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The Official World Golf Ranking, the system which has ranked golfers’ for years, has gone undergone some significant changes.

First announced last year, the tweaks will be implemented for the first time in events taking place this week. 

The OWGR team says that they have made the changes to remove bias that has been shown in the rankings.

Before we get to those changes, it’s important to note that many things will stay the same.

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Results from the last two years, for example will still count towards a player’s ranking, with recent results weighted heavier than those from the past. 

As well as that, the major championships will still be weighted heavier than regular tour events.

However, there will be differences going forward. Let’s take a closer look…

Tour Minimums

This is perhaps the most notable change.

Previously, each tour had a minimum Strength of Field rating. For the DP World Tour, that minimum was 24, the same as the PGA Tour.

The actual Strength of Field was occasionally lower than this number but, due to this rule, the event’s rating had been rounded up to 24.

Going forward, that will no longer be the case, meaning that, in many events, DP World Tour players are likely to be playing for less ranking points.

Home Tour Ratings

Essentially, this function meant that if some of that tour’s best players were in the field, regardless of their overall world ranking, the Strength of Field was boosted.

For example, if the Alps Tour’s top ranked player from 2021 was playing in a 2022 event, this would boost the ranking of the event, separately from their world ranking.

Now, field strength is calculated not just by those in the top-200 of the rankings but by every player in the field.

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Flagship Events

While The PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass – the PGA Tour’s flagship tournament – is still guaranteed a minimum of 80 points, that is no longer the case across every tour.

The BMW PGA Championship, held at Wentworth by the DP World Tour, was previously guaranteed a minimum Strength of Field of 64 points. However, this is set to change. Saying that, it’s likely that prestigious events will still attract a strong field, so this tweak may not have great material impact.

Awarding of points

From now on, every player who makes the cut in an event will be awarded some ranking points. Under the previous system, some players who played the weekend were still awarded no world ranking points. 

Players will now also be assigned a Strokes Gained ‘world rating’ which will determine how many points they bring to the field. The sum of these points is calculated to determine how many ranking points are awarded after the event. 

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So, what do the changes to the OWGR mean?

Until the system has been used for a while, it will be difficult to say how it will impact players.

However, results that had previously been calculated in the old system will remain for the time being.

In future, it looks likely that tours with weaker fields will find it tougher to award as much ranking points as they had done previously.

In other words, it’s potentially great news for the PGA Tour… but perhaps not so much for the DP World Tour and others like it.

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Lewis Fraser As bunkered’s Performance Editor, Lewis oversees the content that’s designed to make you a better player. From the latest gear to tuition, nutrition, strategy and more, he’s the man. A graduate of the University of Stirling, Lewis joined bunkered in 2021. Formerly a caddie at Castle Stuart Golf Links, he is a member of Bathgate Golf Club where he plays off four.

Performance Editor

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