When the 2020 PGA Tour schedule resumes on June 11 with the Charles Schwab Challenge in Ft. Worth, Texas, the Official World Golf Ranking will resume with it.
The Official World Golf Ranking announced June 3 that it will unfreeze the world-ranking formula that’s been stopped since March 15, or Week 11 of the year. The OWGR will begin rating tournaments again and allowing the world-ranking formula to resume functioning.
With the top three players in the world committed to playing at Colonial next week and at least half of the world top 10 taking part, the event will have its best ever field. Based on player commitments, the winner of the tournament is expected to earn 72 or 74 points, making the event one of the strongest of the year on the PGA Tour — only shy of the majors, The Players and perhaps World Golf Championships events.
“The upcoming resumption of play in the United States marks the welcome beginning of the recovery of elite men’s golf from the effects of the pandemic,” said OWGR Board Chairman Peter Dawson. “Many of our sport’s top players will be competing and this merits today’s announcement of the reactivation of the ranking.”
For PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour players, they will have a minimum month-and-a-half head start on their global peers. The PGA Tour will hold six tournaments — many expected to have above-average fields — before the 2020 European Tour schedule resumes on July 22. That means PGA Tour players will be able to gain new points to replace those that naturally fall off as part of the Official World Golf Ranking formula, while European Tour pros and others on still-frozen tours will only lose points.
In response, the Official World Golf Ranking said they believe the formula will protect players outside the PGA Tour and Korn Ferry Tour by virtue of its slow-burn nature. Some players could stand to gain slightly by not playing, while others will be hurt by not being able to replace points.
Keeping that in mind, the OWGR’s member tours, including the major championships, have agreed to use the ranking as it was frozen in March as the basis for qualification criteria for tournaments. That could be critical for the US Open and PGA Championship, whose fields are still fluid. The 2020 Masters field is set based on the qualification criteria for the original April dates.
Dawson said, “The safeguards in the OWGR system alongside the continued recognition of the frozen ranking will help players globally, and the Board will continue to monitor developments in these difficult times.”