x Abu Dhabi, UAEFriday 21 July 2017

It's time to upgrade the status of WGC events

Events like the WGC deserve a higher status based on the players they attract and the winners they produce.

The number that defines greatness in golf is 18. It has been that way since 1986, when Jack Nicklaus won his 18th professional major at the Masters. And it will stay that way unless Tiger Woods wins the five more majors he needs to pass him.

But Woods has set another standard. The next step below the majors are the World Golf Championships (WGC), and Woods has amassed an amazing record - 16 wins in the 32 he has played.

What does that mean?

For one thing, he has padded his bank account. Woods has made more than US$22.2 million (Dh81.5m) in the WGC events, which is nearly 25 per cent of his career PGA Tour earnings.

More than money, it means that Woods won 16 events against the best players in golf. The fields are small, but for most of their 13-year existence they have included at least the top 50 in the world.

But these events are still not what they should be. Along with bringing together the best players, it would help to take the tournaments around the world. And if they are mostly going to be in America, it would be better to move them to iconic venues.

They deserve a higher status based on the players they attract and the winners they produce.

"I think Tiger gave them credibility by winning 14 of the first 20, or whatever it was," Geoff Ogilvy said. "If you do look at the list of guys who have won them, generally, at that time they were one of the best in the world."

That's because the best in the world are there.