If we had told you five years ago that the ‘Big Five’ of Tiger Woods, Vijay Singh, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen and Phil Mickelson would be out of the top 10 in the World Ranking before the end of 2011, you’d have laughed at us. Yet it is about to happen.

Is this a changing of the guard? The World Ranking tells us it is and it’s not just Tiger Woods who has fallen from grace. The former world No 1 now finds himself outside the top 50 in the official world golf rankings for the first time in 15 years, alongside Vijay Singh (54) and there’s every chance that the pair will be joined by Els (45) and Goosen (40) over the next few weeks.

Even Mickelson has started the slide and is currently 10th in the Ranking, and looking like he will drop out of the top 10 sooner rather than later

Have a look at the World Rankings of five years ago and you will see that only two golfers have survived by the touch of a well-played chip. Of course Adam Scott hasn’t really ‘survived’ at all – more like he has recovered to force his way back into the top 10.

Is this really a changing of the guard? Are the elder statesmen simply not playing enough golf? Can they bounce back into the top 10?

Tell us your thoughts in the comments section below.

Top 10 2011 Ranking
2006 Official World Golf Ranking
Tiger Woods 51
Vijay Singh 54
Phil Mickelson 10
Retief Goosen 40
Ernie Els 45
Sergio Garcia 47
Jim Furyk 27
Adam Scott 8
Colin Montgomerie 279
Chris DiMarco 304

 

Top 10
Current Official World Golf Ranking
Luke Donald
Lee Westwood
Rory McIlroy
Steve Stricker
Dustin Johnson
Martin Kaymer
Jason Day
Adam Scott
Matt Kuchar
Phil Mickelson
  • Mornejonker

    Relax Mole, changing of the guard has been happening for decades now! Otherwise Jack Nicklaus would still be winning Majors! It’s just natural that the youngsters move in and take over(Like my 14 year old son out driving me in distance already). I would not see this as a “fuss”, but a normal change that happens all the time. A few of the “oldies” will now and then surprise with a win here or there, but stats show the average winning age is 31/32 years old, and that will become even younger as the years progress. New young Pro’s are more mentally prepared than 50 years ago! Go youngsters GO!

  • Bruce

    This change to the top 10 is great for golf! It gives every guy out there the hope that he can achieve what all the new guys on the block have done! Can you imagine playing week after week and having the same handful of players win every week!! What Rory, Louis and Charl have done is fantastic – now everyone can believe they have a chance. Let every week there be a different winner – exciting stuff!!!

  • JONESY

    Give these boys the credit they deserve. Everyone has to allow the Young Turks to emerge and as with many sportsmen in the likes of Soccer, Boxing, Tennis and Rugby when you reach 40 years of age there are limitations that can restrict your performa nce. As with the Top Four (Jack, Ar nie , Gary and Lee) they also found that age cought up with them and they diversified their skill to such things as Golf Course design. I think Tiger still has the ability to bounce back and will definitely feature in at least one more Major. Look at Clarke he bounced back to win the Open.

  • Ronaldcarr

    No one can avoid old age, it’s just that I did’nt expect to see the decline of all these great players so soon.

  • Rika van der Post

    @twitter-21859849:disqusI can’t see Ernie winning another as much as I would love to. It looks like he has lost the fire int he belly.

  • Ryan Hunt

    I think they are isolated cases. Woods has all those issues, phil only interested in beating Tiger. Singh is much older. Els has a putting probem and Goose is in slow decline. But woods will be back, another 3 majors between phil, els and goose.

  • Ryan Hunt

    I think they are isolated cases. Woods has all those issues, phil only interested in beating Tiger. Singh is much older. Els has aputting probem and Goose is in slow decline. But woods will be back, another 3 majors between phil, els and goose.

  • Mike

    Morne Jonker got it right. Time moves on for all of us. 5 years is a very long time. We are now in an exciting new agewhere a wide range oftalented younger golfers are all showing they can ‘win’ too. Luke Donald is dominating the consistency stats, and that’s what makes him genuinely number one.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanNHunt Ryan Hunt

    I think they are isolated cases. Woods has all those issues, phil only interested in beating Tiger. Singh is much older. Els has a putting probem and Goose is in slow decline. But woods will be back, another 3 majors between phil, els and goose.

  • http://twitter.com/RyanNHunt Ryan Hunt

    I think they are isolated cases. Woods has all those issues, phil only interested in beating Tiger. Singh is much older. Els has a putting probem and Goose is in slow decline. But woods will be back, another 3 majors between phil, els and goose.

  • http://twitter.com/Rikavdp Rika van der Post

    @twitter-21859849:disqus I can’t see Ernie winning another as much as I would love to. It looks like he has lost the fire int he belly.

  • Ronaldcarr

    No one can avoid old age, it’s just that I did’nt expect to see the decline of all these great players so soon.

  • JONESY

    Give these boys the credit they deserve. Everyone has to allow the Young Turks to emerge and as with many sportsmen in the likes of Soccer, Boxing, Tennis and Rugby when you reach 40 years of age there are limitations that can restrict your performa nce. As with the Top Four (Jack, Ar nie , Gary and Lee) they also found that age cought up with them and they diversified their skill to such things as Golf Course design. I think Tiger still has the ability to bounce back and will definitely feature in at least one more Major. Look at Clarke he bounced back to win the Open.

  • Bruce

    This change to the top 10 is great for golf! It gives every guy out there the hope that he can achieve what all the new guys on the block have done! Can you imagine playing week after week and having the same handful of players win every week!! What Rory, Louis and Charl have done is fantastic – now everyone can believe they have a chance. Let every week there be a different winner – exciting stuff!!!

  • Mornejonker

    Relax Mole, changing of the guard has been happening for decades now! Otherwise Jack Nicklaus would still be winning Majors! It’s just natural that the youngsters move in and take over(Like my 14 year old son out driving me in distance already). I would not see this as a “fuss”, but a normal change that happens all the time. A few of the “oldies” will now and then surprise with a win here or there, but stats show the average winning age is 31/32 years old, and that will become even younger as the years progress. New young Pro’s are more mentally prepared than 50 years ago! Go youngsters GO!

  • Mike

    Morne Jonker got it right. Time moves on for all of us. 5 years is a very long time. We are now in an exciting new age where a wide range of talented younger golfers are all showing they can ‘win’ too. Luke Donald is dominating the consistency stats, and that’s what makes him genuinely number one.

  • Bobby

    personally i think it’s the amount of money in golf creating a more mellowed approach to the older guys, they have won accolades, adoring fans etc and now get paid very well to play average golf (excellent to you and i mind you!), the youngsters are more driven to prove themselves by winning tournaments and getting sponsor’s, endorsements etc. (and will eventuallyjoin the ranks of the older guys quietly building their nest eggs while a new young crew emerges) kind of like the lion king but with no animals…and golf clubs.

  • Bobby

    personally i think it’s the amount of money in golf creating a more mellowed approach to the older guys, they have won accolades, adoring fans etc and now get  paid very well to play average golf (excellent to you and i mind you!), the youngsters are more driven to prove themselves by winning tournaments and getting sponsor’s, endorsements etc. (and will eventually join the ranks of the older guys quietly building their nest eggs while a new young crew emerges) kind of like the lion king but with no animals…and golf clubs.