The Official World
Golf Ranking formula is new and improved, even if it remains as complex
In a meeting at Carnoustie
during the Open, the governing board agreed to seven changes designed to
fine-tune the accuracy of the world ranking.
The most simple modification
to explain is that the World Match Play Championship in England and the
Million Dollar Challenge in Sun City will no longer count because they
are invitation-only tournaments with unofficial prize money.
The others are a
little more complicated, such as the procedure to gradual reduction of
Tiger Woods, for
example, earned 100 points for winning the PGA Championship (majors are
worth 50, twice as much in the current year). In the old system, the value
would be cut in half to 50 points next year, and he would lose all those
points after two years.
Under the new formula,
instead of points being cut in half after 52 weeks and eliminated after
104 weeks, points will be reduced by one-eighth every three months over
a two-year period.
This change, which
doesn't take effect until next September, is the most significant because
it offers a more current reflection on who is playing well.
Points will be
awarded to more of the field. In some cases, only the top 20 used to receive
Points will no
longer be rounded off to whole numbers. If fourth place was worth 5.9
points and fifth place got 5.6 points, both positions were awarded six
points. This change adheres to the philosophy that any player who beats
another should be rewarded at a higher level. Go figure.
formula will be revised to shrink the gap in value between a tournament
with the No. 1 player compared to a tournament with the No. 2 or No. 3
Events on a smaller
tour (South Africa, Australasia) will not be worth more points just because
they are co-sanctioned by a stronger tour (European).
The minimum number
of events that count against a player's ranking will go from 40 tournaments
over two years to 20 tournaments over one year. This will help players
like Greg Norman, who are recovering from a season-ending injury.
The bottom line?
Woods is still No.
1, and likely will stay there for a while.
Chip Beck was all
smiles in Canada, which isn't all that unusual coming from a man who always
sees the glass half-full. This time he had reason -- for the first time
in three years, Beck made the cut in back-to-back tournaments.
During a two-week
tour of the Great White North, Beck tied for 31st in Air Canada Championship
and tied for 15th in the Bell Canadian Open, where the electronic scoreboard
only had to change screens four times before the gallery could see the
"It's nice to get
back in the game," he said.
But his wicked slump
may not keep him in the game much longer. Beck used his one-time exemption
for being top 50 in career earnings to stay on tour this year, but at 187th
on the money list, he needs about $200,000 to keep his card.
Otherwise, Beck will
return to Q-school for the first time in 20 years.
"I'm either going
to qualify or get it all done in the next couple of weeks," Beck said.
"I'd rather play good on the Nike Tour than bad out here, because at least
you're building confidence and moving forward. The way I've played the
last three years hasn't been much fun at all.
"As long as I get
my game back, I'll be happy," he said. "I know I'll get it back."
Sergio and IMG
Agents for Sergio Garcia aren't giving up the Spanish sensation to the IMG, but they have
hired the massive sports agency to handle certain areas where they lack
"Our goal is to maintain
Sergio's current environment, which up to now has been so successful,"
said Jose Marquina of albatros Scratch SL (aka, Team Sergio). "IMG will
contribute their expertise in certain specific areas."
already appears to be paying off.
In announcing the
arrangement, Garcia's agents also released his schedule for the rest of
the year. It includes the Dunhill Cup, World Match Play Championship, the
Million Dollar Challenge in Sun City and the Williams World Challenge,
the 12-man event worth $3.5 million at the end of the year.
All of them are managed
The toughest decision
in golf last week turned out be the best one for Glen Hnatiuk. The Manitoba
native had an exemption to play in the Canadian Open, but opted to stay
on the NIKE TOUR with hopes of getting back to the PGA TOUR.
Hnatiuk, 34, made
a 12-foot birdie putt on the 72nd hole to win the Tri-Cities Open. The
victory was worth $40,500 and moved him up to fifth on the Nike Tour money
list. The top 15 get their PGA TOUR cards.
Looking for possible
pairings in the Ryder Cup? During the U.S. practice at The Country Club,
captain Ben Crenshaw put together Hal
Sutton with Jeff Maggert, two players who are steady off the tee.
David Duval and Phil Mickelson are also together in that foursome.
LPGA Tour commissioner
Ty Votaw has finally settled his family in Daytona Beach, Fla. His wife,
Paula, a human resources manager for General Electric, is taking a similar
job with International Speedway Corp.
is rarely short on confidence, even after blowing a three-stroke lead
and losing the British Masters to Bob May. "Normal service resumes next
week, and we'll see who's on the leaderboard with me there," he said.
Clemson (men) and
Georgia (women) will start the 2000 college season at No. 1, according
to Golfweek's preseason rankings.
Stat of the week
The last time a European
won a major championship and a Ryder Cup singles match in the same year
was 1985 (Sandy Lyle and Bernhard Langer). Europeans are 0-4 since then.
"Every once in a
while, you see Tiger Woods and David Duval playing the way they've played
and you think it's easy to win. But as great as Tiger is, he's winning
by one. It's just not that easy."
-- Paul Azinger.