Oosthuizen slips to 31st in world rankings

Despite a solid finish in the Masters at Augusta National Golf Club last week, Louis Oosthuizen has slipped to 31st in the Official World Golf Ranking, his lowest position since 2018.

He finished in a share of 26th at the Masters, and that performance saw him drop three positions in the rankings. He finished 2013 in 34th place, and slipped as low as 59th during 2014. Since then, he has only sporadically been outside the top 30, but his win in the 2018 South African Open Championship in December that year took him to 25th and he stayed inside the top 30 since then.

Christiaan Bezuidenhout also dropped three places to 38th after his share of 40th in his second outing at Augusta National, while 2011 Masters champion Charl Schwartzel climbed inside the world’s top 200 again to 189th after sharing 26th with Oosthuizen. Dylan Frittelli, who missed the Masters cut, remained unchanged in 68th.

In a climb which perfectly illustrates the vagaries of the world ranking system, Brandon Stone, who was inactive last week, climbed three places to 94th to be the last of eight South Africans inside the world’s top 100.

The ranking system is on the verge of a major overhaul which, say insiders, will better reflect the strength of global golf tours which are currently overshadowed by the PGA Tour in the United States. A meeting this month of the seven-person rankings board – which includes representation from all four majors – will seek to confirm changes that will be implemented this year.

The Guardian’s Ewen Murray writes: “The existing system divides a golfer’s points total by the number of events in which they have played over a two-year window. That average points basis is set to remain but will be about the only constant; there is acknowledgement from those behind the rankings that ‘strength of field’ elements – relating to the minimum points available in any given event – may now be skewed. This could mean a ranking boost to, for example, those competing in standard European Tour competitions which for now have lowly points status.

“Those with knowledge of the present system believe it was implemented at a time when the world’s top 50 were a more fundamental element than is the case now. Around 2,000 players have a world ranking, with 23 Tours feeding into the points system. Players from outside the world’s top 300 appeared at the 2016 Olympics, illustrating the significance of the system below those at the summit of the game.”

South Africa’s top 10:

  1. Louis Oosthuizen 31 (down 3)
  2. Christiaan Bezuidenhout 38 (down 3)
  3. Erik van Rooyen 64 (down 2)
  4. Dylan Frittelli 68 (unchanged)
  5. Daniel van Tonder 75 (down 1)
  6. Branden Grace 80 (down 2)
  7. George Coetzee 88 (down 4)
  8. Brandon Stone 94 (up 3)
  9. Garrick Higgo 117 (down 3)
  10. Shaun Norris 120 (down 1)

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