The RSM Classic is significant for being the last event on the PGA Tour’s FedEx Fall schedule. However, only the most ardent lovers of the Sea Island Golf Club tournament would claim it is bigger than the DP World Tour’s season-closer, the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Nevertheless, that higher profile isn’t reflected in the number of Official World Golf Ranking points available to the winner of each, with the PGA Tour event projected to offer 38.7 to its winner, while the victor in the DP World Tour Championship is only projected to claim 27.7 points.
That’s despite only one player in the world’s top 10 teeing it up in Georgia this week, Open champion Brian Harman, who currently ranks ninth. In contrast, the DP World Tour Championship boasts a field including four of the world's top 10 - Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Matt Fitzpatrick.
Until August 2022, the number of world ranking points on offer in each tournament was determined by a strength of field metric based on the players in the top 200 in each event. However, that has now changed to a calculation with more emphasis on recent performances that rewards larger field sizes. Importantly, the DP World Tour Championship has a field of just 50 compared to 155 taking part in the RSM Classic.
The new system caused controversy from the outset, with one insider telling Golf Monthly at the time that the DP World Tour would suffer at the hands of the PGA Tour. The insider said: “The one thing that everybody has overlooked is the fact that the European Tour and the rest of the world have been absolutely shafted by the PGA Tour on world ranking points.
“That’s the one thing that’s never been mentioned, it’s been overlooked, and what the PGA Tour have done to the rest of the world is absolutely outrageous and with all the points decreasing from whenever it is, August 1st, 14th, it’ll be so hard for Europeans to get into the top 50 in the world now it’ll be crazy.”
It didn’t take long for some players to speak out on the changes, including Rahm, who slammed them as "laughable" before last year's DP World Tour Championship, He said: "I'm going to be as blunt as I can. I think the OWGR right now is laughable. Laughable, laughable, laughable. The fact that the RSM doesn't have any of the top 25 in the world but has more points than this event where we have seven of the top 25 is laughable."
A year on and the RSM Classic will once again offer more world ranking points to its winner, which is sure to raise eyebrows given the higher-profile names in the DP World Tour Championship and its status as the concluding tournament in the season-long Race to Dubai.
Other big names in the 2023 field competing at the Earth Course at Jumeirah Golf Estates include four-time DP World Tour winner Adrian Meronk and Team Europe Ryder Cup players Tommy Fleetwood, Tyrrell Hatton, Nicolai Hojgaard and Robert MacIntyre. McIlroy has already been confirmed the winner of the Race to Dubai.
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Mike has over 25 years of experience in journalism, including writing on a range of sports throughout that time, such as golf, football and cricket. Now a freelance staff writer for Golf Monthly, he is dedicated to covering the game's most newsworthy stories.
He has written hundreds of articles on the game, from features offering insights into how members of the public can play some of the world's most revered courses, to breaking news stories affecting everything from the PGA Tour and LIV Golf to developmental Tours and the amateur game.
Mike grew up in East Yorkshire and began his career in journalism in 1997. He then moved to London in 2003 as his career flourished, and nowadays resides in New Brunswick, Canada, where he and his wife raise their young family less than a mile from his local course.
Kevin Cook’s acclaimed 2007 biography, Tommy’s Honour, about golf’s founding father and son, remains one of his all-time favourite sports books.
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