Rankings critics ‘confused’, says number one Westwood

Shanghai: Lee Westwood took another swipe at critics of his rise to the top of the world rankings on Saturday, saying they fail to understand a fair and straight-forward system.

Several senior voices in the golfing world have slammed the way the rankings are compiled because they do not take into account career major tournaments won, instead calculating performance by overall points scored.

Westwood ended the 281-week reign of 14-times Majors champion Tiger Woods thanks to his consistency in this year’s tournaments.

“A lot of people get confused about the rankings. A lot of people get confused about Major championships and who is the most consistent player in the world,” said a defiant Westwood, who is defending his number one raking at the HSBC Champions in Shanghai.

“I know that I haven’t won a Major championship. I’m very well aware of that. But I do know I’ve probably played the most consistent golf in the world over the last two years, and that reflects in my world ranking.”

Woods’s former coach Butch Harmon was one of those who criticised Westwood’s rise to number one, saying the ranking system “sucked”.

“Did Westwood win a major this year, or any year? I think not,” he said during the week.

Six-times Major winner Nick Faldo said Westwood needed to cement his new status with a Major trophy.

“I think people have their favourites .... it’s not a complicated system. It’s a good system and it’s a fair system, and you don’t hear the players complaining about it, so it must be right,” said Westwood after his third round.

Westwood is on 13 under par, a shot behind leader and Ryder Cup team mate Francesco Molinari.

The Englishman has virtually sealed top ranking for a second week after his nearest rivals Woods, Martin Kaymer and Phil Mickelson failed to muster a challenge.

A victory at the tough Sheshan course would see them leapfrog Westwood into top spot.

Bureau Report