The season has already started, and until the first of March, we will know who are collecting 500 ranking points for the first time in 2020.
The United States hosts the first FIFG 500 of the year on two different courses in the Las Vegas area this weekend. It is also a tournament during the Region One Tour and the AFGL Tour 2020. The minimum cash purse is $3,000.
FIFG introduced the 2020 World Tour guidelines including for example new ranking calculations, regional tournaments, the Masters and categories without the absolute one. Javier de Ancizar, FIFG Vice President explains the goals of the WT and the changes for this year.
What are the main differences from last year?
We have introduced regional tours and rankings. We have split the world into four regions:
Region 1: North & Central America
Region 2: South America
Region 3: Europe
Region 4: Asia & Oceania
This new concept also introduces the Masters, a tournament in which the best world, regional and national players compete. With this new format, all tournaments (FIFG 50, FIFG 100, FIFG 250, FIFG 500 and FIFG Majors) count for the regional rankings, and only FIFG 250, FIFG 500 and FIFG Majors count for the world ranking.
How do the different rankings help the players?
The World Tour 2020 allows all players to compete on an international level according to their possibilities in terms of time, resources, etc. With the introduction of the Masters, those national and regional players who cannot travel that much still have the chance to stay competitive and measure forces with the best players of the World Ranking. On the other hand, those players who want to be at the top of the World Ranking do not need to travel as much as last year, and will compete in better tournaments (as only FIFG 250, FIFG 500 and FIFG Majors count for the World Ranking).
Why is there no absolute category this year?
An absolute category in parallel with a senior category did not make sense and was unfair for the majority of the players. It was beneficial to a smaller group of players. Those players who were competitive in both categories had a clear advantage compared to those who could only compete in one of them as they always had a double chance in each tournament. In other words, the problem with that system was the double chance some players had over the rest. On the other hand, the men category is the one that all male players can play, even senior ones. But in order to avoid the double chance described before, all players can only play in one category. So, senior players have the option to either play in the men or in the senior category. It is up to their choice. The senior category is created in all sports considering those players who feel they cannot longer compete with the rest of the players due to their age. In the women category there is no senior category, simply because there is not enough volume of players. As for the juniors, at this stage they will compete with a special permit from the FIFG and will rank either in the men or women rankings.
How will the country points be calculated?
The country ranking is based on the best four results from their individual ranking points. Each country needs at least three players to be present in the country ranking.
What changes are coming with the full-professional system of BlueGolf?
BlueGolf has been running in the golf industry for many years. This new system requires time to adapt and learn, but we feel it is the right tool for us at this moment. We found an excellent partner in BlueGolf, capable of keeping up with what the sport and the World Tour is demanding.
What are the long-term plans for the WT?
The World Tour was thought as the main competitive platform of our sport. It was created as an aspirational concept for all players all over the world, in order to set the basis for growing the base of the amateur pyramid. Ultimately, this will attract sponsors and media attention and provide us the necessary resources for sustainable growth.