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Adding power: Changes made to World Amateur Golf Ranking

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In an effort to place greater emphasis on current form and results, the USGA and R&A have made changes to the World Amateur Golf Ranking.

Beginning on Jan. 1, 2020, the World Amateur Golf Ranking will be determined using a new algorithm called the Power Method.

In the new system, every world-ranked event will receive a "power number" based on the strength of the tournament's starting field. That strength-of-field number will determine how many ranking points are available to the field. A maximum of 1,000 will be awarded per event.

Players will be awarded points based on their overall finishing position, a change from the previous round-based allocation. The divisors will also become event-based rather than round-based. The new minimum divisors will be seven for women and eight for men.

Points earned from events within the most recent 52 weeks will count at full value. From there, points will reduce proportionately, approximately 2 percent per week, before their removal after 104 weeks. Divisors will also be aged after 52 weeks.

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“We are thrilled to introduce the Power Method which will significantly improve the World Amateur Golf Ranking,” said Jeff Holzschuh, chairman of the WAGR committee. “We have listened to feedback about WAGR since its inception and we believe this change addresses many of the challenges within the previous system.”

The Power Method can be applied to all types of events, from amateur to professional, and several formats, from stroke play to match play and even formats the old system couldn't accommodate, such as Stableford.

The changes will make it easier for players to gain a WAGR ranking but also tougher for them to maintain a ranking.

“We are grateful to our colleagues at The R&A for their work in developing this effort and their partnership in bringing it to life,” said John Bodenhamer, USGA senior managing director of championships. “As we have begun to discuss the upcoming changes to WAGR with various constituents, we have received great feedback and believe this will be very warmly received by players and event organizers.”