World Rankings Becoming More 'Obsolete' - Cameron Smith

The Open champion said his world ranking slide "hurts" and also claimed that the system is becoming more "obsolete" ahead of this week's Saudi International

Cameron Smith looks on after hitting a drive at the Saudi International
(Image credit: Getty Images)

Cameron Smith makes his first start of 2023 at the Asian Tour's flagship event in Saudi Arabia this week, with the 150th Open champion entering the tournament as World No.4.

Smith came close to reaching the top of the rankings last year, peaking at number 2, and he might have managed to become World No.1 for the first time had he not joined LIV Golf. His ranking has slipped a little compared to others who defected, but he is set to continue sliding down the list with the 14-event LIV Golf League, still without OWGR points, getting underway next month.

The Australian joined the Saudi-backed series following the PGA Tour's FedEx Cup Playoffs, and he has only played in two OWGR-sanctioned events since. World No.1 Rory McIlroy has played six OWGR-sanctioned events since the Playoffs, with No.3 Jon Rahm playing eight.

Asked about how he feels about his OWGR slide, Smith said it "hurts" and also claimed the rankings were becoming more "obsolete."

"I mean, I've tried to take it not that badly, to be honest," he said at this week's Saudi International. "I think when you rock up to a tournament, you know who you have to beat, whether there's a World Ranking or not. There's generally seven or eight guys that are in that field that you know are going to put up a pretty good fight.

"For sure it hurts. I feel as though I was really close to getting to No.1, and that was definitely something I wanted to tick off, but kind of the longer that this stuff goes on, I think the more obsolete those rankings become.

"That's just the long and short of it, I think. Do we need them? It would be nice, but like I said, you know who you've got to beat when you get on the golf course."

Smith headlines a field this week that includes the likes of Dustin Johnson, Brooks Koepka, Bryson DeChambeau and Phil Mickelson among many other LIV players. He, just like all LIV players, remains suspended by the PGA Tour following his move to the Greg Norman-fronted circuit.

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV