India's top golfer Jeev Milkha Singh closed 2009 in 59th place in World Golf rankings -- but with the new rankings rule coming into effect in the first week of the new year, the Indian ace found himself at the 50th place.
“That is a big morale booster when you start the year with such good news,” said Jeev, who this week plays for Asia in the Royal Trophy in Bangkok. The ranking, however, will not count towards eligibility for the Masters, for which the top-50 at end of the previous year qualify automatically.
Jeev will now need to stay in top-50 till March 20 to play his fourth successive Masters at the Augusta National Club.
Jeev was ranked 59th as per the old rankings rules, under which there was no maximum divisor. Jeev’s career-best ranking has been 34th in the first week of 2009. He was 37th at the end of 2006 and 77th at the end of 2007.
The leading Indians behind Jeev are Gaganjeet Bhullar (168th), Shiv Kapur (212th), Jyoti Randhawa (223rd) and Chinnaswamy Muniyapa (392nd).
In June 2009 at Turnberry, the Governing Board of the Official World Golf Ranking approved a measure to introduce a “Maximum Divisor” into the system.
The new ‘Maximum Divisor Rule’ is designed to reduce players’ concerns that they might be penalised for playing a significant number of tournaments as their divisor is much higher on account of that.
At a time when Tours around the world and sponsors want players to play more events, the Board agreed that the introduction of a “Maximum Divisor” over the two-year ranking period would ease this situation.
The divisor as on Jan 3, the start of the first week of 2010, will be 60. But it will come down by two after every six months. And it will finally be calculated on the basis of “Last 52” events. That will finally be achieved in the first week of January 2012.
The figure of 52 as the desired Maximum divisor was arrived at by observing that it was the current average number of events played by the world’s top 200 players over the two-year ranking cycle. By using the “Last-52” events, a player who exceeds the maximum divisor will retain his current ranking points and only lose his earlier degraded points and retain a divisor of 52.
This, the world body feels, will encourage players to play more often, and that in turn will be a positive development for all Tours.
The process is being implemented gradually to avoid any significant changes in a player’s ranking prior to any Official World Golf Ranking eligibility cut-off date for a Major Championship or World Golf Championship. The current “Minimum Divisor” of 40 events over the two-year ranking period will remain unchanged.