Cameron Smith rankings ‘mess’ exposes golf’s big problem

Australian Cameron Smith’s PGA victory at Royal Queensland was not only notable for the fact that it was another win in an incredible season for the 29-year-old.

It was also the first time since late August that the Aussie had earned world ranking points, thanks to his high-profile stint on Greg Norman’s LIV Golf tour, which saw him pocket a $140million entry fee of dollars.

The fact that he is still ranked third in the world is a testament to the extraordinary performances he has put in during the first half of the year, including his first major victory at The Open Championship, as well as a win at the event. flagship of the PGA Tour, the Players Championship.

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His win at Chicago’s LIV Golf event in September, where he finished three strokes ahead of Dustin Johnson and Peter Uihlein, just didn’t happen as far as the world rankings go, despite the fact that he beat a field containing 11 other great champions. .

The global rankings are currently in the spotlight, with Spanish star Jon Rahm describing the changes that came into effect in August as ‘laughable’, as debate continues over whether or not LIV Golf should be recognized by the rankings. .

“Any time you get a group of the best golfers in the world competing against each other, a ranking system that allows you to measure golfer against golfer should be there,” said 2006 US Open champion Geoff Ogilvy. , at Wide World of Sports.

“So I probably think they should get some World Golf Ranking points.

“The way you determine how many points they get, versus a PGA Tour event or a European Tour event, that’s where it’s more difficult. I don’t think the fact that “they play 54 holes is too important. To be fair, I think they should probably get some world ranking points.”

The Australian Open is live on Nine and 9Now of Thursday.

Rahm’s objections had to do with the fact that the recent DP World Tour Championship, which featured seven of the top 25 players in the world, offered fewer ranking points to the winner than this week’s PGA Tour event, which featured none of the top 25. best players. .

“It’s basically impossible to compare a champ playing on the PGA Tour to a champ on the DP World Tour and the relativity of all of that, and who played better that week,” Ogilvy explained.

“Was he the guy who won in Europe, Japan or America? It’s impossible to measure.

“If you had the top 100 golfers playing against each other every week, you’d have a pretty accurate ranking, but because everyone plays in different places in different conditions against different terrains, they try their best. I don’t know. don’t think they always do well, but I don’t know how you do better.”

New Zealander Ryan Fox, who has just completed a stellar year on the DP World Tour which saw him rise to No. 27 in the world, conceded that the new system does not place enough emphasis on having the best players in the field.

“There are definitely some things to sort out,” Fox told Wide World of Sports.

“I heard there will be a review. I can see why they changed it, but there are definitely some tweaks needed.

“I spoke to Rory McIlory about it last week, he argued that he had a harder time beating a Jon Rahm, as opposed to 20-30 100-200 rated guys in the world.

“The old system took care of the best players and valued them much more than the current system.”

Fox also admitted that the case of LIV players earning ranking points is complicated.

“The argument is certainly valid. Cam is one of the best players in the world, as is DJ,” he said.

“But I can also see it from the other side, which is some guys have never played a pro event outside of LIV.

“Obviously, LIV thinks they ticked a lot of boxes, and OWGR thinks not.

“It’s messy, I don’t know if they should get points or not, that’s for people much smarter than me to figure out.”

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