The last couple of weeks offer abundant evidence that the World Golf Rankings are broken.
As of this writing, Tiger Woods is still World Number One, based on last season’s five wins. Five wins is impressive, but I’m a what- have-you-done-lately kind of guy. This season, thanks to injury, Tiger has just three starts, for a T80, a WD and a T25. At this point, the World Golf Rankings measure not who is the best golfer in the world, but who USED to be the best golfer in the world.
Meanwhile, it was revealed last week that Adam Scott could ascend to number one by sitting out the Players Championship, or by finishing in the Top 16. To Scott’s credit, he chose not to sit. Unfortunately, he just made the cut, and finished in a T38. Scott needn’t have worried, though, he will be #1 after this week by virtue of NOT PLAYING the Byron Nelson.
Scott downplayed the importance of the rankings:
“I think it’s a nice feather in the cap. If I was never world number one when I’m this close, I would be disappointed.
“But I would also much rather win the US Open and not be number one at all this year. That’s what it comes down to.”
That seems to be the general attitude of TOUR players. Topping the rankings is nice, but incidental to everything else. My guess is that more PGA TOUR players pay attention to the FedEx Cup rankings. Doing well there has actual consequences: making the playoffs, keeping their cards and getting a chance to win $10 million.
In this, FedEx Cup Points are probably a more accurate measure of who is the best player right now. Tiger is ranked #205 on that list. Jimmy Walker, who has had a very good season, with three wins and six top tens is in first. This season, at least, a very good argument can be made that Jimmy Walker is better than Tiger Woods.