Jon Rahm Eviscerates ‘Laughable’ World Golf Ranking System After Rory McIlroy Praises It

The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) system has been a major topic of discussion in the golf world for most of 2022, with LIV Golf players looking to be awarded points. The latest controversy involving OWGR, however, doesn’t involve the Saudi-backed circuit.

Instead, we have differing opinions from Jon Rahm and Rory McIlroy.

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Rahm and McIlroy are both teeing it up in this week’s DP World Tour Championship, and ahead of the season-ending event, the media asked both of them about the recent changes made to the OWGR system.

The change in the OWGR system involves new strength of field calculations and rewards larger field sizes, which Rahm doesn’t agree with.

“I’m going to be as blunt as I can. I think the OWGR right now is laughable,” Rahm said. “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.”

It’s worth noting that Rahm made these scathing remarks while sitting beside DP World Tour chief Keith Pelly, who is one of eight OWGR committee members.

Breaking Down Rahm’s Complaint

To put things into context, 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.

Despite only one top 30 player in the world — Seamus Power — teeing it up at the RSM Classic on the PGA Tour, the winner secures 39 OWGR points. Given that it’s a full-field event, the RSM winner will receive more OWGR points.

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While Jon Rahm may not like the new OWGR system, Rory McIlroy thinks it’s more than fair. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

While Rahm hates the new system, McIlroy sang its praises.

“When you look at two different fields, you’ve got a 50-man field here versus a 144-man field there,” McIlroy explained. “So just in terms of how the strengths of field is calculated, they have 90 more players to contribute to their strength of field.

“I think it’s the fairest system that you can come up with right now,” he continued. “And a lot of work went into that, five years of algorithms and analysis and work went on into the system, so it’s not as if it changed overnight. A lot has went into it. It’s the best one that we can come up with right now, and I think it will take a while.”

Rory vs. Rahm: Who Has The Better Opinion?

Personally, I have to side with McIlroy here. The winner of this week’s RSM Classic will have to beat 155 players. The DP World Tour Championship may feature higher-ranked players but the winner will have only bested 49 golfers.

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The OWGR system is not — and likely never will be — perfect. Even the best players in the world will find something they don’t like about it.

Both Rahm and McIlroy make valid points, and it’s refreshing to see the two voice their opinions. At the end of the day, the only way to make the majority of players happy is to find some sort of middle ground.

Agreeing on that middle ground, well, that’s never going to be unanimous.

Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris

Written by Mark Harris

One Comment

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  1. I have to go with Rahm on this. Its the quality of the field, not the number of players you beat. The Masters also only has a field of 90-100 players, less than the RSM. But nobody is going to make the argument the field at the RSM is deeper than the one at the Masters.

    The equivalent would be if the NIT expanded its field to 128 teams versus the NCAA’s 64. Nobody would think that winning the NIT means you are better than the team that won the NCAA tourney

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