Jon Rahm’s latest win, where he took advantage of a late Collin Morikawa collapse to claim the Sentry Tournament of Champions, continues the incredible form that has seen him triumph in three of his last five tournaments among 10 top-10 finishes in his last 15.
That hasn’t helped improve his world ranking – to his confusion – but it adds to the weight of evidence that the Spaniard is in the form of his career. While his string of impressive performances since last May’s win in the Mexico Open has led to suggestions Rahm is currently the best player in the world, it appears to be backed up by what his official handicap would be if PGA Tour players adhered to the handicap system.
According to Twitter user @MichaelVerity, if you input Rahm’s last 20 rounds into the system and average out his best eight rounds, his differential is a staggering -13.1875, giving him a handicap index of +13 - the number of strokes better than scratch he has been over that time.
If you put Jon Rahm's last 20 rounds into the WHS handicapping system, average out his best 8 rounds, his differential comes out at -13.1875Jon, your new handicap index is +13Well played, sonCould he concede all those shots to you in a match at your home course and beat you? pic.twitter.com/121LcUm0EOJanuary 9, 2023
That is far ahead of the average handicap of PGA Tour players, and is even comparable to Tiger Woods in his prime. Indeed, another Twitter user, statistician Luke Stagner, used a similar method to determine Woods’ dominance in 2008. According to Stagner, back then, Woods’ official handicap index would have been +9.4. However, that was before taking Tour conditions into account. That adjusted the figure to somewhere between +11 and +12, emphasising how impressive Woods’ form was at the time.
Given Rahm has demonstrated similar dominance over the past eight months, it strengthens the claim that he should be significantly higher in the Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) than World No.5. He has the backing of at least one fellow pro, too - Lee Westwood has suggested someone should be held accountable for the OWGR issues in light of Rahm's failure to move up the rankings after his latest victory.
Indeed, despite his incredible form, Rahm has been locked in his current position in the OWGR since October and even fell to World No.6 at one point, despite not missing a cut since a year before that, in the 2021 Andalucia Masters.
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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