Jon Rahm makes it four wins in six stars

Jon Rahm bolstered his claims to be the de facto world No.1 after securing back-to-back wins on the PGA Tour at The American Express, his fourth worldwide win in six starts.

The Spaniard finished on 27-under at the PGA West Stadium Course in La Quinta, California, a shot ahead of Davis Thompson, for his ninth career PGA Tour win.

Two weeks ago, Rahm overcame a final-round seven-shot deficit against Collin Morikawa to win the Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua in Hawaii.

That came after DP World Tour victories at The Spanish Open in October and at the DP World Tour Championship – the Tour’s season finale – a month later. In his last 10 starts, he has finished outside the top 10 just once.

Jon Rahm

Despite this spectacular run of results, Rahm has moved only three places in the Official World Golf Rankings (OWGR), going from sixth to third.

After Rahm won the DP World Tour Championship, it was Rory McIlroy (who finished fourth) who ended the season as Europe’s top-ranked golfer. McIlroy also lifted his third PGA Tour FedExCup in August, securing his place as world No.1 which he still holds.

And it was Scottie Scheffler, tied for 11th at The American Express, who could have retaken the world No.1 spot by a fraction of a point over McIlroy if not for narrowly missing a birdie putt on the final hole. 

But Rahm knows who he thinks the ‘real’ world No.1 is right now. After winning Sentry two weeks ago, he said: “In my mind, I feel like since August I’ve been the best player in the world. Earlier in the year clearly Scottie (Scheffler) was that player, then Rory (McIlroy) was that player, and I feel like right now it’s been me.”

OGWR changes costing Rahm?

The OWGR introduced a raft of changes in August 2022 whereby limited-field events – like the Sentry and the DP World Tour Championship, both won by Rahm – now carry less weight in terms of ranking points.

Previously, each tour had a minimum Strength of Field rating. For the DP World Tour, that minimum was 24, the same as the PGA Tour.


The changes appear to favour PGA Tour events over those on the DP World Tour as the OWGR no longer applies those minimum tournament values. Those minimums were seen as an advantage to the DP World Tour which has mostly weaker fields than the PGA Tour. But that is not always the case.

In November, Rahm said: “The fact that the RSM Classic doesn’t have any of the top 20 in the world has more (ranking) points than this event [DP World Tour Championship] where we have seven of the top 20 is laughable.”

In contrast, McIlroy said of the revamped OWGR system: “The reason that this has got 21 points and the RSM has got 39 is the person that wins the RSM has to beat 139 other guys. You only have to beat 49 other guys here. It’s a much fairer system.”

Rahm was last world No.1 in March 2022 when he was surpassed by Scheffler who held the top spot for 30 consecutive weeks before being ousted by McIlroy.

McIlroy has now been at the rankings summit for 14 straight weeks and 120 weeks in total during his career. But Rahm is hot on his heels, whatever the vagaries of the rankings system.

Read more: Jon Rahm: What’s in the bag?

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