'They Need To Fix It' - Donald On OWGR Ryder Cup Headache

Donald gave his thoughts on the world ranking system, with the European Ryder Cup captain confirming that all factors will be taken into account when he makes his captain's picks

Donald hits an iron shot
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Over the past few months, many, many professionals have had their say on the new world rankings system, with the likes of Tiger Woods (opens in new tab), Jon Rahm and Ian Poulter (opens in new tab) all slamming it in various press conferences and interviews.

Such is the new world rankings system that, at The American Express, Patrick Cantlay or Scottie Scheffler could become the new World No.1 (opens in new tab) but Rahm, who has won three of his past four tournaments, has only moved up one place.

Jon Rahm celebrates after making his putt for birdie on the 18th green during the final round of the 2023 Sentry Tournament of Champions

Rahm has claimed the Open de España, DP World Tour Championship and Sentry Tournament of Champions, but only moved up one spot in OWGR

(Image credit: Getty Images)

The rankings have an affect on a number of things, such as qualification for Majors and events, as well as the Ryder Cup, something that European captain, Luke Donald, has acknowledged. 

Speaking at the HSBC Abu Dhabi Championship, the Englishman stated to Telegraph Sport (opens in new tab): “If you talk to statisticians they tell you it’s now fairer, but it does seem a bit off."

He went on to add "maybe it was a little soft one way before and now it has gone too far in the other direction. They need to figure it out, because I don't think it really puts a value on how difficult winning is, wherever a player wins and however big the field is. 

Luke Donald

Donald became European Ryder Cup captain in August, after Henrik Stenson joined LIV Golf

(Image credit: Getty Images)

“However, it could take months to mend and it may not be in time for the Ryder Cup and it may still be skewed against those who play on the DP World Tour. It looks harder than ever for some of our young guys to get into that world top 50 and, from there, into the biggest events. I want the players to know that I will be taking all this into account when I make my captain’s picks.”

It's not just the world rankings system that is the issue, with the 45-year-old facing a unique task that no previous Ryder Cup captain has had to deal with, and that is the controversy that LIV Golf (opens in new tab) has created. For example, a court case early in February will determine whether the DP World Tour has the right to ban players who joined the Saudi-backed series.

On Thursday, following his first round 64, Donald stated:"I don't think any other captains in past Ryder Cups have had to deal with this situation. It is what it is and hopefully in a few weeks' time I'll have a little more clarity on what's going to happen and who I can pick and who I can't pick. 

"My goal in September is to have 12 guys that are unified and playing their best. I'm excited to be here this week, I'll be playing next week and I'm looking forward to seeing the guys who are wanting to be here, trying to earn points and make the team."

Matt Cradock
Staff Writer

Matt joined Golf Monthly in February 2021 covering weekend news, before also transitioning to equipment and testing. After freelancing for Golf Monthly and The PGA for 18 months, he was offered a full-time position at the company in October 2022 and continues to cover weekend news and social media, as well as help look after Golf Monthly’s many buyers’ guides and equipment reviews.


Taking up the game when he was just seven years of age, Matt made it into his county squad just a year later and continues to play the game at a high standard, with a handicap of around 2-4. To date, his best round came in 2016, where he shot a six-under-par 66 having been seven-under through nine holes. He currently plays at Witney Lakes in Oxfordshire and his favourite player is Rory McIlroy, despite nearly being struck by his second shot at the 17th during the 2015 BMW PGA Championship.


Matt’s current What’s In The Bag?

Driver: Honma TW747, 8.75°

Fairway Wood: TaylorMade Rocketballz Stage 2, 15°, 19°

Hybrid: Adams Super Hybrid, 22°

Irons: Mizuno MP54, 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland 588 RTX 2.0 Tour Satin, 50°, 56°, 60°

Putter: Cleveland TFI 2135 Satin Cero

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x