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Jon Rahm: Golf’s World Ranking system is laughable

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Anyone clicking on to “This Week’s Events” on the OWGR webpage this week may be in for surprise.

In order of points awarded, the RSM Classic, a typical end of season event on the PGA Tour, rewards the winner at Sea Island almost twice the ranking points of the victor at the DP World Championship. This despite Dubai hosting world number one, Rory McIlroy, former number one and current number five Jon Rahm, ninth placed Matt Fitzpatrick, and five further players from the world’s top-30.

In contrast, after world number 12 Tony Finau pulled out of the event in Georgia, top of the shop is Seamus Power, ranked 30, in-form but with nothing like the pedigree of the three previously named, nor Shane Lowry or Viktor Hovland.

The 50-strong field teeing it up at the Earth Course have earned their places via a season-long ranking table, and Rahm doesn’t find the points system amusing at all.

OWGR now ranks events on overall strength of field, and with a full field against a limited one, the RSM Classic has a rating of over 100 points higher than the championship event, therefore points are distributed as such.

Rahm was not afraid of letting his feelings be known ahead of this week’s event:

“I’m going to be as blunt as I can. I think the OWGR right now is laughable”

“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,” Rahm added.

“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.”

The official ranking system has already been called into question on many occasions this year, with many questioning their validity after all LIV events were declared as not qualifying for any ranking points.

This has meant a drop in rankings for the likes of Dustin Johnson and 2022 Open Championship winner Cam Smith, something LIV is very keen to turn round in the future.

Keith Pelley, DP World Tour chief, is already under intense pressure to talk to the LIV ruling committee, and the rebellious talk from one of his own supportive players can’t help matters.

“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,” he said. “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.”

Rahm is adamant that beating better players is the route to increased points:

“Would you rather win a tournament when you have the number one player in the world there or the 30th or 6th there?” asked the 2021 US Open winner.

“I think it’s more valuable if you’re beating best players in the world. I think a lot of people would agree and I think it should reflect that.”

That puts Rahm at odds with another anti-LIV player and Ryder Cup colleague, Rory McIlroy, who gave his support to the new way of points distribution.

“You’ve got a 50-man field here versus a 144-man field there,” said the FedEX Cup winner.

“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.”

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19th Hole

Why Ludvig Aberg is my new favorite player – GolfWRXers discuss

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In our forums, our members have been discussing one of the new sensations in the world of golf – Ludvig Aberg. The 24-year-old finished solo second at the Masters a couple of weeks ago, and gained many plaudits, including from several WRXers.

One member, RoyalMustang, took to the forums to explain why Aberg is now their favorite player, saying:

“I loved the way the Ludvig was out there, having a great time, not taking himself or the situation too seriously. Even after the double at 11, he was like “well, that’s golf!” Loose and relaxed: that’s the way to play. It’s obvious he loves what he’s doing, he loves the big moments, and he loves being a part of it all.

Arnold Palmer was viewed that way. Just like Brooks Robinson was forever viewed as not just a great baseball player, but a great human being and friend to Baltimore.”

And our members have been reacting and sharing their positive takes on the young Swede.

Here are a few posts from the thread, but make sure to check out the entire discussion and have your say at the link below.

  • redfirebird08: “Ludvig has a great attitude, a great smile, and a great golf swing.”
  • otto6457: “I’m very lucky to have talked with Ludde several times at the Rawls Course at Texas Tech.  He’s a truly nice guy and very friendly.  Always said hello when we passed each other in the club house and was always smiling. Watching him hit balls on the range was a joy.  He has “that sound” and trajectory to die for.  There were many times he was out on the range in 30+ mph winds just hitting the most beautiful shots that just seemed to ignore the wind.  World class ball striker. And yes……..I am a fan boy.”
  • konklifer: “I like him. In an era of endless waggles and laboring, his swing and pace of play are a joy to watch.

Entire Thread: “Why Ludvig Aberg is my new favorite player – GolfWRXers discuss”

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19th Hole

‘Absolutely crazy’ – Major champ lays into Patrick Cantlay over his decision on final hole of RBC Heritage

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Over the past year or so, PGA Tour star Patrick Cantlay has taken a great deal of criticism for his pace of play.

Now, Cantlay is once again under fire for a questionable decision he made on Sunday at the RBC Heritage.

After the horn sounded to suspend play due to darkness, Cantlay, whose ball was in the fairway on the 18th hole, had a decision to make. With over 200 yards into the green and extreme winds working against the shot, conventional wisdom would be to wait until Monday morning to hit the shot.

On the other hand, if he could finish the hole, he may just want to get the event over with so he could get out of Hilton Head.

Curiously, Cantlay chose neither of those options. After hitting 3-wood into the green, and still coming up short, the former FedEx Cup champion chose to mark his ball and return to chip and putt on Monday morning.

Ian Woosnam, who was watching from home, took to X to give his thoughts on Cantlay’s decision-making.

Cantlay would end up getting up and down for par when play resumed at 8:00 Monday morning.

Following his round, Cantlay explained his decision to wait to hit his third shot the next morning:

“I really did want to finish last night, so I felt like if I could get the ball up there maybe in an easier spot, maybe I would have finished, but as I got the ball up near the green, I realized it would be easier to finish this morning. That’s what I decided to do.”

GolfWRX has reached out to Patrick Cantlay’s management team for a response to Woosnam’s comments.

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19th Hole

Vincenzi’s 2024 Zurich Classic of New Orleans betting preview

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The PGA TOUR heads to New Orleans to play the 2023 Zurich Classic of New Orleans. In a welcome change from the usual stroke play, the Zurich Classic is a team event. On Thursday and Saturday, the teams play best ball, and on Friday and Sunday the teams play alternate shot.

TPC Louisiana is a par 72 that measures 7,425 yards. The course features some short par 4s and plenty of water and bunkers, which makes for a lot of exciting risk/reward scenarios for competitors. Pete Dye designed the course in 2004 specifically for the Zurich Classic, although the event didn’t make its debut until 2007 because of Hurricane Katrina.

Coming off of the Masters and a signature event in consecutive weeks, the field this week is a step down, and understandably so. Many of the world’s top players will be using this time to rest after a busy stretch.

However, there are some interesting teams this season with some stars making surprise appearances in the team event. Some notable teams include Patrick Cantlay and Xander Schauffele, Rory McIlroy and Shane Lowry, Collin Morikawa and Kurt Kitayama, Will Zalatoris and Sahith Theegala as well as a few Canadian teams, Nick Taylor and Adam Hadwin and Taylor Pendrith and Corey Conners.

Past Winners at TPC Louisiana

  • 2023: Riley/Hardy (-30)
  • 2022: Cantlay/Schauffele (-29)
  • 2021: Leishman/Smith (-20)
  • 2019: Palmer/Rahm (-26)
  • 2018: Horschel/Piercy (-22)
  • 2017: Blixt/Smith (-27)

2024 Zurich Classic of New Orleans Picks

Tom Hoge/Maverick McNealy +2500 (DraftKings)

Tom Hoge is coming off of a solid T18 finish at the RBC Heritage and finished T13 at last year’s Zurich Classic alongside Harris English.

This season, Hoge is having one of his best years on Tour in terms of Strokes Gained: Approach. In his last 24 rounds, the only player to top him on the category is Scottie Scheffler. Hoge has been solid on Pete Dye designs, ranking 28th in the field over his past 36 rounds.

McNealy is also having a solid season. He’s finished T6 at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and T9 at the PLAYERS Championship. He recently started working with world renowned swing coach, Butch Harmon, and its seemingly paid dividends in 2024.

Keith Mitchell/Joel Dahmen +4000 (DraftKings)

Keith Mitchell is having a fantastic season, finishing in the top-20 of five of his past seven starts on Tour. Most recently, Mitchell finished T14 at the Valero Texas Open and gained a whopping 6.0 strokes off the tee. He finished 6th at last year’s Zurich Classic.

Joel Dahmen is having a resurgent year and has been dialed in with his irons. He also has a T11 finish at the PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass which is another Pete Dye track. With Mitchell’s length and Dahmen’s ability to put it close with his short irons, the Mitchell/Dahmen combination will be dangerous this week.

Taylor Moore/Matt NeSmith +6500 (DraftKings)

Taylor Moore has quickly developed into one of the more consistent players on Tour. He’s finished in the top-20 in three of his past four starts, including a very impressive showing at The Masters, finishing T20. He’s also finished T4 at this event in consecutive seasons alongside Matt NeSmith.

NeSmith isn’t having a great 2024, but has seemed to elevate his game in this format. He finished T26 at Pete Dye’s TPC Sawgrass, which gives the 30-year-old something to build off of. NeSmith is also a great putter on Bermudagrass, which could help elevate Moore’s ball striking prowess.

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