The Peculiar Inconsistencies of Golf's World Rankings
Will somebody explain how on earth golf's world rankings work? Please. Because I am blowed if I can work it out.
Tommy Fleetwood won the Abu Dhabi Championship from a field that included Dustin Johnson (the world No1) and Justin Rose (ranked sixth) and just about everybody else who matters in European golf. Fleetwood was told that it would almost certainly be enough to get him into the top 10, where he surely deserves to be after three victories in 12 months. Not to mention his status as the winner of the Race to Dubai.
Instead, the 27-year-old Englishman finds himself moving up just six places to 12th. Rory McIlroy, who finished third in the same tournament, began the week in 11th spot. Despite his fine play, that is where he remains.
Meanwhile, Sergio Garcia was in Singapore, playing in a meaningless tournament that not even the locals could get excited about. He was the only player in the field that most of us had heard of, so it came as no surprise that he went ahead and won. And duly woke up the next day to discover that his world ranking had improved from 10th to ninth.
Don't get me wrong. I do not begrudge Garcia his world ranking. In fact, I wonder how it is possible that a man who has won four times in 12 months, including a victory at The Masters, can possibly be as low as ninth.
And then we have Jon Rahm. There is no doubt that he is a special talent. Not long after Fleetwood holed his winning putt in the Middle East, Rahm was coming out on top in a four-hole playoff to claim the CareerBuilder Challenge. I am not decrying the quality of the field Rahm beat but there was no Dustin Johnson (he was being beaten by our Tommy), Justin Thomas or Jordan Spieth. And the man he beat in the playoff? Andrew Landy, a Web.com Tour graduate. Other players on the leaderboard included John Huh, Martin Piller and Seamus Power. Not exactly stellar names, you will surely agree. And yet Rahm now finds himself second in the world.
Thomas won four times last season, including a major, and has already won again this season, but according to the rankings he is the world's fourth-best golfer. My head hurts!
Answers on a postcard please...
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