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Neglect the rankings, Jon Rahm continues to depart little doubt he is the very best golfer on this planet proper now


After Jon Rahm received the DP World Tour Championship and Rory McIlroy collected the season-long race, the latter — ranked No. 1 within the Official World Golf Rankings on the time — took the microphone on the 18th inexperienced on the last occasion of the DP World Tour season and stated the next in regards to the former.

“I would prefer to say I am proper up there as the very best participant on this planet, however Jon (Rahm) is true up there with me,” stated McIlroy. He’s such an important participant. Europe are so fortunate to have him and I am trying ahead to enjoying with him in Rome subsequent yr.”

There was a lot product of golf’s most outstanding rating techniques in current months. The OWGR has refused to rank LIV Golf gamers within the quick time period, which has induced elite abilities like Dustin Johnson and Brooks Koepka to plummet in probably the most ubiquitous rating system within the sport. Even when rating factors have been accrued, they haven’t been on the price or within the particular method some would love.

Rahm, coincidentally, has been among the many most important voices of the OWGR’s revamped system which launched on the finish of final summer time and reductions small fields even when they’re made up of elite gamers. Even after profitable his first two begins of 2023 (and 4 of his final six of his), Rahm remains to be ranked No. 3 on this planet.

By definition, all rankings are subjective. All of the inputs in a given rankings system are decided by individuals who consider these had been the very best inputs. There are 1,000,000 issues that might go into every rating system, however solely a few of them are literally used.

Take Knowledge Golf’s rankings, for instance. It eschews profitable for the sake of strokes gained — the very best measurement we’ve of how good a participant is in comparison with one other participant — and it appears on the final 50 rounds as an alternative of the final two years (just like the OWGR). Within the Knowledge Golf rankings, Rahm moved to No. 1 after his win from him on Sunday at The American Categorical. That might change quickly, nevertheless, as a result of Rahm will tee it up at Torrey Pines for the Farmers Insurance coverage Open this weekend whereas the No. 2 participant within the Knowledge Golf rankings, Rory McIlroy, will play in Dubai.

Rick Gehman, Kyle Porter, Mark Immelman and Greg DuCharme recap Sunday’s motion on the American Categorical. Comply with & take heed to The First Minimize on Apple Podcasts and Spotify.

All of those techniques have their functions and place within the golf world. I want my very own private system, nevertheless, which is structured as follows and does not depend on numbers or date. It will get on the essence of the skilled sport, particularly on the extent at which Rahm and Rory are enjoying. Right here it’s: Your life is on the road, and it’s important to draft the one golfer you assume goes to win probably the most occasions in 2023. In that made-up situation, the No. 1 choose and not using a shadow of a doubt nor any hesitation no matter, could be one man.

Jon Rahm.

In Rahm’s final 10 begins worldwide, he has misplaced to fewer gamers on common per occasion (3.6) than he has received tournaments (4). In 2023, he has made 77 pars and 59 birdies or eagles. He’s 54 beneath in eight PGA Tour rounds in January. He’s attempting to turn into the primary participant since Tiger Woods in 2008 to begin a calendar yr with out dropping to a single golfer over his first three tournaments.

Although Rahm has misplaced to 10 golfers throughout his final six begins, he believes — and, truthfully, he makes me consider — that the very best remains to be out in entrance of him.

“In my thoughts I really feel like I can get rather a lot higher,” stated Rahm. “I really feel like that is the mentality I ought to have. Once more, I work very laborious to do what I do. I might discover errors in each single spherical I’ve performed. Only a few instances I’d say I’ve performed a flawless spherical. “

Shockingly, the numbers agree with this notion. Rahm’s present Knowledge Golf index is 2.57, which means that over his final 50 rounds, he is gaining over 2.5 strokes in opposition to the sector. His greatest quantity ever got here in September 2021 when he reached 2.7. If he retains going at this price, although, he will obliterate that determine.

Whether or not he can hold this tempo up, although, stays to be seen. If he does, we will be in for an all-time season. If he does not, then there can be chatter on the massive boy tournaments later this yr that Rahm peaked too early.

That is for then, although. It does not change what’s true proper now. It doesn’t matter what the OWGR (third), Knowledge Golf (1st), Golfweek/Sagarain (2nd) or the FedEx Cup (1st) say, there isn’t a doubt who the present king of the hill or that he’s the man to beat from this second going ahead. That man wears pink and grey on Sundays, has received 9 of his first 134 PGA Tour occasions and appears like he will win every little thing he appears at for the foreseeable future.

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