Former World No.1 Scottie Scheffler and PGA Tour star Patrick Cantlay could achieve an incredible first in the Official World Golf Rankings at The American Express.
According to Nosferatu, the OWGR guru of Twitter, if Cantlay was to win in California and Scheffler was to finish in solo eighth, both players would reach the World No.1 spot.
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In this case, Rory McIlroy would be bumped down to third in what would be another OWGR situation that spins the minds of golf fans and probably players such as Jon Rahm.
Nosferatu also points out that the circumstances of this occurrence could change if certain players pull out from the event in La Quinta, resulting in field changes.
Under the new OWGR system, both Americans could reach the summit, it would be Cantlay's first time at the top of the pile. But there is no pathway for Rahm to reach the top, which is potentially another head-scratcher for the Spaniard.
BREAKING— Nosferatu (@VC606) January 17, 2023
As things stand now, if Patrick Cantlay wins @theamexgolf and Scottie Scheffler finishes solo 8th, those two could share the No.1 place in the world rankings and Rory will drop to #3... #OWGR
(that will change if there are further changes in the field)
Rahm's win at the Sentry Tournament of Champions was his third victory in his last five events, having also finished tied for second at the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth before this stretch.
Since that week in Virginia Water, the 28-year-old has risen from sixth to fourth in the rankings. With his ninth win on the PGA Tour this week, he still couldn't become World No.1, but he could've under the old OWGR system.
The OWGR system is run over a two-year rolling period in which ranking points are derived from each event's Total Field Rating. Ranking points are maintained at full value for a 13-week period to emphasise recent performances.
Each player is ranked according to their average points per tournament determined by dividing a player's total number of points by the number of tournaments they've played in the two-year period.
Every player in each tournament contributes performance points determined by their individual Strokes Gained World Rating. These performance points determine the field rating.
The OWGR has been under intense scrutiny from the likes of Rahm and Tiger Woods in recent weeks as the debate rumbles on over what should be prioritised between field sizes and field quality.
The quality of the field can't be questioned in California this week. Five of the top seven players in the world are teeing it up and 10 of the top 19 players too.