The Official World Golf Rankings are based on two years (24 months) of play, and it’s rather confusing – to say the least.
According to the OWGR website:
“The points for each player are accumulated over a two-year “rolling” period with the points awarded for each tournament maintained for a 13-week period to place additional emphasis on recent performances. Ranking points are then reduced in equal decrements for the remaining 91 weeks of the two year Ranking period.”
With a good sample size now in the can (basically one-third of the 2019 season), we’re going to re-rank the OWGR’s top-25 based on how they’ve performed in 2019 to see who is truly the best player at the moment.
It should be no surprise that the best player in 2019 has been Rory McIlroy, who is averaging a mind-boggling 26.66 points per start. In his seven 2019 appearances, Rory has finished inside the top-10 each time, including a win at the PLAYERS, and a runner-up in Mexico.
RORY RULES IN 2019
Tournament (Pos, OWGR Pts)
WGC-Dell Match Play (9th, 8.88)
THE PLAYERS Championship (1st, 80.00)
Arnold Palmer Invitational (6th, 11.04)
WGC-Mexico Championship (2nd, 43.20)
Genesis Open (4th, 17.28)
Farmers Insurance Open (5th, 12.40)
Sentry Tournament of Champions (4th, 13.81)
In context, Graeme McDowell earned 24 OWGR points for winning the opposite-field event in the Dominican Republic this past weekend. So, essentially, each time Rory tees it up in 2019, he’s averaging more points than the winner of a lower-tier PGA Tour event.
Officially, McIlroy is ranked No. 3 in the world this week, so the re-ranking only moves him up two spots. The biggest mover in the rankings – in a positive direction, however, was newly minted WGC Match Play champ Kevin Kisner, who’s sits at No. 25, but would be listed at No. 10 based on 2019 play.
On the other end of the spectrum was Brooks Koepka, who’s ranked No. 4 but would fall to No. 21 based on play this year. And despite not winning yet, Justin Thomas appears to be the most consistent top-ranked player. The 25-year American is ranked No. 5 (for a two-year period), but only falls to No. 7 for 2019.