Whenever golf resumes again — which is anyone’s guess at this point — Rory McIlroy and Jin Young Ko will still be the No. 1 players in the world on the men’s and women’s sides, respectively.
On Friday, the governing boards of the world rankings noted that all rankings would be frozen until professional golf comes back.
The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) and Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking (WWGR) will be paused until further notice with professional golf currently inactive due to the global threat posed by Coronavirus (COVID-19). The Governing Boards of the OWGR and WWGR have decided that the rankings will be frozen at Week 11 (the week ending March 15th and 16th 2020) and will continue to monitor the impact of Coronavirus COVID-19. An announcement about the resumption of each respective ranking will be made in due course.
This is the fair and right thing for the OWGR and WWGR to do, otherwise we would have been in a situation where Aadil Bedi feasibly could have been the No. 1 player in the world if golf didn’t resume for a few years.
Golf rankings are based on a two-year rolling average where tournaments from two years ago come off the books and the most recent ones are weighted the heaviest. It remains to be seen if several weeks come off the books when golf resumes again or if they will slowly come off over time and the two-year rolling average will be extended to two years and multiple months based on how much time we’re away for.
This matters beyond bragging rights, too. World rankings are used to fill out fields for major championships and WGC events, and can help players earn enough money to retain their tour cards for the following season. It’s not just a vanity play, although for those at the top that’s mostly what it is since they already qualify for everything.
McIlroy recently became just the third player to pass the 100-week mark as the No. 1 player in the world. He’s currently at 101 weeks but has a long way to go to catch Tiger Woods, who spent 683 weeks as the No. 1 player in the world. Greg Norman is second at 331 weeks, which might also be impossible to catch.
Here’s how the men’s OWGR top 10 will look when play resumes.
- Rory McIlroy
- Jon Rahm
- Brooks Koepka
- Justin Thomas
- Dustin Johnson
- Adam Scott
- Patrick Reed
- Patrick Cantlay
- Webb Simpson
- Tommy Fleetwood