World Rankings That Make You Say, “Hmmm…”

Steve Stricker isn't the only PGA Tour player ranked lower by the Official World Golf Rankingsthan he is by the Sagarin rankings. But while Sagarin ranks Stricker as No. 1 in the world and OWGR has him fifth, the disparity is far greater for other well-known players. At first blush, the divide seems to favor international players over Americans, but not always.

Take, for example, Zach Johnson. The 2007 Masters champion and John Deere Classic executive board member is ranked 16th by Sagarin and 45th by OWGR, a huge difference of 29 spots. Charles Howell III is ranked No. 66 by OWGR; Sagarin has him 14th, a 52-spot difference! Both Johnson and Howell are Americans.

The ranking is significant for Howell, because players inside the OWGR top 50 are qualified for some of the game's more lucrative tournaments. And it could be significant for Zach should he fall out of the OWGR top 50.

Meanwhile, Martin Kaymer of Germany is ranked No. 4 by OWGR while Sagarin has him at No. 21. After a big year in 2010, when Kaymer won the PGA Championship and finished top 10 at the U.S. and British opens, he had a so-so year in 2011 playing regularly on the PGA Tour, except for a big win at the season-ending WGC event in China.

South Africa's Charl Swartzel, who's set to defend his Masters title next week, is ranked No. 7 by OWGR; Sagarin has him 11th. England's Justin Rose is No. 8 in the OWGR but No. 35 in Sagarin. Northern Ireland's Graham McDowell - in a slump since his 2010 U.S. Open win until his runner-up finish at Bay Hill last week - is ranked No. 13 by OWGR; Sagarin has him 66th.

Then there's the case of South Korean rookie Sang-Moon Bae, a PGA Tour qualifying school graduate. Bae has played in nine PGA Tour events in his career and never played on the Nationwide Tour; nevertheless Bae is ranked No. 28 in the world by OWGR. That ranking - acquired by virtue of his international playing record - qualified him to play in two World Golf Championship events, which are reserved for the OWGR top 75. Bae's best finish so far this year was a tie for second at Transitions and a tie for fifth at the WGC Match Play. In six of nine events the 25-year-old finished between T-29 and 71st place. Sagarin ranks Bae 95th in the world.

Not all international players are favored by OWGR. Sergio Garcia, for example, is ranked No. 21 by OWGR but No. 7 by Sagarin.

And not all Americans are rated higher by Sagarin, which ranks Dustin Johnson No. 20 while OWGR ranks him 12th.

Click Here for the Official World Golf Rankings


July 5 - July 9

Sign up for all things JDC