McIlroy-Scheffler duel for number 1 is back

When you mention the Genesis Invitational, you think of Tiger Woods

by Andrea Gussoni
McIlroy-Scheffler duel for number 1 is back
© Getty Images Sport - Andrew Redington / Staff

When you mention the Genesis Invitational, you think of Tiger Woods. The foundation of the forty-eight-year-old Californian organizes the event, which has a long history dating back to the days when it was known as the Los Angeles Open.

At the Riviera Country Club in 1992, Tiger set foot on the PGA Tour for the first time, albeit as an amateur. Paradoxically, however, he has never won this tournament. A fate he shares with another golfing legend, Jack Nicklaus.

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The theme of his comeback undoubtedly occupies a large portion of the specialized press, but it's not the only aspect to follow. There are many others, starting with the absence of the defending champion, Jon Rahm, who won't be competing for a while as he has moved on to the LIV Golf.

But, above all, the spotlight will inevitably be on the ongoing duel between Rory McIlroy and Scottie Scheffler for the number 1 spot. For the two potential protagonists of the week, there are very different scenarios. If Tiger were to pull off an improbable yet fascinating victory, he could potentially climb as high as 54th in the OWGR (Official World Golf Rankings).

Currently, due to his absence, he has plummeted to 893rd place. For the Northern Irishman, surpassing Scheffler implies only one thing: winning, under certain conditions linked to the performance of his American counterpart.

However, current form favors the reigning world leader, who has an undeniable advantage here, along with compatriots Max Homa and Collin Morikawa. 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.

In the 1980s, they noticed that their system of sending invitations for participation in the British Open by analyzing each tour individually was leading to the exclusion of more and more high-level players. This was because these players split their commitments across multiple tours.

Additionally, influential sports manager Mark McCormack played a pivotal role. He became the first president of the international committee overseeing the creation of the rankings. The ranking system was developed based on McCormack's World Golf Rankings, which had previously been published in his World of Professional Golf Annual from 1968 to 1985.

This was an unofficial ranking and was not used for 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 European players, while thirty-one of the top fifty were Americans. Over the years, the method of calculating the rankings has changed significantly. Initially, the rankings were calculated over a three-year period, with the current year's score multiplied by four, the previous year's score by two, and the score from two years prior left unchanged.

The rankings were compiled with the total score and total points rounded to the nearest whole number. All tournaments recognized by professional tours, and some 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, other finishers also received points proportionate to their placement, starting from the runner-up, who received 60% of the points awarded to the winner.

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