But where do we place Craig Stadler, who has won eight times in two years on the Champions Tour? How about Hale Irwin, who has won 42 times on the Champions Tour? Or Jim Thorpe or Des Smyth, each of whom has won twice this year on the Champions Tour? Shouldnt they be in at least the top 100? The top 150?
Stadler does have a ranking - 265th. But that comes solely on his appearances on the PGA Tour. Alas, the elders by and large arent even listed in the top 1,000. The World Rankings hasnt figured out a formula that would equalize the seniors with the juniors. That seems a pity, since every other professional male tour in the world has a method for ranking. You cant tell me that the Champions Tour isnt every bit as competitive as the South African tour, for example, or the Australasian Tour.
This is just what the gents who hole up in London want to hear, Im sure. Those people meet once a week to figure out these standings. They are criticized unmercifully by a number of people ' and add me to the list of those who cant fully understand the manner in which golfers are ranked. The bean counters whose job it is to slot in 1,170 pros who are grade-able certainly wouldnt be happy to hear that they are being hammered once again because they have left a large number of seniors out. But Im sorry, fellas ' your list is incomplete.
Irwin is adamant in believing there should be a method of ranking the older players in with the youngsters.
Ive said this many times - I think there should be a way a Champions Tour player should be ranked in the World Rankings, said Irwin. I think its a terrible disservice to a number of players who are terribly effective and who can still play circles around some of the other guys that are being ranked. And there should be a way in which that happens.
What it is (that should be done), Im not going to be the one to say. I just think it is an abominable situation.
The Official World Golf Rankings cant possibly be official when there are a number of very good players who arent ranked. I know what the problem is ' no one knows how many points should be apportioned to the Champions Tour tournaments. But cant the powers-that-be make the same assumptions that they do with the tours throughout the world ' the U.S. and European tours, the Japanese Tour, the Australian Tour, the Australasian and South African (Sunshine Tour), the Canadian Tour?
It seems like a Craig Stadler should certainly be ranked ahead of, for example, Henrik Stenson, who is No. 67. Is Stadler not better than No. 82 ' Yang Yong-Eun? Steven Conran, No. 94? Nothing against these gentlemen, but its stretching reality a bit much to think that Stadler isnt superior. Why couldnt he be slotted in at, say, No. 66?
To be 50 (years old) and to all of a sudden be dropped out of it altogether, I just dont think it is a fair shake, said Irwin.
It isnt, of course. And Im not one who complains wholeheartedly about the World Rankings, because the people who attempt to figure it out have an awfully difficult job. They pore over 1,200 players and try to come up with some method of placing them in an order of strength. You think their job isnt difficult?
But if you happen to be a Champions Tour player, you know long beforehand that when you turn the magical 50, youre going to be ignored from then on throughout eternity by the OWGR. And its the same with the European Senior Tour. Somehow, some way, it doesnt seem fair.
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