Just two European players made the Top-10 of the Decade - a ranking of the best performances in the 81 biggest tournaments played around the globe between January 2001 and December 2010.
Compiled by the Spanish blog Tengolf.com, the list compiled results obtained in the four Majors, the Players and the World Golf Championships but only Spain’s Sergio Garcia and Ireland’s Padraig Harrington made the cut.
Tiger Woods easily finished at the top of the pile, more than 1,000 points clear of Phil Mickelson after a simple sliding scale of points allocations was totted up. The winners of majors got 100 points with those finishing 10th in the Grand Slam events getting 10 points. Top 10 finishers in the Players earned between 70 points for a win to 5 points for 10th while in the WGCs, the breakdown ran from 60 points to 4.
South Africans Ernie Els and Retief Goosen and Fiji’s Vijay Singh rounded out the top 5 with Sergio Garcia and Padraig Harrington the only two Europeans present at fifth and sixth respectively. The remaining places were occupied by major winners Jim Furyk, Davis Love III and Australian Geoff Ogilvy.
Garcia is the only non-major winner in the list. Davis Love didn’t win a major between 2001 and 2010 but he did win the US PGA in 1997.
Tengolf.com’s Top 10 of the Decade
- Tiger Woods 2,560 points
- Phil Mickelson 1,481 points
- Ernie Els 1,096 points
- Retief Goosen 881 points
- Vijay Singh 798 points
- Sergio García 782 points
- Padraig Harrington 760 points
- Jim Furyk 720 points
- Davis Love III 541 points
- Geoff Ogilvy 499 points
Tengolf.com points out that apart from Woods, just three other players managed at least one top-10 per year in either a major, the Players or a WGC - namely Mickelson, Goosen and Garcia.
No player managed to score in every event in a single season - eight events a year between 2001 and 2008, or nine events in 2009 and 2010 following the elevation of the HSBC Champions to WGC status.
Woods came close in 2009, when he scored in seven of nine events. His failures were a second round defeat to Tim Clark in the Accenture Match Play and a missed cut in the Open at Turnberry.
Woods also recorded the top yearly score in 2005 when he racked up 435 points from a possible 650 thanks to wins in the Masters, the Open, the Amex and the NEC Invitational; a runner up finish in the US Open and a fourth place in the US PGA.