Most golf fans were left feeling pretty old after finding out Sergio Garcia celebrated his 40th birthday on Thursday. That cherub-faced 19-year-old who scissor-kicked his way into stardom at the 1999 PGA Championship is the big four-oh? Where does the time go?!
But the Spaniard has certainly been around the pro golf scene for a long time. And, impressively, he’s maintained some pretty elite status throughout.
According to Official World Golf Ranking guru Nosferatu on Twitter, Garcia’s latest birthday just added to a sneaky-good – and long – streak of being ranked in the top 100.
Stat of the day:
Still on the 2nd longest ongoing streak (20.5 yrs) inside Top 100 in the world ‼️
Happy 4⃣0⃣th Birthday, Sergio ‼️
— Nosferatu (@VC606) January 9, 2020
More specifically, Sergio’s streak began with a win at the 1999 Murphy’s Irish Open, which vaulted him from 149th to 78th. Six weeks later, he took the first-round lead at Medinah and nearly tracked down Tiger Woods on Sunday in the year’s final Major championship. The runner-up finish moved him from 65th to 30th.
Of course, it would take nearly 18 more years before Garcia finally claimed a first Major at the 2017 Masters, but all the while displayed remarkable consistency. There was a slump in 2010-2011 that included him taking a break from golf, but he never fell lower than 82nd in the OWGR. Considering he is currently No.39, Sergio should be safe for a while.
Not surprisingly, the golfer with the current longest streak of being in the top 100 is Phil Mickelson. The five-time Major champ recently had his run of being ranked in the top 50 snapped, but has stayed inside the top 100 for nearly 26.5 years since winning the International in 1993.
After a rough finish to the decade, though, Mickelson will need to pick up his play soon to remain the active leader in this measure of longevity. The 49-year-old has fallen to No.73.