Ryder Cup Skip Luke Donald to consider OWGR issues when choosing captain's picks

Luke Donald admitted that the current Official World Golf Ranking system is a "little off" and will take this into account for the Ryder Cup in September.

Matt Chivers's picture
Sun, 22 Jan 2023
Ryder Cup skip Luke Donald to consider OWGR issues when choosing captain's picks

European Ryder Cup captain Luke Donald admitted the current Official World Golf Ranking system is "a little off," which could affect who qualifies for his side for the matches against America in September.

Speaking to Telegraph Sport, Donald vowed to consider the issues that have been publicly voiced by players about the OWGR as he must choose six players as part of his captain's picks allocation.

The first six players on Donald's side will be the top three in the European Points List followed by the top three in the World Points List. The teams will be confirmed three weeks before the fixtures begin in Rome.

The World Points List is determined by the number of OWGR points a player collects in any ranking event which doesn't clash with a Rolex Series tournament in the same week.

In recent months, Jon Rahm has voiced his concerns with the ranking system. Since winning three times in his last five starts, the Spaniard has risen one place and this has called the weighting of points and field quality into question.

"If you talk to statisticians they tell you it’s now fairer, but it does seem a bit off," Donald said.

"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. 

"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."

One of the biggest contrasts in OWGR points allocation came in the week of the DP World Tour Championship which had fewer points available than the RSM Classic on the PGA Tour in the same week, despite having more top-25 players in the field.

The young players that Donald refers to, the likes of Robert MacIntyre, the Hojgaard twins, Guido Migliozzi etc., could suffer from the current system by playing regularly on the DP World Tour and receiving fewer points compared to the American circuit.

The approach from the OWGR suggests it is a system that needs time, but with the Ryder Cup just eight months away, it is more appropriate than ever for Donald to choose six players with his own judgement when some performances mightn't be sufficiently rewarded in the World Points List.