Why Arent Champions Ranked
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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Watch: Koepka holes out from off the green at 16
Brooks Koepka faced a stiff challenge from Gary Woodland on Sunday in South Korea, but eventually it came time to end the suspense.
Having clung to a slim lead for much of the back nine, Koepka looked as though he was going to have to scramble just to save par when he missed the green at 16.
Instead, caddie Ricky Elliott was able to leave Koepka's putter in the bag.
That holeout combined with a bogey from Woodland at 17 put Koepka ahead by three, allowing him to walk to victory and to the top of the world rankings.
Koepka wins CJ Cup, ascends to world No. 1
Brooks Koepka eagled the 72nd hole Sunday to cap off a final-round 64, win the CJ Cup and supplant Dustin Johnson as the new No. 1 in the Official World Golf Ranking. Here's how Koepka took over the golf world Sunday in South Korea.
Leaderboard: Koepka (-21), Gary Woodland (-17), Ryan Palmer (-15), Rafa Cabrera Bello (-15), Jason Day (-12), Scott Piercy (-12)
What it means: This is Koepka's fifth career PGA Tour victory but only his second in a non-major, following his maiden win back at the 2015 Waste Management Phoenix Open. Up four to start the day, Koepka saw his lead evaporate as Woodland rocketed up the leaderboard and kept pace with him for much of the back nine. But every time Sunday's result appeared in doubt, Koepka reclaimed his lead in dramatic fashion. He nearly aced the par-3 13th to go ahead by two and later holed out for birdie at the par-4 16th to go up three with two to play. He finished par-eagle at 17 and 18 to shoot a back-nine 29 and close out his third victory in the last five months. With the win, Koepka ascends to the No. 1 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking for the first time in his career.
Round of the day: Ryan Palmer set a Nine Bridges course record when he birdied his final seven holes in a row en route to a bogey-free round of 10-under 62 and a solo third-place finish.
Best of the rest: Woodland played his first 16 holes in 9 under par to storm from five back and catch Koepka atop the leaderboard. But his furious Sunday charge finally came to an end when he failed to get up and down for par from the back bunker at 17. He carded his 11th birdie of the round at the 18th hole to sign for 63 and finish solo second.
Biggest disappointment: In retrospect, Woodland called it correctly on Saturday when he said: "You obviously want to get off to a good start and put pressure on him as soon as you can. You know, Brooks doesn't seem like he cares too much, and he's playing so good, so you're going to have to go out and post a number." Woodland put as much pressure on Koepka as he could. He went out and posted that number. Koepka never blinked.
Quote of the day: "To be world No. 1 is something I dreamed of as a kid. I don't think this one is going to sink in." - Koepka
Watch: Koepka nearly aces par-3 13th Sunday
Just when it looked like he was facing a legitimate challenge Sunday, Brooks Koepka responded with a near-ace.
Up four to start the final round, Koepka saw his lead disappear as Gary Woodland raced up the leaderboard to tie him at 13 under and then 14 under.
Unfazed, the three-time major winner birdied the par-5 12th to regain his outright lead and then followed up with this tee shot at the 218-yard, par-3 13th.
And just like that, the tap-in birdie put Koepka back ahead by two with five to play.
Haas nearly shoots age in taking Champions playoff opener lead
RICHMOND, Va. -- Jay Haas shot a 7-under 65 - missing his age by a stroke - to take a two-shot lead Saturday in the PGA Tour Champions' playoff-opening Dominion Energy Charity Classic.
Trying to become the oldest winner in tour history, the 64-year-old Haas birdied the par-5 16th and 18th holes to get to 11-under 133 on The Country Club of Virginia's James River Course.
''I've been out here too long to know that I can learn to expect anything,'' Haas said. ''While I'm hopeful every day and I've been playing OK, the last couple weeks have not been very good, but this week has been much better. I love this golf course and it looks good to my eye. Most of the holes look like I'm going to hit a good shot, so I enjoy playing here.''
Mike Fetchick set the age record of 63 years to the day in the 1985 Hilton Head event. Haas is second on the list, taking the 2016 Toshiba Classic at 62 years, 10 months, 7 days for his 18th senior title.
''That's a good way to say I'm old, 'experience,''' Haas said. ''I think I'm very nervous most of the time when I play and today was no exception, but I continued to hit good shots and, hopefully, I can put one foot in front of the other, one shot at a time, do what I tell my son to do every time, you know? See if I can put some of those adages to work tomorrow.''
Stephen Ames and Scott Dunlap were tied for second after the round that started in light rain. Ames had a 67, and Dunlap shot 68.
Defending champion Bernhard Langer had a 66 to join Billy Mayfair (67) and Woody Austin (68) at 9 under. Langer won the SAS Championship last week in North Carolina to take the season points lead. The 61-year-old German star has two victories this year and 38 overall on the 50-and-over tour.
The top 72 players qualified for the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs opener. The top 54 on Sunday will get spots next week in the Invesco QQQ Championship in Thousand Oaks, California, and the top 36 after that will advance to the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship in Phoenix.
Miguel Angel Jimenez, second in the standings, was tied for 23rd at 4 under after a 71.