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World number five, John Rahm, has launched a scathing attack on the way golf’s world rankings are calculated. The Spaniard came out on top at last weekend’s Tournament of Champions and believes he is currently the best golfer on the planet.
The victory in Hawaii came as a result of a remarkable comeback in the final round when he overturned a seven-shot deficit to pip Collin Morikawa to the post. Rahm believes that this victory, combined with this recent form, should have brought him closer to the top of the world rankings.
Victory in Hawaii was Rahm’s third tournament victory in the last five events that he’s played. In October, he came out on top on home turf at the Spanish Open before following it up with victory at the DP World Tour Championship a month later.
Despite these three victories, Rahm has remained in fifth place in golf’s world rankings. The players ahead of him are Rory Mcilroy, Scottie Scheffler, Cameron Smith and Patrick Cantlay and Rahm is perplexed as to why he hasn’t leapfrogged any of them.
The “best player in the world”
With victory at the first PGA Tour event of the year, Rahm pocketed a whopping $2.7m. The fact he is more concerned with where he is in the rankings shows what a competitor he is and what motivates him as an athlete.
After the event, the Spaniard said that he believes he is currently playing like “the best player in the world”. He added:
“Since the playoffs, I’ve won three times and I don’t even get close to him. So I’m trying to understand what’s going on. Had they not changed the world ranking points I would have been pretty damn close to world number one right now.
In my mind, I feel like since August I’ve been the best player in the world. Earlier in the year clearly Scottie Scheffler was that player, then Rory was that player, and I feel like right now it’s me. Anybody, any given year can get a hot three, four months and get to that spot.”
This isn’t the first time that Rahm has questioned the world rankings system in the sport. Last year, after the rankings were revamped, the former US Open champions labelled the new system as laughable due to the fact it prioritised the depth of the field in a tournament over the ranks of the players involved.
A springboard for success
One way for Rahm to guarantee an upward trajectory in the world rankings is to continue winning tournaments, particularly majors. After tasting major success for the first time in 2021 when he won the US Open, he will be hoping to add more in 2023.
The first major opportunity of the year comes at the Masters at Augusta National in April. Rahm’s record at the tournament is decent and has been knocking on the door for a while – he has two top-5 finishes and four top-10 finishes to his name in six appearances.
If he continues his current form then he is sure to enter the fray as one of the favourites to get his hands on the famous green jacket.