As it usually does, golf delivered during the first week of the season. We had our first meltdown of the year, a wild comeback, a Twitter spat, and a reported purchase of a wrestling league that can be tied to professional golf. Let’s get to it.
Need a recap on the WOWgr rules?
WOWgr Vol. 2023.2
No. 1 – Jon Rahm’s sass (Up 3 spots from last week) – Beneficiary of a Collin Morikawa collapse and winner of last week’s Sentry Tournament of Champions, Jon Rahm continues to voice his displeasure with the Official World Golf Ranking (another, less prestigious ranking system).
Following his win at Kapalua, Rahm stayed at No. 5 in the OWGR, behind Rory McIlroy, Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith, and Patrick Cantlay. He was asked during his winner’s press conference if he had motivation to get back to the top spot. “Had they not changed the world ranking points, I would have been pretty damn close [to No. 1] right now,” Rahm said. “At this point I’m thinking will I pass Patrick Cantlay? Because since the playoffs, I have not missed a top seven. I’ve won three times, and I don’t even get close to him.” He added, “I feel like since August I’ve been the best player in the world, and I think a lot of us should feel like a lot of times we’re the best. Earlier in the year, clearly Scottie was that player, then Rory was that player, and I feel like right now it’s been me.”
Rahm has been a vocal critic of the new OWGR formula, even calling it “a joke” at the DP World Tour Championship. But what Rahm is conveniently forgetting is that the OWGR does not just consider your last three months; it takes two years of data into consideration. Before Rahm’s recent surge, the Spaniard had an 18-event stretch in which he finished outside the top 20 eight times, recorded the worst major season of his career, and got his only win against a weak field at the Mexico Open. The four players above him in the OWGR played significantly better over that same stretch, totaling 10 combined wins and seven top fives in the 2022 majors.
Of course, Rahm has been the best player in the world over the past three months. As we move through the spring, that recent performance will weigh heavily and help him climb toward the No. 1 spot. Given all the chips on his shoulder, Rahm may be motivated enough to get to No. 1 by the end of 2023. Until then, his sassiness earned him the top spot in WOWgr. Hopefully that’s enough to tide him over.
No. 2 – Golf fans (Up 23) – On top of a dramatic finish at the Sentry, golf fans were treated to a trailer for the upcoming Netflix golf docu-series, Full Swing. Set to be released on February 15, the series follows Justin Thomas, Max Homa, Dustin Johnson, Ian Poulter, Collin Morikawa, and many others through the 2022 season. The trailer also reveals that Rory McIlroy signed on as a late participant.
While I don’t think Full Swing is going to be full of revelations, I do believe it will provide a look at moments historically kept hidden in the “gentleman’s game.” At the very least, it’s the kind of behind-the-scenes content we haven’t seen before in pro golf. With any luck, it will live up to the hype.
Oh, and we get more Hawaiian golf on TV this week. Stay hot, golf fans!
No. 7 – Pettiness (Up 459) – The 1972 Dolphins didn’t lose a game, Floyd Mayweather never lost a professional match, and in 2008 Michael Phelps secured a gold medal in all eight of his races. But above them all stands Ian Poulter and his record of undefeated pettiness. In case you missed it, Poulter got mad that the Ryder Cup didn’t wish Sergio García (or Poulter himself) a happy birthday this week. As Brendan Porath said, it was “some of the softest shit I’ve ever seen from a grown-ass man on [Twitter].” Way to keep the streak alive, Ian. And happy birthday!
What’s really an “incredible touch” is the Players that helped build the @RyderCupEurope Brand with other players as well. You just can’t bring yourself to say a simple Happy Birthday. @TheSergioGarcia B’day Yesterday. Unfortunately this says so much. 🤷🏼♂️
— Ian Poulter (@IanJamesPoulter) January 10, 2023
No. 38 – Common sense (Up 332) – The NCAA is prone to questionable decisions, but the way it has dealt with its Women’s Golf Championships over the past year has been especially puzzling. Prior to 2023, the women’s field consisted of 24 teams, whereas the men’s field had 30. Last fall, the NCAA decided to boost the women’s field to…27 teams. Okay. Why not 30? Well, this week, three more teams were added in order to achieve equal representation at the tournaments. Was that so hard?
No. 1,232 – Greg Norman (Up 296) – With the new announcement that the Saudi Arabian Public Investment Fund is purchasing WWE, LIV Golf’s CEO has another opportunity to see women out in public!
No. 1,233 – Fargiveness (No change) – Stop it, TaylorMade. Look at what you’ve done. You’ve dropped below Sharkey!