JACK NICKLAUS THINKS THE OWGR (Official World Golf Ranking) is nonsense. The OWGR didn’t exist during Jack’s playing days. (Actually, it came into being in 1986, the year he won that improbable Masters, his last major.) The only math the Golden Bear cared about during his career was wins and majors. No one needed the OWGR to know who was the world’s best golfer in those days.
“I don’t think it [the OWGR] means anything,” Jack told Edgar Thompson of PalmBeachPost.com last week. “How could it mean a lot? Tiger [Woods] is No. 1 and hasn’t won a tournament all year.”
Hmmm. You know, Jack has a point.
“To me whoever is playing the best right now is the No. 1 player,” he said, “not a bunch of computer rankings.”
That sounds way too sensible. Give me a formula that churns out a points average to the second decimal point.
Whatever Jack thinks, Lee Westwood is set to replace Tiger atop the world golf ranking on Halloween. And Westy has yet to win a major. Another hmmm. I think Lee will be the first non-major winner to hold the top spot in the world. But it’s a story because Tiger has been No. 1 forever. King of the golf hill is now murkier and slightly more interesting.
I think the OWGR matters to the modern player. Some players may say it doesn’t, but I’m not buying it. I’ve never understood the math (or tried to). Here’s an explanation from the OWGR site, if you’re interested. I do think the OWGR serves a purpose, providing a way to compare players who compete in various events on a number of worldwide pro tours.
On the other hand, it’s silly arithmetic if you won 18 majors.
−The Armchair Golfer