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Golf Australia Express : GA Express 187
Y OU need a degree in advanced mathematics to understand the vagaries of the world golf ranking system. Unlike in, say, tennis, where its generally accepted that the player atop the world rankings is truly the game’s current best player, in golf you never quite know how the points will fall. There have been 23 changes to the world’s No.1 ranking since Tiger Woods was unseated in October 2010 after 281 weeks at the top. And the past seven months have seen an unhinged rankings merry-go-round, with nine switches at the top. All bar Jordan Spieth’s most recent 20-week No.1 stretch lasted less than three weeks, with four reigns surviving just one week in an unprecedented period in September last year. You could argue that it’s a sign of how competitive and unpredictable men’s golf has become in the post-Tiger Woods era, but more often than not the constant reshuffling seems to highlight vagaries in the system. A case in point: neither Jason Day or Jordan Spieth contested the season-opening Frys.com Open, but the adjusted points after the event saw Day take back the No.1 ranking he’d lost just three weeks earlier. Clear as mud. But finally we might have some clarity. What is exquisitely obvious after his victory at the WGC-Dell Match Play Championship is that Day is the No.1 player in the world, both on the scoreboard and in the minds of golfing fans and pundits everywhere. If six wins from his past 13 events hadn’t already convinced the non-believers, the sizeable gap to second-placed Jordan Spieth in the new rankings released on Tuesday should be all the evidence they need. And, importantly, if Day retains some semblance of his recent form in the coming months, he’s poised to hold onto that mantle for some time. The rankings system uses every player’s results from the last two years, with recent performances weighted more heavily, and results struck off once they fall outside of that 104-week window.
GA Express 186
GA Express 188