Calendar An icon of a desk calendar. Cancel An icon of a circle with a diagonal line across. Caret An icon of a block arrow pointing to the right. Email An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of the Facebook "f" mark. Google An icon of the Google "G" mark. Linked In An icon of the Linked In "in" mark. Logout An icon representing logout. Profile An icon that resembles human head and shoulders. Telephone An icon of a traditional telephone receiver. Tick An icon of a tick mark. Is Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes. Is Not Public An icon of a human eye and eyelashes with a diagonal line through it. Pause Icon A two-lined pause icon for stopping interactions. Quote Mark A opening quote mark. Quote Mark A closing quote mark. Arrow An icon of an arrow. Folder An icon of a paper folder. Breaking An icon of an exclamation mark on a circular background. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Caret An icon of a caret arrow. Clock An icon of a clock face. Close An icon of the an X shape. Close Icon An icon used to represent where to interact to collapse or dismiss a component Comment An icon of a speech bubble. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Comments An icon of a speech bubble, denoting user comments. Ellipsis An icon of 3 horizontal dots. Envelope An icon of a paper envelope. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Camera An icon of a digital camera. Home An icon of a house. Instagram An icon of the Instagram logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. Magnifying Glass An icon of a magnifying glass. Search Icon A magnifying glass icon that is used to represent the function of searching. Menu An icon of 3 horizontal lines. Hamburger Menu Icon An icon used to represent a collapsed menu. Next An icon of an arrow pointing to the right. Notice An explanation mark centred inside a circle. Previous An icon of an arrow pointing to the left. Rating An icon of a star. Tag An icon of a tag. Twitter An icon of the Twitter logo. Video Camera An icon of a video camera shape. Speech Bubble Icon A icon displaying a speech bubble WhatsApp An icon of the WhatsApp logo. Information An icon of an information logo. Plus A mathematical 'plus' symbol. Duration An icon indicating Time. Success Tick An icon of a green tick. Success Tick Timeout An icon of a greyed out success tick. Loading Spinner An icon of a loading spinner. Facebook Messenger An icon of the facebook messenger app logo. Facebook An icon of a facebook f logo. Facebook Messenger An icon of the Twitter app logo. LinkedIn An icon of the LinkedIn logo. WhatsApp Messenger An icon of the Whatsapp messenger app logo. Email An icon of an mail envelope. Copy link A decentered black square over a white square.

TEE TO GREEN, STEVE SCOTT: Mercifully, the end of a fractious tour golf season

Rory McIlropy with the ever-imposing DPWT title trophy.
Rory McIlropy with the ever-imposing DPWT title trophy.

It’s not an uncommon feeling for relief at the proper end of the golf season, but usually it’s a different kind of exhaustion that is the cause.

Usually, just 10 months at the coalface has us all worn out. This year, there’s been a profound irritation to add to it all.

At the weekend, the DP World Tour and LPGA seasons were completed. In Dubai, the DPWT finale was part of a weekend of premier sportswashing that didn’t even include Saudi Arabia (okay, it did a little bit).

We had the DP World Championship in Dubai, the final F1 race of the calendar in Abu Dhabi, and the World Cup opener in Qatar. None of these places are paragons of basic human rights, but the Emirates have long since re-painted their reputations.

You can argue their success in this – and in pivoting their economies away from oil to tourism – is what has provoked Saudi Arabia into their recent activities. They’re 25 years behind Dubai, and trying to make up the gap by throwing huge amounts of cash before the world stops buying their sole product.

Anyway, after a year, we’re all tired of talking about this (which, of course, is just exactly what they want). We’re tired of the intrigue and the infighting. It’s been far the biggest story of the year, but we’re cumulatively scunnered with it all.

The finish in Dubai

Back to the golf. Rory McIlroy duly claimed the DPWT title, securing a 2022 hat-trick of both main tours and the World No 1 position.

All while being the frontman for the PGA Tour in their fractious battles with the rival, Saudi-funded LIV Golf Series. Would Rory swap any two or even all three of those baubles for a second Claret Jug at St Andrews? Probably. But it’s been a hugely  impressive season amidst all the distractions.

Jon Rahm, who won the event for a third time, finished strongly in what’s been a relatively disappointing year for him in total. But there’s been every sign latterly that 2022 will be a mere blip of modest success for the Spaniard.

The leading European pair were together foursquare, on all matters DPWT and LIV Golf. Rahm, other than Rory, has probably been the most vocal leading European against the “rebel” tour.

But they parted ways on the newly calibrated World Rankings, which has the PGA Tour’s RSM event in Georgia giving more points than available in Dubai.

There’s a good reason for this, being that the RSM Classic was full-field and the DP World Championship had just 50 starters. But Rahm called it “laughable” that a tour championship was ranked far less than a standard tour event with the best player being the World No 26.

You can see his point. The new calibration is far fairer generally to actual strength of field than the previous version which guaranteed extra points no matter the quality of opposition.

Still a work in progress

But equally, there has to be some allowance for the importance of the event. For example, the Masters still gets the self-same ranking points than the other majors under the same system, despite the fact it customarily has 60 fewer competitors.

In addition, a number of the 90-odd who do play Augusta are amateurs or aged and uncompetitive former champions.

I’m not comparing the Masters to the DP World Championship. But I am to the Players, which is not a major but has a massively larger and more competitive field than Augusta. Yet doesn’t get nearly the same ranking points.

There has to be an acknowledgement of the seniority of the event. To be fair, it’s not uncommon for a data-based recalibration like this not to take account of such nuances at the outset.

I don’t think it’s remotely a good look to be entirely hidebound to the numbers. Accept there are events which should have a higher standing. As we see with Augusta, the new calibration already does this.

Lydia’s return to the top

In Florida, Lydia Ko emulated Rory by finishing the LPGA season with no majors but all the baubles. Although she had to – momentarily at least – cede World No 1 status to Nelly Korda.

We’ve always been great admirers of Lydia at T2G. She’s been a class act since she was a bespectacled 15-year-old tearing apart the women’s game. Her career hasn’t been a steady progress, but 10 years on – she’s still only 25, amazingly – she’s back at the top.

In addition – in stark contrast to some high profiled players even in the women’s game (cough, Korda) – she’s always been generous with her time and good humoured, even when her game was a struggle.

We’re all human, even the writers. If you’re nice to us, we’re going to be on your side. And I think the whole media tent is generally on Lyds’ side.

The other element from Florida was the announcement of a 2023 LPGA schedule that topped $100 million for the first time.

There’s been continual talk of LIV elbowing into the women’s game, but little sign of it happening.

Even the extra Saudi money put into their women’s event, announced last week, didn’t equate to a tenth of what they reportedly paid for the questionable services of Pat Perez.

If you’re ever tempted – spuriously – to equate the women accepting Saudi money with what LIV has been doing, remember that.