Weekly WOWgr: PGA Tour Gets Aggressive and Greg Norman Keeps Talking

Will's Official World Golf Ranking reviews the Tour's hardline stance and Greg Norman's idiotic rationalizations


Welcome back to another edition of WOWgr, or Will’s Official World Golf Ranking for long. For those of you who are unfamiliar with this system, WOWgr is a weekly ranking that keeps you informed on the golf landscape. What started as a segment of our newsletter will now be posted as an article on a weekly basis.

Some things to know about WOWgr:

  • The ranking is extremely subjective, but unimpeachably correct. (In other words, don’t take it too seriously.)
  • Golfers from all walks of life — be they professional, amateur, or just a video clip from the internet — are eligible. Many times there will be inanimate objects or phenomenons that make the list.
  • WOWgr is extremely volatile. One week’s No. 1 could be the next week’s unmentionable.
  • There is no quota for how many must make the ranking each week. There could be four, there could be forty (There won’t ever be forty).
  • WOWgr welcomes feedback and even suggestions if you think someone or something is worthy of consideration. If you see something, say something: @willknightsTFE on Twitter.

Let’s get on with this week’s ranking.

WOWgr Vol. 2022.16 – 5/13/22

No. 1 – Aggression (Up 921 spots from last week) – The drawbridge to the PGA Tour’s Global Home is lined with cheerleaders this week. Their chants of “Be aggressive, got to be aggressive! B-E-A-G-G-R-E-S-S-I-V-E” can be heard up and down the intercoastal waterway. It is that mentality that has clearly shaped a couple recent decisions from the PGA Tour. First, on Tuesday afternoon, Golfweek’s Eamon Lynch reported that the tour did not grant releases to the “20 or so” members who requested to play in the LIV Golf Invitational next month. On Wednesday, the PGA Tour also made changes to their PGA Tour University policies. Players in the college ranking will not be eligible to accept the benefits of the program if they compete “in any professional golf tournament that is not ranked by the Official World Golf Ranking, excluding such events that have been approved by the PGA Tour.”

As we discussed in Wednesday’s edition of the TFE newsletter, the expectation was that the PGA Tour would allow players to participate in the first LIV event before taking the fight to them when the Saudi-backed series moved stateside. Instead, the PGA Tour is applying the full-court press from the jump. It seems this will inevitably end up in court after some player sues for the inability to play both tours, and all signs say that the tour is confident in their legal position. And frankly, they better be right.

They’re attempting to fortify their position as the primary, or only, show in town. This is the same approach, however, that led to a 50-event schedule and the same one they’ve used to justify the lack of changes in format within men’s professional golf. If the tour’s legal team loses this battle, the structure of professional golf fractures completely. Not only is that bad for their business but the fans lose out too. As our friends at No Laying Up would say, watch this space.

No. 2 – Putting your foot in your mouth (Up 371) – There are times in a person’s life when they remember exactly where they were for a specific event. On Wednesday, an article about a Greg Norman press conference from The Times in the U.K. did just that for me. Speaking at a press conference about the upcoming LIV Golf series, Norman was asked about the Saudi government’s sanctioned killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi in 2018. “Everybody has owned up to it, right?” Norman said. “Look, we’ve all made mistakes and you just want to learn from those mistakes and how you can correct them going forward.”

No. 6 – Natasha Andrea Oon (Up 444) – The No. 1 player on San Jose State’s women’s golf team dominated the Ann Arbor regional this week, winning the individual contest by five shots. SJS won the team competition as well, continuing their incredible season and ensuring their spot at Grayhawk Golf Club for the NCAA Championship later this month. Other notable teams making it through to the NCAAs include Stanford, Vanderbilt, Oregon, Texas, USC, LSU, and Florida State.

No. 10 – Elvis (No change) – We’re talking about Kramer Hickok’s dog here, to be clear. He’s a good boy.

No. 99 – Brooks Koepka’s major hopes (Down 76) – Koepka will head into next week’s PGA Championship without playing since the Masters. The four-time major winner withdrew from the AT&T Byron Nelson this week, and Golf.com’s Sean Zak noted that Koepka had a hip issue at Augusta National. Has an injury been enough to keep Koepka from playing in majors? No, usually not. But they have proven to be enough to keep him from competing in them. That said, it’s still Brooks Koepka. He may not be 100% but you’d be a fool to completely count him out of the championship at Southern Hills.

No. 9,999 – Fantasy football leagues that make you play U.S. Open Local qualifiers (no change) – John Eckert lost his fantasy football league last year and his punishment was to play Oakwood Country Club in a U.S. Open Local Qualifier. He shot 112. While the idea and concept is hilarious, it completely falls apart in execution. Playing a qualifier is a mentally difficult thing to do, and playing with someone who is continually searching for balls and taking penalty shots is very distracting. Do not do this. Do not make others do this. Just, no.