Rex Hoggard reminds us why there should be concern about the USGA and other organizations relying so heavily on the Official World Golf Ranking to determine fields for major events. He speaks to currently injured, but always thoughtful PGA Tour player Arron Oberholser, who reels off a solid list of glaring problems with the rankings.
For starters there is the "Home Tour" bonus that increases an event's strength of field, the determining factor for how many points a tournament is awarded come ranking computation time.
The previous year’s money winner is worth eight points, followed by No. 2 (7 points) and so on up to a maximum of 75 points or 75 percent of the total strength-of-field value.
The rule was established during the Nick Faldo-Greg Norman era as a result of skyrocketing purses on the American circuit. It was structured to protect the globe’s other circuits and give marquee players a reason to support the home tour, but has since become pro golf’s version of revenue sharing.
Last October, Bill Haas won the Viking Classic and earned 24 World Ranking points. A world away someone named Michio Matsumura won the Japan Golf Tour’s Tokai Classic and earned 18 points. It’s a snapshot that defies explanation based on the overall strength of the PGA Tour.
By clinging to the “home tour” rule officials have unnecessarily narrowed the global playing field and skewed the World Ranking.
“It’s like spotting a weaker ping-pong player seven points when you’re playing to 21,” Oberholser said.
Hoggard also looks at the decision of Lucas Glover to pass on the AT&T this week in order to get into the WGC Match play. Currently 65th, Glover's priority is preparing for the Masters, not his world ranking, says his agent.
“He does everything with the Masters on his mind. He starts with Houston (Open) the week before and works his way back,” Glover’s manager with Crown Sports Mac Barnhardt said. “But if I was worried about World Ranking points I’d send him overseas, he’d get more points and an appearance fee.”