# Jordan Spieth's big week: Becoming a father, and returning to No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings

USA TODAY Sports Media Group
2021-11-21

Even when he dropped in the rankings, Jordan Spieth never lost faith that he’d eventually be back on top of the world.

This week officially marked that triumphant return.

Not only did Spieth and his wife Annie welcome their first son, Sammy, on Wednesday, but the former Texas Longhorn also regained his place at No. 1 in the Golfweek/Sagarin rankings, knocking Jon Rahm out of the top spot.

Spieth started the calendar year well from the top, but won for the first time since the 2017 Open Championship in April at the Valero Texas Open, then finished T-3 at the Masters a month later. Spieth added runner-up finishes at the Charles Schwab Challenge and Open Championship for his best season on Tour since 2017.

He still sits at No. 11 in Official World Golf Ranking, but Spieth’s consistency over the last year—a key for the Sagarin formula—propelled him above Rahm.

## How the Sagarin rankings are determined

Jeff Sagarin’s rating system is based on a mathematical formula that uses a player’s won-lost-tied record against other players when they play on the same course on the same day, and the stroke differential between those players, then links all players to one another based on common opponents.

The following list is an explanation of each category Sagarin uses to formulate his rankings.

• Power rating: This is NOT a stroke average. The rating is calculated using a player’s record, stroke differential and connection to all the other players in the database. The difference between two ratings predicts the difference between two players in a typical round.
• Schedule strength: The average strength of each event in which the player has played, calculated using the power ratings of every player in every field.
• Schedule rank: The player’s schedule is ranked by difficulty among the entire database.
• Records: A player’s won-lost-tied record, based on head-to-head competition, in each category. The winner in a 156-player field has a record of 155-0-0, the runner-up is 154-1-0 and so on.

First thing is we have to realize and know that this is a head-to-head ranking. This is calculated on who a player beats and who a player loses to. There is no weight or extra credit given for winning or better finishes. And unlike the OWGR, as a result of head-to-head wins and losses, a missed cut or a finish near the bottom of a field will hurt a lot more in GW/Sags than in OWGR.

The Golfweek/Sagarin rankings use a one-year window as opposed to two and consistency is paramount.

Spieth has made 19 cuts in a row and 19 of his last 20 in the last 52 weeks. Meanwhile, in Rahm’s last 22 starts he has 3 missed cuts and also withdrew from an event.

Spieth’s overall won-loss-tie record is 1859-389-71 (good for an .816 clip) while Jon Rahm is at 1973-426-74 (.812).

Another important thing to know is over time, the GW/Sagarin rankings generally have a player land in the No. 1 spot before the OWGR has that player ranked No. 1. There have been 13 No. 1s in OWGR since the GW/Sagarin rankings started in 2000 — nine of them went to No. 1 in Golfweek first.

Here is a look at the complete list:

## OWGR all-time No. 1s since Golfweek/Sagarin debut in 2000

(Note: Tiger Woods was already No. 1 in both when the GW/Sags were introduced)

• Vijay Singh *

• Lee Westwood *

• Martin Kaymer

• Luke Donald *

• Rory McIlroy

• Jordan Spieth *

• Jason Day

• Dustin Johnson *

• Justin Thomas *

• Justin Rose *

• Brooks Koepka

• Jon Rahm *

• Jordan Spieth

— * denotes player first went to No. 1 in Golfweek/Sagarin rankings.