Nelly Korda was ineligible to win the Evian Championship last Sunday, but her tied ninth place was enough to move her back to number 1 in the world ranking on Monday. Korda, 25, has held the top spot several times before. This time she has overtaken the Korean Jin Young Ko, who remains for now at 163 total weeks at the top.
Ko tied for 20th in France, three strokes behind Korda, who was coming off a win at the Aramco Team Series London event on the Ladies European Tour.
Nelly Korda, results
Also a move this week was rookie star Rose Zhang, who climbed three places to a career-high 32nd place in the Rolex Rankings after also tying for ninth at the Evian Championship.
In her first five tournaments as a member of the LPGA Tour, including three majors, Zhang has one win and three other top-10 finishes to make up for a missed cut at the Dana Open. Korda also leads the United States Solheim Cup standings, in which she has secured an automatic spot along with Lilia Vu and Allisen Corpuz.
Zhang is ranked 17th, but is eligible for the team based on her victory at the Mizuho Americas Open and is considered a very strong candidate to be selected by captain Stacy Lewis if she does not win the direct berth. The impetus for the creation of the Official World Golf Rankings came from the tournament committee of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews, which in the eighties realized that the system it adopted, i.e.
sending invitations to participate in the British Open by analyzing each tour individually, was leading to the exclusion of more and more top-level players because they split their schedules over several different tours, and by the influential sports manager Mark McCormack, who became the first chairman of the international committee overseeing the creation of the league table.
The system used to develop the ranking was developed based on that of McCormack's World Golf Rankings, which had previously been published in his World of Professional Golf Annual from 1968 to 1985, which was an unofficial ranking and was not used for other purposes such as selecting players to invite to tournaments.
The first ranking was published before the 1986 edition of The Masters. The top six players were: Bernhard Langer, Severiano Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle, Tom Watson, Mark O'Meara and Greg Norman. The top three were therefore European players, but among the top fifty thirty-one were Americans.
Over the years the method of calculating the ranking has changed a lot. Initially the ranking was calculated over a three-year period, with the current year's score multiplied by four, that of the previous year by two and that of two years before left unchanged.
The ranking was compiled with the total score and the overall points rounded to the nearest integer. All tournaments recognized by the professional tours and some of the invitational tournaments were classified into categories, ranging from "major tournaments" (where the winner received 50 points) to "other tournaments" (where the winner received a minimum of 8 points).
). In each tournament, the other classified players also received points in proportion to their placement, starting with the runner-up who received 60% of the points due to the winner. In early April 1989, the rankings were changed to be based on average points per tournament played instead of the total amount.
This was to better reflect the prowess of some players (especially those of an older age) who played fewer tournaments than others, but demonstrated in major tournaments that their ranking was underrated. For example Tom Watson between 1987 and 1989 had finished in the top 15 in eight major tournaments, but with the overall points system he was only in fortieth position: with the average points system he went back to twentieth.
A new system was also devised to determine the "weight" of each tournament, based on the total value of the participants evaluated with the ranking prior to the start of the tournament. In the major tournaments, however, the maximum of 50 points was guaranteed for the winner, while all the others could reach a maximum of 40 if all the best 100 in the world had been at the start.
In practice, the result is that most PGA Tour tournaments settle around 25 points for the winner, those of the European Tour around 18 and those of the Japan PGA Tour around 12. In 2007 the system was changed again .