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Questions remain over OWGR point allocation at East Lake

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KAPALUA, Hawaii – In September, the PGA Tour unveiled the new strokes-based scoring format for this year’s Tour Championship, but one unanswered question was how world ranking points would be allocated at what is, essentially, a handicapped event.

Under the new winner-take-all format, the FedExCup points leader will begin the Tour Championship at 10 under par. The next four players on the points list will start at 8 under through 5 under, respectively, while Nos. 6-10 will start at 4 under par with the total regressing by one stroke every five players. Those ranked 26th through 30th start at even par.

Gone are the confusing projections that defined the season-long points race at East Lake, as well as the occasionally awkward trophy presentations when one player would win the Tour Championship and another the FedExCup.

But the world ranking question continues to linger. On Saturday at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Tour commissioner Jay Monahan said there is no update on how ranking points might be allocated, but he said he’s confident a solution would be reached.

“If I imagine it in general, I think it will,” Monahan said.

Although the ranking question is a small piece of a bigger makeover, it is important to players, whose endorsement bonuses are often tied to the Official World Golf Ranking and how many points they earn in a season. Not to mention, there has been significant turnover at East Lake in recent years, including in 2018, when Dustin Johnson overtook Justin Rose atop the ranking with his third-place finish at the finale.

“I don’t see a scenario where the outcome is anything other then there will be world ranking points allocated to the Tour Championship,” said Andy Pazder, the circuit’s chief of operations.

The decision rests with the OWGR's governing board, a body that has been amenable to new formats in recent years, like the Belgian Knockout and Shot Clock Masters on the European Tour, which were both awarded ranking points last season.