‘Someone Needs To Be Held Accountable’ - Lee Westwood On OWGR Issues

Westwood thinks someone should be held responsible for Jon Rahm's failure to improve his OWGR despite his amazing form

Lee Westwood takes a shot at the 2022 LIV Golf Bangkok tournament
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Jon Rahm has found support for his confusion over the world rankings in the form of LIV Golf player Lee Westwood.

The former World No.1 responded to a tweet from world ranking expert @VC606, who commented about the perceived injustice of Rahm failing to improve on his World No.5 ranking despite winning the Sentry Tournament of Champions - his third victory in five tournaments. Collin Morikawa had looked poised for victory until a late collapse allowed Rahm to claim the title. Still, despite finishing runner-up, the American also failed to see an improvement in his World No.11 position - a fact also pointed out in the tweet.

Westwood – whose own ranking has fallen dramatically since his move to the Greg Norman-fronted organisation, responded: “It’s not life or death but someone needs to be held accountable.”

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The controversy is the latest of a series of issues facing the OWGR. It faces criticism for tweaks to its system that place more emphasis on strength of field based on the number of players in tournaments rather than the quality. Meanwhile, the changes have also drawn accusations that it heavily favours the PGA Tour. To add to its woes, it is also embroiled in a battle with LIV Golf, which hopes to be granted eligibility to award OWGR points in its tournaments.

It’s not the first time Westwood has criticised the world ranking revisions. In the weeks following their implementation, he blasted the new system, taking to Twitter to write: “Literally makes all the tours around the world feeder tours. How they could vote for this and get it passed I have no idea.” 

Other players who have been heavily critical of the OWGR in recent months include Westwood’s LIV Golf colleague Ian Poulter, former pro Mike Clayton, who has called for it to be scrapped, and Tiger Woods, who has admitted the world rankings are flawed. At last November’s Hero World Challenge, the 15-time Major winner said: “OWGR, it’s a flawed system. That’s something we all here recognise. The field at Dubai got less points than Sea Island and more of the top players were there in Dubai, so obviously there’s a flawed system.”

Woods was referring to the prestigious DP World Tour Championship, where Rahm emerged victorious in a strong field yet received fewer OWGR points than RSM Classic winner Adam Svensson, despite the Canadian competing in a field populated by far fewer of the world’s best players.

With Westwood once again questioning the system in light of Rahm's failure to improve his standing despite another victory, it emphasises the suggestion that changes may be necessary to make the points awarded more representative of the quality of players participating in tournaments.

Mike Hall

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.