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Potential change to POY criteria

Chevron World ChallengeTHOUSAND OAKS, California – One proposal that could make its way to the Official World Golf Ranking board is changing the criteria for the Mark H. McCormack Award, given to the player who has been No. 1 in the world for the most weeks during the year.

Tiger Woods is the only winner of the award since it began in 1998. He already has wrapped up the award this year. He was No. 1 at the start of 2010 and stayed there for 10 months.

The proposal, which is being discussed but has not been formalized, would be to give the award to the player who has accrued the most world ranking points during the year. If that were the case, it would come down to Martin Kaymer (346.326 points), Lee Westwood (340.207) and Luke Donald (317.675).

Players would be rewarded for performing best against the strongest fields, yet they also would not be affected by playing more tournaments because it would be about raw points, not average points.

Westwood is No. 1 in the world based on his play over two years, which is his reward.

As for Woods? The world ranking is as good of an indicator as any on how his year on the golf course has gone. Woods remains No. 2, mostly because of his performance in 2009 – seven wins, still more than anyone over the past two years. Points gradually fall off each week, however, and Woods has lost more points (381.294) than any player has earned.

If the world ranking were based only on one year, Woods would be about No. 58.

And depending on how quickly he can turn his game around, he will continue to fall. It’s possible for Woods to fall as low as No. 4 by the end of the year. If he were to not earn any points, he would fall out of the top 10 around the Masters, and out of the top 20 by the U.S. Open. That’s unlikely, but it still shows that he is vulnerable to big drops next year.