You won't believe what's happened to Jon Rahm ahead of his next PGA Tour event

Wonder what Jon Rahm's thoughts of the OWGR are this week?!

You won't believe what's happened to Jon Rahm ahead of his next PGA Tour event
You won't believe what's happened to Jon Rahm ahead of his next PGA Tour…

Just when it seemed like Jon Rahm would never move off fifth spot in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), he finally has ahead of The American Express on the PGA Tour this week.

The funniest part though is that Rahm didn't even play on Tour last week... and neither did any of the players in front of him in the standings! 

You won't believe what's happened to Jon Rahm ahead of his next PGA Tour event

Rahm bumped himself up to fifth from sixth in the OWGR when he secured a third Open de Espana title on October 9, 2022.

He then finished tied fourth at The CJ Cup on the PGA Tour, but that meant little as he remained in fifth spot. 

Rahm then won the DP World Tour Championship, the season finale on the former European Tour in November, but again, he remained fifth in the OWGR.

The Spaniard then finished tied eighth in Tiger Woods' annual Hero World Challenge tournament in early December to finish up the year in fifth spot.

Would his fortunes change in the first week of PGA Tour action in 2023? 

Rahm indeed won a third title in his last five starts, charging down long-time leader Collin Morikawa with a stunning 10-under 63 in the final round to see out a deserved two-shot victory at the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii.

But again, somehow, Rahm remained in fifth place in the world rankings. 

Despite arguably playing the best golf of anyone around the world for three straight months, Rahm just could not get off that fifth spot. 

He had previously ripped into the OWGR when GolfMagic interviewed him at the DP World Tour Championship.

Rahm told us: "It's a joke"

Even earlier that week he has told the media centre it was "laugable"

This was in stark contrast to the reaction of Rory McIlroy in November, who considers it the "fairest system".

But incredibly when the OWGR update was made on Monday morning this week, Rahm discovered he had in fact finally moved up to fourth place despite having his feet up on the couch for most of the week (we imagine). 

Even the four players in front of him in the rankings were all off, which just all sort of adds to the confusion of the new OWGR system. 

While Rahm still will not care in the slightest he's bumped himself up to fourth in the OWGR, it is progress for him on his way back to the top. 

For us here at GolfMagic, we consider he is easily a top-two player in the world right now alongside McIlroy. 

We spoke about this on the latest episode of the brand new GolfMagic Podcast, which you can watch below: 

Following a recent update to the OWGR system on August 14, 2022, the ranking of each player is now calculated using a new 'strokes gained world ranking' that is based on actual scores in strokeplay tournaments adjusted for the relative difficulty of each round played. 

This rating impacts an event's field rating, which in turn determines the number of points distributed to players making the cut. 

According to the OWGR, its new system has been designed to better evaluate the skill level of every player in a tournament. 

They do add, however, that real changes to the system will not fully come into full effect within at least two years.

Will LIV Golf be involved by then? Who knows, but as it stands, they remain shut out of receiving any OWGR points just weeks before their first tournament of their new season that starts in Mexico. 

You won't believe what's happened to Jon Rahm ahead of his next PGA Tour event

The highest-ranked player currently on LIV Golf is Cameron Smith, who continues to look on from third. 

But it will be a matter of time until Smith falls back in the OWGR as he cannot yet accumulate any points. 

Former World No.1 Dustin Johnson, also on LIV Golf, is unthinkably now down in 44th place in the OWGR. 

Other LIV Golf players Brooks Koepka and Patrick Reed have tumbled to a current 55th and 80th respectively.

Another big-name LIV Golf player Bryson DeChambeau is down in 84th. 

You can check out the full OWGR here.

You won't believe what's happened to Jon Rahm ahead of his next PGA Tour event

Rahm was last World No.1 back in early March when he was barged off the summit of world golf by a red-hot Scottie Scheffler, who surged out the blocks early in 2022 with four wins in quick succession on the PGA Tour, highlighted by a first major win at The Masters. 

Scheffler held the World No.1 spot for 30 consecutive weeks before being ousted by Rory McIlroy. 

McIlroy, who enters his 13th straight week at World No.1 and his 119th in total, could be replaced by Scheffler should the American finish high up the board at The American Express this week. 

Rahm is also in action and could move to third with a fourth victory in his last six starts around the world this week.

He's got good vibes at PGA West in southern California having won The American Express in 2018. 

Rahm is a warm 6/1 tournament favourite this week as he goes in search of a ninth career win on the PGA Tour. 

McIlroy, meanwhile, will make his first start of 2023 at the Dubai Desert Classic on the DP World Tour next week. 

The Northern Irishman won his first ever European Tour title in this tournament back in 2009, and he added a second win there in 2015. 

Related: Rory to clash with LIV Golf players in Dubai

You won't believe what's happened to Jon Rahm ahead of his next PGA Tour event

In total, McIlroy has won 14 times on the DP World Tour, with incredibly his last victory on the circuit coming back at the 2019 WGC-HSBC Champions. 

McIlroy did, of course, see out a fourth Race to Dubai title on the DP World Tour last season as a result of his consistency in the biggest tournaments of the season.

Despite not picking up a major championship for an eighth consecutive season, McIlroy did finish in the top 10 in each of the four majors. 

McIlroy also won a record third FedEx Cup title on the PGA Tour. 

Next Page: Rory warns Shane over new PGA Tour role

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