Jon Rahm unleashed a scathing attack on the Official World Golf Ranking after Rory McIlroy had defended the new points system

Some world rankings beef not involving LIV Golf? Surely not. Just 24 hours after Rory McIlroy defended the changes to the OWGR, Jon Rahm has ripped into the organisation, hammering the current system as “laughable” in a typically epic rant.

Speaking ahead of the DP World Tour Championship – where seven of the world’s top 25 will be competing for the circuit’s season finale in Dubai – Rahm went all in on the OWGR for only offering a fraction of world ranking points compared to last year’s event.

“I’m going to be as blunt as I can,” Rahm began – so you instantly know it’s going to be good. “The OWGR right now is laughable. Laughable. Laughable.”

In 2021, Collin Morikawa picked up 37 points for becoming the first American to win the DP World Tour Championship. But in 2022 – under the re-worked format which came into play in August – the winner in Dubai will only secure a measly 21. This is due to the event having a limited field. (Look away now, Greg Norman.)

On top of that, the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic this week is offering 39 points for the winner, despite the highest-ranked player being Seamus Power, who is World No 30. This is because the event boasts a full, 156-man field at Sea Island, a factor which the new OWGR system rewards to a greater degree than purely the rankings of players. (Look away again, Greg Norman.)

“The fact that the RSM doesn’t have any of the top 20 in the world [and] has more points than this event where we have seven of the top 20 is laughable,” Rahm continued. “The fact that [the BMW PGA Championship at] Wentworth had less points than [the Fortinet Championship at] Napa, having players in the top 10 in the world is laughable.

“I understand what they are trying to do with the depth of field, but having the best players in the world automatically makes the tournament better. I don’t care what their system says.

“They have made a mistake. Some aspects of it might be beneficial, but they have devalued the value of the better players.”

So where does McIlroy stand in all this? Well, unlike his Ryder Cup ally Rahm, the World No 1 defended the system during his DP World Tour Championship presser, hailing the changes as a “much fairer”.

golf world rankings

“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.

“So the reason that this has got 21 points and the RSM has got 39 is the person that wins the RSM has to beat 139 other guys. You only have to beat 49 other guys here. It’s a much fairer system. I think it rewards people that. It’s pure numbers. Strength of field has not hurt people feelings.

“Has it upset people? Yes, because people have been used to getting a certain amount of world ranking points in one event and now it’s dropped. But I would say those events were getting more than they should be.

“I think it’s the fairest system that you can come up with right now. 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.”

We guess Rahm and McIlroy will have to agree to disagree on this one as the most divisive year in golf history adds another chapter.

Despite the epic rant, Rahm then ended the press conference with a smile on his face after he was awarded DP World Tour Honorary Membership along with Matt Fitzpatrick.

George Cooper

A golf fanatic his entire life, George Cooper is NCG's man for all goings-on at the top level of the game, whether it's the PGA Tour, DP World Tour, LPGA or LIV Golf. He also looks after NCG's Twitter and Facebook accounts. George is a member of Woburn, but is not friends with Ian Poulter.

Handicap: 14

PGA Catalunya Stadium PGA Catalunya Stadium

The NCG Top 100s Tour is heading to Europe for a multi-day event at PGA Catalunya. Prices start at £799 per golfer.


Subscribe to NCG