With the PGA Tour set to return to action at Colonial on June 11, and the Korean LPGA Tour kicking back up this week with a major, the KLPGA Championship, worldwide pro golf is starting to get moving again.
However, while there are plans in place for some tours, there are others still that won’t be playing again until later in the summer, if not delayed until the fall. That leads to an as-yet-unanswered question: When will the world ranking systems start up again?
The Official World Golf Ranking for male players and the Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking for female players is influential in determining a sizable portion of tournament fields for major championships and invitational tournaments. Many pros derive performance bonuses from sponsors based on their standing in the world rankings.
Were the two ranking systems to start rating tournaments upon the resumption of a major worldwide tour — the Korean LPGA for women and the PGA Tour for men — then those tours would have a multi-month head start compared to their peer tours. On the women’s side, the LPGA Tour won’t resume in the United States before July, while the European Tour will pick up its season no sooner than the end of July. This would mean players on the go-first tours would have time to rack up points (and lose points) while their peers would be stuck not only without an opportunity to earn points but the burden of losing earned points as part of the world ranking formulas’ natural algorithm of shedding points over time.
If the world ranking systems kick back up with the re-start of these tours, they could have a dramatic impact on the majors scheduled through the remainder of the year.
On the men’s side, the Official World Golf Ranking will still have influence over the PGA Championship (2018 Ryder Cup players must be in the top 100 in the OWGR to be exempt) and the US Open (the top 60 players at the cutoff date earn an exemption). The Masters field is already set.
On the women’s side, all five majors are still scheduled for this year all influenced in some way by the Rolex Rankings.
So far, neither body has commented publicly on when they will begin awarding points again. However, we may have a clue that a pause is in the offing. The Rolex Rankings website does not (currently) list the KLPGA Championship as a tournament for this week, nor a rating for the field.