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WAGR Announces Changes for 2023

The World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) Comittee has announced changes to the system for 2023. 


The Rankings, jointly governed by The R&A and the USGA, currently list over 7,000 amateur players and 6,000 events (2022) across the globe. 




Beginning with events processed in week 1 of 2023, the distribution of points at each event will be tweaked slightly. Players in the lower half of results, particularly those closer to last place, will receive fewer points than in the past.


In a statement, the WAGR committee explained: "We have become increasingly concerned that players throughout the rankings have become very selective by forgoing local low Power events and focusing only on regional, national and international high Power events."


"This reflects a progression that has always taken place, but only recently has protecting their ranking or average been used as the rationale. Currently the formula that determines the points awarded to each finishing position produces very little difference from position to position in the lower half of the results."


"This provided ranked players that would likely finish in the middle or bottom of the field with no sense of jeopardy to their ranking average. Players participated in high Power events in hopes of having a good week and not worrying about having a poor one."


Beginning with events processed in week 1 of 2023, amateurs will receive fewer points for competing in professional events.


Currently, the 'power' of an event (the number of points it allocates based on the strength of the field) includes a contribution based on the event being professional or amateur. This contribution will be reduced by a third, resulting in Powers dropping between 20 and 35% for pro tournaments.


In a statement, the WAGR Committee said: "When the transition to the Power method was implemented in 2020, more points were made available at the highest levels of professional events than were awarded previously."


"That was in recognition of how hard it is for amateurs to compete in majors or the strongest tours. After nearly three years of utilising the Power method, the WAGR Committee believes that a disproportionate benefit may have been created that was not apparent in our development modelling."


"Although this does not get entirely back to the pre-Power method balance between professional and amateur events, it is believed that this modification along with the change to the points distribution formula should return the emphasis within WAGR to participating in amateur events."


Acceptable individual events eligible to count for WAGR will no longer be limited to single elimination match play and stroke play. A set of principles has been adopted affording event organisers more flexibility in conducting WAGR eligible competitions.


All participants will need to play the equivalent minimum of one 18-hole stroke play or match play stipulated round and the eventual champion needs to play the equivalent minimum of three 18-hole rounds.


This will now allow 18-hole stroke play qualifying for match play to count in determining the Power of an event as well as receiving points and a divisor. Additionally, round-robin or “pod” match play (similar to the WGC Dell Match Play) will also now count prior to the knockout rounds.


The requirement of playing at least 36-holes or the equivalent to become ranked is still in place as well as the minimum starting field size of eight players.


The 80% minimum Power protection for selected events with pre-pandemic Powers greater than 400 and international ranked player participation levels of at least 15 percent are being discontinued. 


Though player international travel may not have fully returned to previous levels for all events, travel restrictions no longer remain in areas that had events under this protection.


From 1 January 2022, the provision to have events removed due to injury or illness was eliminated from the WAGR Criteria. The WAGR Committee, however, kept a provision to be able to grant event removals due to exceptional circumstances.


Several dozen appeals were still received by the WAGR Committee for event removal from players believing their injury or illness was an exceptional circumstance. To align more closely with the professional golf ranking, from 1 January 2023, the WAGR Committee will not remove event results from player records for any reason.


More information on the World Amateur Golf Rankings can be found on Questions concerning the rankings should be addressed to