DAVID PALMER, the 32-year-old from Lithgow in New South Wales, now based in Boston in the USA, topped the world rankings for the first time in September 2001, two months after becoming the first Australian for twenty years to win the British Open title.
Palmer, who reached No8 in September 2000, celebrated two major milestones in his illustrious career in 2008 – in September, recording his 50th PSA Tour final appearance at the Merritt Properties Open in Baltimore, USA, and in December marking his 100th successive month in the world’s top ten.
"I am proud to have achieved this and it shows how consistent I have been over the years," said Palmer at the time. "Hopefully I can keep up there for another few more years and keep competing at the high level."
The indefatigable Palmer celebrated his latest PSA Tour success in February this year at the Bluenose Classic in Canada – the straight games final victory over England’s Peter Barker marking his 24th Tour title in his 51st final.
Palmer's Tour title tally extends his lead over Egypt's Amr Shabana (with 22 wins) as the current player with the most Tour trophies to his name.
It was in August 1997 that the Australian claimed his first PSA title at the Ecuador Open. By 2002, Palmer celebrated his third appearance in the sport's premier event by winning the World Open crown in dramatic style in his adopted home town of Antwerp in Belgium, where he fought back from two games down, also saving match-balls, to beat Scotland’s John White in the final.
In 2004, Palmer joined a select band of three-times British Open champions when he successfully defended his 2003 title, defeating the then world champion Amr Shabana in the final in Nottingham. Four years later, Palmer clinched a fourth British Open trophy, saving match-balls against local hero James Willstrop in the final to win the historic event's most dramatic final after five games and 111 minutes.
After his World Open success in 2002, history repeated itself in 2006 when Palmer, in his third World Open final, again recovered from a two-game deficit to defeat Gregory Gaultier to win the title for a second time.
With little more to prove, Palmer returned to his homeland in August 2008 to compete in the Australian Open - a title he had yet to win. The country's famed player did not disappoint, beating Kiwi Kashif Shuja in the final to put his name on the trophy alongside fellow Australian players such as Geoff Hunt, Chris Dittmar and Rodney and Brett Martin.
"I was pretty confident coming in, but rankings aside you obviously still have to win," the world number five said at the time. "I’m happy to win and finally get my name on the trophy with those other great Australian players."