Will’s Official Weekly Golf Ranking, Vol. 2023.9

Jon Rahm still leads WOWgr, but there is a lot going on in the world of golf


Just FYI, this week’s ranking will touch on the designated events news but it will not be dominated by it. We could all use a break from that discourse.

Need a recap on the WOWgr rules?

Vol. 2023.9

No. 1 – Jon Rahm (no change) – The man has no off switch. A first-round 65 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational has Rahm in contention for his fourth win of the season. Remember, it’s March 3.

No. 2 – False equivalencies (Up 983) – Alright, let’s get it over with. The PGA Tour’s new designated events format is not a copy of LIV and it’s not WGC 2.0, no matter what certain disgruntled Europeans or troll league accounts say. The new format is absolutely not my ideal world but it’s not completely horrendous either. It’s fine to be somewhere in the middle. If you want more thoughts on the matter, check out the roundtable article that Andy, Brendan, Garrett, and myself put out on Wednesday. Fin.

No. 4 – Scott Van Pelt (Up 11) – Not only does SVP continue to kill it on the Sportscenter desk but he also gets a good amount of run this week for his appearance in the best This Is Sportscenter ad of all time.

No. 8 – Holly Sonders (Up 512) – Big week for her as (cousin?) Sam Saunders and herself celebrate the Arnold Palmer Invitational. I wonder what the former Golf Channel employee is up to these days.

No. 9 – Patrick Cantlay (Up 3) – He hasn’t had a terrific start to 2023, but Cantlay is clearly having an influence in other ways. For instance, Nelly Korda now sports a Goldman Sachs logo on her visor, same as Cantlay. Once she signs on with Dewalt (shoutout Tron Carter), she’ll be ready to roll. Also, this new “non-mandatory” wrinkle to the designated events for 2024 could be a result of the Cantlay-led pushback we saw exhibited in that episode eight scene of Full Swing  with Rory McIlroy and Andy Pazder at East Lake.

Goldman Sachs on the front, party (Dewalt) on the side

No. 10 – Nelly Korda (no change) – On top of what I expect to be an exciting DeWalt partnership announcement, Korda has a fourth-place finish and a T-6 to start the year, and she’s in contention again in Singapore. With Jin Young Ko back healthy, we could be looking at five or six different LPGA Tour players that have a chance to be No. 1 in the Rolex Rankings this year. Color me excited.

No. 11 – Youngins (Up 41) – The USGA announced the launch of the U.S. National Team program, the first of its kind in the United States. The program will grant funding and provide assistance to promising young golfers, regardless of a family’s financial status. *Golf clap*

No. 18 – Chris Kirk (Up 99) – After nearly driving a Honda Classic win off the road, the PGA Tour veteran earned his first Tour victory since 2015 last weekend. As many have noted over the last week, it was great to see him succeed after struggling with alcoholism. Add on his willingness to say that he prefers warm weather events and we have a very relatable PGA Tour winner on our hands.

No. 20 – South Carolina golf fans (Up 412) – Some of the fans on site at the Darius Rucker Intercollegiate were family members of players but there were still really big crowds out there for a mid-semester NCAA event. This is also my yearly plea to visit a local NCAA event. They’re great fun and allow you to see the next generation of golfers.

No. 40 – Justin Suh (Up 243) – The former USC standout struggled on Sunday at PGA National but still walked away with a T-5 finish at the Honda Classic, his best PGA Tour result to date. He backed that up with a first-round 67 at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Suh was understandably overshadowed by peers Collin Morikawa, Matt Wolff, and Viktor Hovland when they left college. He battled his way to the big show through the Korn Ferry Tour. While I don’t think Suh is about to go on a run and be an elite player on a consistent basis, it’s good to see him finally have a run of form.

No. 312 – Chucky Three Sticks (Up 4) – Normally I wouldn’t put last week’s LIV winner on this list. But since Sports Illustrated’s new ranking has Charles Howell in the top 50 players in the world, I have to pour some cold water on the situation. That’s absurd.

*Update* – I swear the following on everything I hold dear: Charles Howell III is No. 312 in the Official World Golf Ranking and I did not know that before putting him No. 312 in WOWgr. I picked a random number based on something that somewhat portrays his actual state in the game. Turns out I’m really, really good at this ranking thing.