After a back injury forced his withdrawal from the Honda Classic, Tiger Woods is off to what is unequivocally his worst start to a year of golfing. Ever. Woods, who had previously tied for 80th in the Farmer’s Insurance Open back in January and was 14 over in Florida before leaving on the last day of the tournament, continues to top the Official World Golf Ranking’s list, but what does his pair of poor showings mean for his overall rank?
Nothing yet. Drawing on results from Tours like the various flavors of PGA, the Sunshine Tour; Korean, Asian, and Asian Development Tour; among others, the OWGR assigns a score based on the kind of tour (the PGA is worth a minimum of 24 points, as does the European Tour, while the Japanese Tour is worth a minimum of 16 points, and so on), the Strength of the Field — i.e. how good the competition was — and other factors. Then, a golfer’s total score is divided by the number of events he or she has entered, with a minimum of 40 and a maximum of 52.
The OWGR keeps the tally of tournaments running back over the last two years, with an extra emphasis on more current tournaments by virtue of, as they put it, “points awarded for each event maintained for a 13-week period to place additional emphasis on recent performances, [while] ranking points are then reduced in equal decrements for the remaining 91 weeks of the two year ranking period.”
Right now, Tiger’s sitting at the top with just barely over 10 points. He’s got a total of 401 points and has participated in 40 events. So who’s his competition?
Sitting in second slot on the OGWR is Adam Scott, who missed the entirety of the Honda Classic with back spasms, averaging an 8.5 over 42 wins this season. According to the good folks over at Golf Channel, Scott could move into the first place position with a score of at least 60 points, which necessitates a first place finish, at this weekend’s WGC-Cadillac Championship, a tournament that Tiger won last year.
In addition to Scott winning the tournament, Woods would have to finish outside of the top 7 in order to vacate the No. 1 spot. Woods is far and away the most common habitant of the top of the ranking system, having held the spot for 673 weeks, more commonly written as 12 years. He once held the top ranking for 281 consecutive weeks, also a record.