La Quinta, Zach Johnson and Alex Noren lead



by ANDREA GUSSONI

La Quinta, Zach Johnson and Alex Noren lead
© Getty Images Sport - Sean M. Haffey / Staff

The first round of The American Express 2024 just ended, and there are some highlights to highlight. Zach Johnson and Alex Noren are currently leading the tournament with a score of -10 each. Both are players with strong histories in golf, with Zach Johnson being a former Major winner and Alex Noren a former world No.

8. Johnson had a bogey-free day, while Noren recorded 10 birdies, an eagle and a double bogey.

The American Express, results

In third position are the Filipino Rico Hoey and the South African Christiaan Bezuidenhout, both at -9.

Hoey is a rookie on the PGA Tour, while Bezuidenhout is gaining experience on the circuit. The group of fifths at -8 is very interesting and varied, with players coming from the three courses: Stadium Course, La Quinta and Nicklaus Course.

This group includes Scott Stallings and Hayden Springer from the Stadium Course, Xander Schauffele, Patrick Cantlay, South Korean Si Woo Kim and Swede Alexander Bjork from La Quinta, and Chan Kim, Justin Lower and amateur Nick Dunlap from the Nicklaus Course.

The world number 1, Scottie Scheffler, also participated in the tournament and is currently in 39th place with a score of -5. Although he didn't start badly, he is still in the middle of the table, but has good prospects for future events in the tournament.

The creation of the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR) was motivated by several sources, including the tournament committee of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews and renowned sports manager Mark McCormack. In the 1980s, the tournament committee of the Royal and Ancient Golf Club of St Andrews recognized that their invitation system for the British Open, based on analyzing the various tours individually, was excluding more and more top-class players.

This is because many of them were competing in tournaments on multiple different tours. Meanwhile, Mark McCormack was a major advocate for the creation of an official world ranking and became the first president of the international committee responsible for its implementation.

The system used to develop the OWGR was based on McCormack's World Golf Rankings, an unofficial ranking published by McCormack in his "World of Professional Golf Annual" from 1968 to 1985. This unofficial ranking had no specific purpose, such as selection of players for tournaments.

The first edition of the OWGR was released before The Masters in 1986, with the top six players including Bernhard Langer, Severiano Ballesteros, Sandy Lyle, Tom Watson, Mark O'Meara and Greg Norman. Although the top three were European players, thirty-one of the top fifty players were Americans.

Over the years, the OWGR calculation method has undergone several changes. Initially, the ranking was based on a three-year period, with the current year's scores multiplied by four, the previous year's scores by two, and the scores from two years ago remaining unchanged.

Tournaments were classified into categories, from "major tournaments" with the winner receiving 50 points, to "other tournaments" with minimum scores. Points were also awarded to the other classifieds in proportion to their placing, starting with the second classified who received 60% of the winner's points.

Zach Johnson