Potential world rankings freeze 'under discussion' amid cancellations

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As tournament cancellations continue to mount, and a return to competitive golf appears measured in months instead of weeks, the team behind the Official World Golf Ranking is leaving all options on the table. That includes potentially bringing the mathematical churn to a halt.

The OWGR works on a two-year rolling window, with players receiving their full point value from a given result for the 12 weeks following a tournament. After that, the point values gradually diminish each week until they age off completely after two years.

But with COVID-19 concerns knocking out another month of worldwide events and pushing a possible return to competition to late May at the earliest, that would mean a lot of points aging off without any new results to supplement them. One possible solution would be to freeze the rankings in their current state, meaning that existing results would not be affected in the coming weeks without any events.

A Golf Digest report citing multiple sources said decision will soon be made but would be subject to board approval. When contacted by Golf Channel regarding a potential rankings freeze, a spokesperson for the OWGR shared that “all these matters are still under discussion.”

The OWGR is used as a qualifying criteria for all four majors as well as The Players and World Golf Championships events.

Rory McIlroy is currently world No. 1 ahead of No. 2 Jon Rahm, with a gap of nearly a full point (9.45 to 8.48). If the rankings remain active through May 18, the week after the now-postponed PGA Championship, McIlroy would remain No. 1 but his lead over Rahm would be trimmed (8.81 to 8.00). Justin Thomas would overtake Brooks Koepka at No. 3, while Adam Scott would trade spots with Dustin Johnson at No. 5.