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Tony Finau was able to hold off Jon Rahm to win the Mexico Open over the weekend, but the biggest storylines surrounding both players involve family and big-picture accomplishments.
On the other side of the globe, Talor Gooch went back-to-back on LIV Golf earning a win in Singapore. His month of April will certainly be one he, and his bank account, remember for a long time.
You can’t talk LIV Golf these days without mentioning the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR), which has officially hit the point of being completely obsolete in the grand scheme of things.
We dive into it all in this week’s edition of Par Talk.
Tony Finau Is The Most Likable Guy In Golf
The story of Tony Finau for the majority of his career has been that he can’t win, but he’s completely erased that punchline thanks to picking up four wins in the last 10 months. His Mexico Open win this weekend had a major asterisk next to it as well given that he was able to hold off World No. 1 and the hottest player on the planet, Jon Rahm.
Finau may have begun Sunday’s final round with a two-shot cushion over Rahm, but many players on the Tour would have squandered the opportunity and let the Spaniard spoil the party, but not Finau. A final-round score of 5-under par gave him a three-shot win over this year’s Masters champ.
While his golf game and his four wins in less than a year’s time speak for themselves, Finau’s ultimately family-man lifestyle only adds to why so many people gravitate toward cheering him on week after week.
Finau, a father of five, went full dad mode after his win in Mexico on Sunday and was spotted caddying for two of his sons just hours after finding the winner’s circle.
Maybe it’s the new dad in me speaking but seeing a father not only being there with his kids but choosing to do so and being a father following major accomplishments in life is about as cool as it gets.
Talor Gooch Had Himself An April
While Jon Rahm has unquestionably been the most consistent player in professional golf in 2023, you could argue the No. 2 spot on that list belongs to Talor Gooch.
After blitzing the field in LIV Golf’s Australia event last week, Gooch kept the good vibes going in Singapore this past weekend and held off Sergio Garcia in a playoff to go back-to-back.
With his back-to-back individual wins, Gooch has earned $8 million in just one week’s time. To put that into perspective, Gooch earned just over $9 million in 121 starts on the PGA Tour, which included one victory.
It’s safe to say that he’s enjoying being a part of LIV Golf at the moment.
If making $8 million wasn’t satisfying enough for Gooch, his RangeGoats team also took home the team title in Singapore with the four-man team splitting a pot of $3 million.
Jon Rahm Has Already Broken The Season Earnings Record, With Room To Earn Much More
Speaking of money, Jon Rahm has earned a lot of this season. In fact, he’s already broken the PGA Tour season earnings record. The scary thing is he did so before the calendar even flipped to May.
With his runner-up finish in the Mexico Open, Rahm has banked nearly $14.5 million in just 12 starts. Averaging over a $1 million payday each time you tee it up isn’t too shabby.
With three major championships and five elevated events still left on the schedule, plus the very real possibility of winning the Tour Championship, Rahm could earn $40 million this season alone.
Rahm, and really all of the PGA Tour, may want to send Greg Norman and LIV Golf a thank you card after the end of the year. Increased purses on the PGA Tour are a direct response to the threat of LIV Golf and Rahm has taken every opportunity to cash in on the new money the PGA Tour magically found.
It’s OK To Say The OWGR Is No Longer Credible
Questioning the legitimacy of the OWGR does not make you a LIV Golf truther and PGA Tour hater, despite what golf fans and talking heads may suggest. It’s perfectly fine to talk about whether or not the OWGR is the gold standard in golf, and personally, I think we’ve officially hit the point where the ranking system is obsolete.
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LIV Golf learned earlier this year that it would not be receiving World Ranking points this season as its application to do so has yet to be reviewed. This of course makes it close to impossible for any non-exempt LIV players to earn a spot in major championships.
To be fair, every player who jumped ship for LIV Golf knew exactly what they were getting into, so there is no reason to feel sorry for guys who may be on the outside looking in, but two things can be true at once.
Gooch has won back-to-back tournaments and is No. 60 in the world dropping a full 20 spots since the end of 2022. Dustin Johnson is 74th in the OWGR dropping 23 spots since the start of 2023.
Without the ability to earn any points, LIV Golfers rankings are only going to go in one direction. That is a very obvious issue, but the overarching problem is the OWGR is clearly failing to rank golfers around the world, which is the system’s one and only mission.
Something has got to give, and it eventually will, but as long as the major championships stick with a criteria of allowing top-ranked players in the world into tournament fields, the OWGR is keeping the best players in the world from competing on the game’s biggest stages.
Follow Mark Harris on Twitter @ItIsMarkHarris
One CommentLeave a Reply
This is the correct way to analyze the golf world at the moment. Fun things are happening on the PGA Tour, fun things are happening in LIV, and the fans can enjoy both. Meanwhile, OWGR (and “the establishment golf community”) can ignore things at their own peril. The results at the Masters proved LIV has a lot of the best golfers in the world. If OWGR doesn’t reflect that obvious fact, why does it even exist?