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New World Golf Ranking System Hasn't Pleased Everyone

By: | Wed 10 Aug 2022

THERE have been some changes made to the world ranking system - and, once again, there is a huge bias in favour of PGA Tour players.

The winner of the ISPS Handa World Invitational in Northern Ireland will receive eight world rankings points while the man who lifts the trophy at the FedEx St Jude Championship, the first of the FedEx Cup playoff events, will collect a whopping 68.5 points.

The winner of the St Jude will pick up a cheque for $2.7m, while the champion in Northern Ireland will receive just $270,000.

It goes without saying that the field in America is much stronger than the one that will tee it up in Europe. However, DP World Tour regulars might be forgiven for thinking that they are being short-changed.

You have to be in the top 50 in the world rankings to play in the four majors and WGC tournaments - the chances of achieving that if you play all of your golf in Europe lie somewhere between low and non-existent.

Sky commentator and former European Tour player Tony Johnstone said: "Good luck to DPWT players trying to get into the top-50 if they support their home tour.” 

Golf World Rankings

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

OWGR, the organisation which manages the ranking, claims it has has altered the system in order to “remove bias”. 

You will not be surprised to learn that no ranking points will be awarded at LIV Golf tournaments. So you will also not be surprised to learn that the likes of Lee Westwood and Ian Poulter, who have defected to LIV, are not happy.

Westwood said: "Literally makes all the tours around the world feeder tours. How they could vote for this and get it passed I have no idea.” 

Poulter said: "They didn’t vote that’s the problem… How was this possible. How didn’t players have that option. Now give your best most OWGR point players to the PGA Tour every year will only deplete the points even more for DP World Tour players each week. Anyone below that Top 10 will play for less and less points as a result. Were ET [European Tour] players able to vote on this?? NO.

You would expect Westwood and Poulter to criticise the new system. However, DP World Tour player Oliver Bekker has also been quick to criticise the changes.

Bekker has a second, third and fourth-place finish to his credit on the DP World Tour this season.He also has three other top-10 finishes. He is 24th in the DP World Tour rankings and has a world ranking of 103 - had those finishes been achieved on the PGA Tour he would be in the top 50 in the world rankings. So he is worth listening to.

He said: "Unless you win a few Rolex events there is no chance. At least 10 guys will get PGA tour cards every year to try and make a few points over there. Going to be interesting to see what effect this will have over the next 12 months. Smaller tours like ST [Sunshine Tour] and Aus going to get no points.”

Scott Hend, who has a reputation for speaking his mind, was even more forthright in his views. He said: "Its an absolute p*** take and the DP World Tour Board Members who backed this load of s*** know it as well..... Its just one p*** take after another. Just line us up and feed us s*** like mushrooms..... Ridiculous stuff, well done guys.”

OWGR have won few friends, and it is not difficult to understand why. They said: “Our field rating calculation has been modernised so that fields will be evaluated based on the skill level of every player in the field, rather than just those in the field among the current top 200 of the ranking.” 

The reality is that is doesn’t follow that a PGA Tour member whose world ranking is, say 100, is a better player than a DP World Tour member ranked 140th in the world. A perfect example of this is Sean Crocker, winner of the recent Hero Open. It was a success that saw him move to 39th in the DP World Tour rankings and 133rd in the world. He finds himself behind such “luminaries’ as Taylor Pendrith, Alex Smalley, Chan Kim and Taylor Moore, none of whom have a tournament win to their names but all of whom are PGA Tour members.

It strikes me that the likes of Bekker and Hend have every right to feel aggrieved.

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Tags: european tour dp world tour

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