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Sun sets on McNealy's golf 'title'
CEO's handicap up, putting him behind bosses of MGIC, Nationwide as top executive on the links.
September 7, 2004: 6:57 AM EDT

Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, not playing golf in this picture.  
Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy, not playing golf in this picture.

NEW YORK (CNN/Money) - Tiger Woods isn't the only golfer losing his No. 1 ranking -- a published report says Sun Microsystems CEO Scott McNealy's eight-year run as the best golfer among top executives is also over.

The October issue of Golf Digest, due out Sept. 14, will report that McNealy will drop to third place in the ranking of CEOs of either Standard & Poor's 500 or Fortune 500 companies, according to Monday's USA Today.

The paper said McNealy's handicap has risen to 2.9 from 0.3 two years ago. The CEO rankings are done every two years.

Curt Culver, CEO of mortgage lender MGIC Investment Corp. (MTG: Research, Estimates) moved into top position with a handicap of 2.4. Jerry Jurgensen, CEO of Nationwide Financial Services (NFS: Research, Estimates), has the No. 2 ranking with a handicap of 2.5.

McNealy told the paper in an e-mail that regaining his title of best executive golfer is important. "More than anything," USA Today quoted him, with the story indicating he was at least half-joking.

Shares of Sun (SUNW: Research, Estimates) have struggled in recent years, losing about a third of their value from the 52-week high reached in February. It's down about 97 percent from highs it hit in the late 1990s before the tech stock bubble burst.

The paper said that Culver started playing golf at age 5 and arrived at his initial job interview with MGIC in 1982 wearing golf attire because he was also playing in a tournament in Milwaukee, its home city.

USA Today said the average handicap among the 202 CEOs ranked by Golf Digest is 12.7, while their average annual pay is $2.65 million.

Lucent Technologies (LU: Research, Estimates) CEO Patricia Russo is the only woman on the list for the second straight ranking, coming in at No. 105 with a handicap that rose to 13.2 from 12.4.

USA Today said a survey of 286 CEOs at smaller companies conducted for the paper by TEC International found 1.7 percent said they had handicaps of 5 or lower, while 29 percent reported they did not play golf.

Sun Microsystems Incorporated
Chief Executive Officers

Tiger Woods lost his ranking Monday as the world's No. 1 golfer to Vijay Singh, who beat him in the Deutsche Bank Championship. Woods had held the No. 1 ranking for 264 consecutive weeks, or just over 5 years.  Top of page

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