Super Spaniard Jon Rahm has described as ‘laughable’ the new ranking system in place at the Official World Golf Rankings.
Last year’s US Open champion had just been awarded Honorary Membership of the DP World Tour in recognition of his achievement last June but Rahm went from smiles and signs of genuine warmth in receiving the award from European Tour CEO Keith Pelley, to straight-faced and far from happy in describing the re-worked ranking system.
World No. 1 Rory McIlroy was drawn into the rankings controversy on Tuesday here in Dubai and venue for this week’s season-closing DP World Tour Championship (DPWTC), and did explain why the winner of the PGA Tour’s RSM Classic will be afforded 39 world ranking points whereas the new DPWTC champion, and in a field that boasts the world’s best player and the reigning US Open winner, Matt Fitzpatrick will only attract 21 points.
McIlroy explained basically the fact the RSM boasts a field of 144-players compared to a Dubai field will see the top-50 tee-up on the Earth course.
Whatever, it does not sit well with the present World No. 5 ranked Rahm, himself also a past World No. 1.
“I’m going to be as blunt as I can. I think the OWGR right now is laughable. Laughable. Laughable. The fact that the RSM doesn’t have any of the top 20 in the world has more points than this event where we have seven of the top 20 is laughable. The fact that Wentworth had less points than 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. I think they have made a mistake. I think some aspects of it might be beneficial but I think they have devalued the value of the better players.
“Like easily, for example, you have the 30 best players of the year , you should not be punished because it’s a smaller field. Depth of field doesn’t mean a better tournament. I could go on and on. I think they have missed the mark on that stance quite a bit.”
That aside, Rahm is delighted to be returning to Dubai where five years ago he captured the DP World double – the DPWTC and the Europe No. 1 and, as mentioned, clearly thrilled to be honoured with life membership of the Tour, an award bestowed on fellow Spanish greats Seve Ballesteros and Sergio Garcia.
“Well, you know, that’s something when I started my pro career, I didn’t know it was a possibility. But I think it was 2017 when I was playing in Valderrama, that Tuesday or Wednesday dinner hosted by Sergio’s foundation and he was presented, it might have been 2018, he was presented with the life — Honorary Life Membership, and I was present. I was present when he won the Masters and was present when he was awarded with this great honour.
“To join the list of the icons that have earned it, it is truly an honour. I’ve said many times, any time in our small country, golf-wise, any time you can write your name in history next to some of the greatest that have accomplished this before me is very unique.
“To keep doing things like this, is a true honour to represent Spain. It’s a true honour to receive it, so thank you.”
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