World and Olympic rankings frozen with suspension of professional golf due to Covid-19

Men's World No 1 Rory McIlroy (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)

The Official World Golf Ranking (OWGR) and Rolex Women’s World Golf Ranking (WWGR) have been paused until further notice with professional golf currently inactive due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

In a statement issued yesterday, the governing boards of the OWGR and WWGR noted that they have frozen the rankings at week 11 (week ending March 15th and 16th, 2020) and will continue to monitor the impact of Covid-19. An announcement about the resumption of the rankings will be made in due course.

This means that the ranking system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympics is also frozen. The top 60 players in the men’s ranking and top 60 in the women’s ranking as at June 22 and June 29 respectively qualify for the Olympic golf event, scheduled to take place at Kasumigaseki Country Club in Saitama on July 30-August 8

A statement by the International Golf Federation, which manages the Olympic rankings, read: “In light of the ongoing health crisis related to the Coronavirus Pandemic and necessary cancellation of golf tournaments worldwide, the International Golf Federation fully understands and supports the immediate freezing of the men’s and women’s official world golf rankings in order to protect their integrity.

“This decision effectively freezes the ranking system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games until such time as the world ranking systems recommence, given that the Olympic Golf Ranking System for men and women is based upon them.

“The qualification system for the Tokyo 2020 Olympic Games commenced on 1 July 2018 and will conclude on 22 June 2020 for the men and from 8 July 2018 through to 29 June 2020 for the women, with players accumulating World Ranking Points over a two-year “rolling” period. This has proven to be a fair and equitable system and despite the freeze, we believe that the system remains fair to all athletes who are vying for qualification to the Tokyo Olympic Games.

Jin Young Ko (Photo by Han Myung-Gu/Getty Images)

“We have discussed this with the IOC, which fully supports the decision.”

Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy and Korea’s Jin Young Ko are the current men’s and women’s world number ones respectively.

Gavin Green and Kelly Tan are the top-ranked Malaysians, with Green in 142nd place on the OWGR and Tan occupying 385th spot on the WWGR.

Both are ranked within the top 60 of the men’s and women’s Olympic rankings respectively and are in line for their second Olympic appearances in Tokyo.

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