Nearly a year after the world came to a halt in response to COVID-19, the Rolex Women's World Golf Ranking is set to resume its normal function this week.
On March 20, 2020, the ranking was paused while the sporting world stopped in the initial response to the pandemic. Major tours around the world canceled events, leaving the future schedule uncertain. It would have been unfair for the ranking to continue with its rolling, 104-week formula when players were unable to replace points that continuously age under the system's formula.
However, by mid-summer, women's professional golf was starting to resume in spots. The Rolex Rankings formula was changed to accommodate the reality of a spotty resumption.
On July 20, 2020, the Rolex Rankings were restarted with a modified aging system, whereby players would only see their points age, or deprecate, when they played in sanctioned tournaments. In weeks they did not play, their ranking points remained frozen and did not age. This was done to offer a more fair treatment to players whose access to sanctioned tournaments was impacted most severely by the pandemic.
With this announcement, the committee behind the ranking for women's professional golf has indicated the formula will be calculated moving forward with the traditional compilation and aging of points over a rolling 104-week period. That means players will still earn points only when they compete, and those points will start to lose value in equal, 91-part installments beginning 13 weeks after they're earned, whether they play in a given week or not, as has been the standard formula since its inception. A player's divisor, or the number of tournaments they've played in the current, rolling 104-week period, will also change each week moving forward to reflect the moving formula.
“While it will take the rankings quite some time to level set to all athletes having the same 104-week period,” said Heather Daly-Donofrio, executive director of the WWGR, “the WWGR Board remains confident that this was the most fair way to manage the rankings and the athletes during this time. While there is no perfect solution, we believe we have followed an approach that is reasonable for athletes and also protects the integrity of the ranking system.”
Jin Young Ko is the current world No. 1.