Daily Mail

Rahm up in arms over ranking points


GOLF’S appetite for a row is infectious. A day after Rory McIlroy’s dismissal of Greg Norman, Jon Rahm teed up this week’s DP World Tour finale with blistering criticism of the sport’s new ranking system.

The world No 5 took aim at a points structure that means the star-studded Tour Championsh­ip in Dubai will be worth substantia­lly less than the regular PGA Tour event in the US.

Changes introduced in August use a ‘strength of field’ calculatio­n that favours the quantity of players in an event rather than its quality.

That approach has created a scenario where the lesser-regarded RSM Classic in Georgia, with a field of 156, is worth almost twice as many points to the winner as the 50-man event in Dubai, which boasts three of the world’s top 10.

That includes McIlroy, who could become only the second player to win the Tour Championsh­ips in America and Europe in the same season. For his part, McIlroy is a fan of the new system.

But Rahm has staunchly taken up the opposing view and having shared it with DP World Tour CEO Keith Pelley at breakfast, he unleashed in public.

He said: ‘I think the OWGR (Official World Golf Rankings) right now is laughable. The fact that the RSM doesn’t have any of the top 25 but has more points than this event where we have seven of the top 25 is laughable.

‘ I understand what they are trying to do with the depth of field but having the best players in the world automatica­lly makes the tournament better.

‘They have made a mistake. Some aspects of it might be beneficial but they have devalued the value of the better players. Depth of field doesn’t mean better tournament. A lot of people would agree and it should reflect that.’

While some aspects of the Spaniard’s criticisms were inaccurate — the RSM field does include world No 12 Tony Finau — his view will play to fears that the European circuit’s position has been weakened by the changes at a time of wider uncertaint­y because of Norman’s LIV tour.

Rahm is expected to be among the key protagonis­ts this week, with McIlroy the favourite having won twice previously on the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates.

The Northern Irishman, whose season has been exceptiona­l even without a major win, also holds a slim lead over New Zealand’s Ryan Fox in Europe’s order of merit.

Both men face competitio­n from Matt Fitzpatric­k, a two-time Tour Championsh­ip winner.

The US Open champion said: ‘I have played with Rory plenty of times, so know what he is about.

‘He’s had a lot of success around here, so going up against him on Sunday is what I would love to do.’

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USA TODAY Rahm rage: the Spaniard slammed the ranking system
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