I'm not usually the cynical type (as you know), but Wednesday's announced change to the Official World Golf Ranking could be seen as timed to be lost in the haze of Open Championship preview stories...well, Tiger Woods preview stories.
Doug Ferguson explains what seems to be an admission that the system so vital to determining major championship fields was seriously flawed.
The formula is based on ranking points earned at each tournament, divided by the number of tournaments played. The value of points are gradually reduced every 13 weeks over a two-year period, with a minimum divisor of 40 tournaments.
That helped Tiger Woods, who doesn’t play 40 times over a two-year period. It hurt players like Singh, who was playing as many as 60 tournaments during that period. Despite winning nine times in 2004, he didn’t overtake Woods at No. 1 until late in the season.
The change is relatively simple.
The maximum divisor will be a player’s most recent 52 tournaments – no matter how many he has played in the two-year period. The board decided on that number because it is the average number of tournaments played by the top 200 players in the world.
The board also was concerned that players were skipping tournaments at key times in the year because a lower divisor might help their ranking when trying to qualify for World Golf Championships and some of the majors.