Rahm: The World Ranking System Is Laughable

Golf's world ranking system has been a hot topic in recent months and it caught the headlines once again this week with a big slant towards the PGA Tour's RSM Classic rather than the DP World Tour Championship.

Following a recent change ranking points are now determined on a tournament's total strength of the field so, given that there were only 50 players in Dubai, the tournament has a field rating of 121 points with something like 22 being awarded to the winner.

Conversely the RSM event has a rating of 223.16 with the winner likely to pick up around 38 points.

Something that Jon Rahm has described as 'laughable' with the bulk of the big names being in Dubai, where the prize pot is $10m, rather than in the States. Despite the small field in Dubai eight of the world's top 30 are teeing it up whereas only four from the same pot are playing on the PGA Tour from a field of 156 players.

"I'm going to be as blunt as I can, I think the OWGR right now is laughable," Rahm said. "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. The 30 best players of the year 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."

On the other hand Rory McIlroy claimed that the new system, which was introduced in August, was a fairer reflection of how the points should be dished out.

"You've got a 50-man field here versus a 144-man field there," McIlroy said. "So just in terms of how the strengths of field is calculated, they have 90 more players to contribute to their strength of field. So the reason that this has got 21 points and the RSM has got 39 is the person that wins the RSM has to beat 139 other guys. You only have to beat 49 other guys here. It's a much fairer system."

The head of the DP World Tour Keith Pelley, who is a board member of the Official World Golf Rankings, has promised to raise the Spaniard's thoughts on the matter.

"There is no doubt that Jon Rahm's conversation and some of the other noticeable changes around OWGR will be a topic at our next board meeting," Pelley told the BBC. "It is prudent to bring it up based on our top players and their comments. The OWGR is a hot topic for many reasons. There were four universities that did a detailed study and all came to the conclusion that the world rankings didn't necessarily reflect the game of golf.

"As a result we implemented a new system. And like with any new system you evaluate it and modify it if changes are needed."