03 June 2020: The OWGR announced that the rankings shall be unlocked on 14 June to coincide with the completion the Charles Schwab Challenge, the first event since the PGA TOUR went into limbo midway through the Players Championship. Rashid Khan is the top ranked Indian at 185th in the world with Udayan Mane in second at 223. There are 27 golfers from India inside the top 1000 in the world. Shubhankar Sharma is ranked 283rd while Shiv Kapur is tapping at his heels in 287th place.
Colonial is expected to witness a strong field of golfers including the top five men in the world – Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Brooks Koepka, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson will head a field that is expected to yield a strength of field rating of around 72 points. The tournament was initially planned for 21st May, but the suspension due to coronavirus has forced the organisers to reschedule the event to 11th June. 15 of the top twenty ranked players are expected to tee it up at Colonial next week. Kevin Na, who shot 62 in the second round last year, is the defending champion.
The PGA TOUR also found an ally in Workday, who has agreed to sponsor an additional event at Muirfield Village later in July. The event will be played in the week before the Memorial making for back to back tournaments at the iconic venue.
The rankings were frozen on 15 March as most of the world went into an unprecedented lockdown to deal with the threat from COVID-19. The move will pressure other tours into action, as golfers that do not have access to the PGA TOUR stand to lose points that they accumulated playing other events during the period. But some of the shock will be mitigated through the average function adapted by the OWGR to calculate the rankings.
The European Tour has announced intentions to return to action in October with a series of events in the United Kingdom. But the Asian Tour, the Ladies European Tour, PGTI and WGAI have yet to state their intentions to resume action.
“With competition on other Eligible Tours not restarting at the same time, many players will not have the opportunity to compete for ranking points until a later date. The averaging formula used in the calculation of the Ranking will help to mitigate any resulting impact, be it positive or negative to a player’s ranking,” explained the OWGR team in a statement issued to the press.
“The major championships and professional tours involved in the administration of the Ranking are acutely aware of the difficulties arising around the world from a staggered resumption of play. In light of this, these organisations have agreed, wherever possible and appropriate, to incorporate the Ranking through Week 11 as part of the qualification criteria for their events.”
Tiger Woods is currently ranked eleventh in the world, with Phil Mickelson slipping to 61st in the rankings.
Anirban Lahiri is ranked 497th and a good run on the PGA TOUR later this season should help him climb up the rankings, especially considering that he has only a few points to defend. Gaganjeet Bhullar is ranked 418th in the world while SSP Chawrasia is 706th.