There will be no changes to the men's or women's world rankings which means that qualification for the Olympics is a lot closer to being decided
Rory McIlroy and Jin Young Ko will remain as the World No. 1s for the foreseeable future after it was announced that both the men’s and women’s world rankings will be frozen due to the coronavirus.
As things stand the European Tour is due to get going again in Ireland on May 28, the PGA Tour in Texas the week before and the LPGA Tour the week before though needless to say all of that is subject to change and quite possibly further postponements.
So the Official World Golf Ranking (men) and the Rolex Rankings (women) released a joint statement saying that both systems would be paused “until further notice”.
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The rankings will be frozen from the week ending March 16 and, given that it is a two-year rolling cycle, this means that players won’t slip down due to their previous results from other years without the chance to boost their points.
How any of this affects the major fields is all up in the air, as is whether McIlroy gets the extra weeks on his No. 1 CV but there are more pertinent ramifications.
One of which is the Olympics where the June cut-offs remain in place so we are further down the line in terms of knowing who is going to make their respective teams. Then again who knows if the Games are a) going to take place and b) there are likely to be a further raft of player withdrawals?
As things stand Tiger Woods is the World No. 11 and the seventh American on the list but Dustin Johnson has already said he won’t be in Tokyo and Brooks Koepka has hinted at doing the same.
A statement on the International Golf Federation website read: “The qualification system will conclude on June 22 for the men and to June 29 for the women, with players accumulating points over a two-year ‘rolling’ period.
“This has proven to be a fair and equitable system and despite the freeze, we believe that the system remains fair to all athletes who are vying for qualification to the Tokyo Olympic Games. We have discussed this with the IOC, which fully supports the decision.”
Sixty men and women will tee it up in Japan, with the men kicking things off on July 30 and the women on August 5.