The Official World Golf Ranking is critically important in the world of golf.
The OWGR, for short, determines significant portions of the field for major championships, The Players, several World Golf Championships events and so many more big tournaments. Being inside the top 50, 60 or 100 in the Official World Golf Ranking can mean having more playing opportunities for bigger purses against better players.
Players, then, should want to earn Official World Golf Ranking points to climb the ranking, get into better events and land on bigger tours. It's a path to access the game's biggest tournaments.
However, for players who aren't competing on the PGA Tour or European Tour, climbing the Official World Golf Ranking can be arduous. Players on lesser-known tours, like the Asian Tour, Web.com Tour, Sunshine Tour and PGA Tour of Australasia, have to dominate those circuits to gain the pittance of world-ranking points available. There aren't many world-ranking points available because these tours don't attract fields with top-ranked players who single-handedly can dramatically increase an event's strength of field. The higher the strength of field of an event, the higher the number of OWGR points available to the winner, as well the higher the number of players who earn some kind of OWGR points for their finish that week.
What are flagship events?
In a partial effort to alleviate this problem, the Official World Golf Ranking allows the top six tours and their top developmental tours to declare a flagship event. The flagship event for each tour is considered that tour's biggest event that's not co-sanctioned by other tours (like the majors, for example). A tour's flagship event is given a guaranteed Strength of Field rating, regardless of the players competing, meaning the flagship events offer guaranteed minimum first-place points and a guaranteed number of places to get OWGR points. Each flagship event has a different minimum Strength of Field rating.
Official World Golf Ranking flagship events
As far as the Official World Golf Ranking is concerned, here are the flagship events for each tour:
- PGA Tour: The Players Championship (80 points to 1st)
- European Tour: BMW PGA Championship (64 points to 1st)
- Japan Golf Tour: Japan Open (32 points to 1st)
- Sunhine Tour: South African Open (32 points to 1st)
- Australasian PGA Tour: Australian Open (32 points to 1st)
- Asian Tour: Indonesian Masters (20 points to 1st)
- Web.com Tour: Web.com Tour Championship (20 points to 1st)
- European Challenge Tour: Grand Final (17 points to 1st)
The tours are allowed to change their flagship events, though they have to make that formal declaration to the Official World Golf Ranking.