by Jeff Skinner
December may seem like a strange time to be talking about a change in the top ranked golfers in the world but that is what we have this week. The LPGA closes out its season with the Tour Championship and will crown their Player of the Year. The world number one will also be determined by the final rankings in The Women’s Rolex Rankings. The men could also have a change in the World Rankings but there is a distinct difference in the validity of the points earned this week by the men.
The LPGA is playing a legitimate, full field tournament that truly means something. The men, on both the PGA Tour and The European Tour are playing in narrow field, invitation only tournaments. The PGA Tour’s Chevron World Challenge has only eighteen players. There are only twelve players at The Nedbank Golf Challenge in Sun City, South Africa. No one can question any of these players trying to win a few extra dollars for all that Christmas shopping and I am glad that we all will have some golf to watch this week but how do this tournaments qualify for World Golf Ranking points?
If Tiger Woods wins his own tournament and new world number one, Lee Westwood finishes in third place, or lower in Sun City, Woods will reclaim his number one ranking because there are World Ranking points awarded at these “mini tournaments.” This is ludicrous. How does competing in a very small field of handpicked players at this time of year warrant a reward of points in the World Golf Rankings? There is no way that there should be points attached to these tournaments. I understand the market for these outings and they serve the players that compete in them well but the money won should be reward enough. There are only thirty players competing in both tournaments and to give points for playing here is wrong.
This is just one more reason The World Golf Rankings need to be revamped. There are plenty of people, much smarter than myself that have come up with the formula for the rankings. It is time they got together and gave us a system that reflects the best golfers in the world right now and handing points out for a winter get together with a few select players isn’t the way to do it. First they need to use only one calendar year for their formula, not the two year span they use now. Second, they have to forget handing out points at these mini tournaments. These tournaments are fun to watch but they shouldn’t have an effect on the world rankings at all.