John Ram has an ally, and a very important one. Ram took on the Official World Golf Rankings two weeks ago, and Tiger Woods agreed with him at the Hero World Challenge on Tuesday.
Ram’s argument, in its simplest form, was that OWGR should not award the RSM Classic winner with 37 points and the DP World Tour Championship winner with only 22 points when the latter should have defeated seven of the world’s top 25 players and the former should not. defeat anyone. OWGR, on the other hand, structured its scoring system to reward defeating bigger players rather than smaller ones (the DP World Tour Championship only had 50 players, while the RSM had 156).
“OWGR, it’s an imperfect system,” Woods said. “This is something we all acknowledge here. The field in Dubai scored less points than Sea Island, and Dubai had more top players, so obviously the system is not perfect.
“How will you fix it? You know, these are the meetings that we will need to have. We’ll have to go through this with the World Golf committee and also…. somehow come up with a better system than we have now.”
The problem here is that OWGR is most likely always there will be a flawed system. It’s a zero-sum game (there can only be one No. 1 and one No. 2, etc.), meaning that someone will almost always be frustrated with how the points stack up.
I know life on smaller tours is even harder these days…
Since the new #OVGR the system was introduced in August, @SandhuYuvraj_1 had a great time scoring 3 wins and finishing second in @pgtofindia. However, during this time he dropped by about 20 positions in the world rankings … https://t.co/lCdkE4ukIL
— Nosferatu (@VC606) November 21, 2022
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy disagreed with Ram (and now Woods) about the current system.
“So when you look at two different fields, you have a 50 person field here and a 144 person field there. [actually 156], – he said. “So in terms of how field strength is calculated, they have another 90 players that can contribute to their field strength. So the reason this got 21 points [actually 22] and PCM 39 [actually 37] the person who wins RSM has to beat 139 other guys [actually 155]. Here you only need to defeat 49 other guys. It’s a fairer system. I think it rewards people who — it’s pure numbers. The strength of the field did not hurt people’s feelings.
Did it upset people? Yes, because people are used to getting a certain amount of money. [OWGR] points in one event and now it’s dropped. But I would say that there were more of these events than it should have been. I think this is the fairest system you can think of right now. And it took a lot of work, five years of algorithms and analysis and work on the system, so it didn’t change overnight. A lot has been invested in it. This is the best we can come up with right now and I think it will take some time. It will take another 18 months to play out because everyone gets two years in a rolling system.
“It’s not much – there’s a slight discrepancy as it rolls out, but once we get past two years and have the minimum divisor and all the events. I think you’ll see a fairer reflection of where everything ranks in a world that has a right.”
Woods didn’t call OWGR laughable.but certainly the members of OWGR, which includes the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, Augusta National Golf Club, PGA of America, R&A, USGA, and the PGA International Tour Federation, will take Woods’ words about the updated system, which was recently implemented in August .
“I remember in my career when I had a big lead in my career, I didn’t have to play any tournament next year and I would still be #1 in the rankings,” Woods said. “Then we changed that system. So it has been changed in the past, and I’m sure it will be changed, hopefully soon.”
All this, of course, is extraordinarily subtle, and as pointed out by Data GolfOWGR actually rewards the bottom half of the smaller fields more than the bottom half of the larger fields.
There are also very few cases of small fields with great players on the best tours. This is a problem that I’m not sure is big enough to merit a solution. In any case, this will be discussed in the future, especially with the demand from LIV, who also has small fields with a few good players, for OWGR points in the near future.
Woods spent a record 683 weeks at the top of the official world golf rankings. Greg Norman is in second place with 331 points.