The Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) have taken a beating over the last few days. With the ongoing debate of whether or not LIV Golf should be awarded points and Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm trading polar opposite opinions about the system, Davis Love III has decided to throw his hat in the ring.
Love III, a two-time American Ryder Cup captain, thinks there is an easy way to solve these issues: get rid of the World Golf Rankings altogether.
“I’d just get rid of them Who cares? If you win the FedEx Cup, you win the FedEx Cup, you win the DP World Tour rankings, you win that,” Love III said on SiriusXM PGA Tour Radio.
“You can solve a lot of things in the golf world right now if you stopped using world golf rankings and went back to everybody’s money lists.”
While Rahm, nor anyone else up to this point, has mentioned the idea of getting rid of the OWGR, the Spaniard may be on board with the idea given his recent comments about the new “laughable” system.
“I’m going to be as blunt as I can. I think the OWGR right now is laughable,” Rahm said ahead of this week’s DP World Tour Championship. “Laughable, laughable, laughable. The fact that the RSM doesn’t have any of the top 25 in the world but has more points than this event where we have seven of the top 25 is laughable.”
To Rahm’s point, seven of the world’s top 25 players are playing in this week’s DP World Tour Championship. Given that it’s a limited field consisting of just 50 players, the winner will take home just shy of 22 OWGR points.
At this week’s RSM Classic on the PGA Tour only one top 30 player in the world — Seamus Power — is teeing it up, but the winner secures 39 OWGR points. Given that the RSM Classic is a full-field event, the winner will receive more OWGR points.
Is Davis Love III’s Idea That Far-Fetched?
Yes, yes it is.
For much of Love III’s playing career, the world rankings didn’t exist. The 58-year-old’s generation made a golf world without world ranking points work, but this generation of players wouldn’t phathom the idea.
The best players in the world don’t just want to win tournaments, they want to be the No. 1 player in the world.
Just take Rory McIlroy for example. He’s won four majors, won 23 times on the PGA Tour, and another 14 times on the DP World Tour. McIlroy had been ranked No. 1 in the world eight times and reclaimed that top spot in October after winning the CJ Cup.
For someone who’s accomplished everything in the sport outside of winning a green jacket, even he got emotional after getting that No. 1 back next to his name for the ninth time.
Maybe I’m just a big softy and like seeing emotion like that from players who achieve something. But even if you take the emotion from McIlroy’s generation and even the young 20-somethings, ridding of the OWGR won’t work.
Tournament fields, more specifically major championship tournament fields, are built around the OWGR.
The Top 50 players in the world get an invitation to the Masters each year, for example. While you could argue that it would be easy to pick out maybe the Top 30 players in the world, what about those last few spots? Are we just going to draw names out of a hat for the final handful of spots for major championship exemptions or base it solely around wins and Top 10’s around the world?
The Masters and other majors could nix their current exemption systems and come up with something new, but for the most part, they’re working.
A point system makes things easier. Someone is always going to have their feelings hurt and players are always going to disagree on the points awarded, but being able to point to a system with actual data involved makes the process much fairer.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris