’t win a major in 2015, but before an injury forced him to miss the British Open, he finished fourth and ninth at the year’s first two majors, respectively. McIlroy won the final two majors of 2014.
Wins for McIlroy at last year’s British Open and PGA Championship made him the clear No.1 player in the world at the end of 2014, but the top of the rankings weren’t dominated by young stars like they are in 2015. Adam Scott and Sergio Garcia rounded out the top three, both at 34 years old.
At 45 years old, Jim Furyk is the oldest player that ranks in the top 10. Ten years ago, all but three golfers that ended the year ranked in the top 10 were at least 35 years old. Five of the current top-10 golfers in the world are 31 years old or younger.
Below is a look at the top 10 of the world golf rankings, following the 2015 PGA Championship.
1) Jordan Spieth
2) Rory McIlroy
3) Jason Day
4) Bubba Watson
5) Justin Rose
6) Jim Furyk
7) Dustin Johnson
8) Rickie Fowler
9) Henrik Stenson
10) Sergio Garcia