Adam Scott Has Shown Us Why the World Golf Ranking Has Become Meaningless

Michael FitzpatrickFeatured ColumnistMay 22, 2014

FORT WORTH, TX - MAY 21:  Adam Scott of Australia poses for a portrait prior to the start of the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial on May 21, 2014 in Fort Worth, Texas. Scott will start the Crowne Plaza Invitational as the No. 1 golfer in the Official World Golf Ranking after taking over the number one spot from Tiger Woods earlier this week.  (Photo by Tom Pennington/Getty Images)
Tom Pennington/Getty Images

Adam Scott bolted into the No. 1 position in the Official World Golf Ranking this week by, well, doing almost nothing over the past six months.

It was as if Scott’s practice sessions, television watching and lounging around on the couch last week were so impressive that they allowed him to just tear on past Tiger Woods and into the No. 1 position in the World Golf Ranking.  

Scott hasn’t won a tournament anywhere in the world since the Talisker Masters in late November, and his best finish in 2014 was third place at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, where he squandered a six-stroke 54-hole lead.

Scott’s last win on the PGA Tour came nine months ago at the 2013 Barclays, and in his last two events, he tied for 14th at the Masters and then tied for 38th at The Players Championship.

So, is Scott truly the best player in the world right now?

Well, the answer to that question is a resounding "Who cares?"

There is no true No. 1 player in the game of golf now, so what does it matter if Scott, Matt Kuchar, Henrik Stenson or Justin Rose holds the almost meaningless title?

Aside from possibly some sponsor bonuses, the prestige that used to accompany being the No. 1 golfer in the world is nothing more than a skeleton of what it used to be.

With Woods sidelined after back surgery and Phil Mickelson’s game MIA this season, we are now at a point that the so-called “top” players in the game win so infrequently that a win more than a year ago could send someone to the top of the World Golf Ranking, as it has essentially done for Scott this week.

Heck, Luke Donald and Lee Westwood made it to the top of the World Golf Ranking without ever winning a major. How a player can be considered the best golfer in the world without having ever won a major is almost comical.

Scott’s reign as the world No. 1 could last a whopping seven days if Stenson finishes higher at this week’s BMW PGA Championship than Scott does at Colonial. Stenson could hypothetically finish 42nd this week at Wentworth, and if Scott were to finish 43rd or worse at Colonial, Stenson would triumphantly take over the top spot in the World Golf Rankings.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Those four worldwide wins by Stenson in the past five years years, the last of which came eight months ago, are truly the stuff of champions and world No. 1s.

While the World Golf Ranking has been harshly criticized by many ardent golf observers, the current state of the World Golf Ranking system is more a reflection of the complete absence of a top player in the game than an indication of any monumental flaws.

With Woods out of the picture for the time being, a revolving door atop the World Golf Ranking is pretty much what one would expect. No one else wins very often, and the game is completely void of a dominant force.

If there was ever a question about just how large of a lull the game of golf has fallen into this season, just think of it this way: The most exciting things to happen in golf over the past 10 days have been a player breaking up with his girlfriend and another player moving to the top of the World Golf Ranking in his sleep.

Enough said.