What’s with the World Golf Rankings?

Tour Stuff

Jason Day has become simply “unstoppable”.

After a 1-shot near miss in the Open Championship, he then went on a run by winning the very next week at the Canadian Open, followed by a 12th place finish at the WGC Bridgestone, and then grabbing his 1st Major at the PGA, and now starting off the Fedex Cup playoffs with a runaway win at the Barclays event.

That’s 3 wins in 4 starts, stamping him as currently the best player in the world.

But it was the nature of his win in the Barclays that underpinned his talent and ability. After suffering from back issues earlier in the week, which necessitated him not playing in the Wednesday Pro-Am (and which must have pissed off tournament officials and sponsors no end) Day fought through discomfort to open with a pair of 2-under 68’s, but then he cut loose with 15-under on the weekend, closing with rounds of 63 and 62 to totally embarrass Henrik Stenson, and the rest of the field, by 6 strokes!

What has been so impressive about Day of late has been his ball-striking, but the last round rout at The Barclays was all about his putting. On superfast slick surfaces, he holed some monsters, and some shorter putts, and kept his foot on the gas as he destroyed everyone else.

So, what next?

He’s so in form at the moment that looking beyond him for the Fedex Cup $10m large cash grab would be a bit foolish, but then this raises yet another big question, and one that always starts to get raised at this time in the golfing season:

Has Jason Day done enough to top Jordan Spieth for the Player of the Year honours?

Does a near miss at the Open, a PGA Major win, and probable/possible Fedex Cup victory top Spieth’s 2 Major season, and a season which teased us all with a possible calendar Grand Slam?

IMHO, Jordan Spieth’s two Majors beat out Jason Day’s one, but all the credit to Day for even adding his name to the equation.

What do you think?

Ernie Els

Ernie Els

 

Quite a few people have asked me where Ernie now stands after finishing 159th on the money list on the All-Exempt Top 125, and essentially ‘losing his card’.

So, I did a bit of digging around and here’s where I believe he now finds himself.

His 2012 Open Championship win gets him:

  • The Open Championship until he’s 60 years old. Ernie is currently 45 (46 on the 17th Oct) so he’s in The Open at least until 2030.
  • 5 years at The Masters, the US Open, and the PGA Champs, all running out in 2017.
  • 5 years exemption on the PGA Tour, which will also run out in 2017.
  • After all of these run out, and assuming he’s no longer finishing in the Top 125, a once-off 1 year exemption for being in the Top 50 Career Earnings, on which Ernie is now 5th with US$48 million. Ahead of him, Tiger leads on 110, Phil’s next on 77, Vijay 69 and Jim Furyk on 65. BTW, Jack is 249th on 5,7!!!
  • On top of that, there will be also long-term exemptions for tournaments that he has won before, so there will always be a few extra events here and there that he could get into without having to suffer the 4 tournament series that has replaced the old Tour School.The above categories should see him staying relatively competitive on the main Tour until just about the time when he turns 50 and can graduate to the Champions Tour, although the guys getting to that stage now all say they’d rather play the flat-bellies Tour rather than the grey hair Tour, but then they all end up there anyway.

 Speaking of our SA golfers, how’s this year been for Branden Grace?

Branden Grace 2015

 

World Golf Rankings and Handicap Stuff

Just a quick word on the World Rankings. When Jordan Spieth missed the cut at The Barclays, Rory McIlroy went back to World #1, albeit with him taking the week off.

Now I’ve already mentioned above that Jason Day is currently the best player, and that Jordan Spieth has had the best year, but how then is Rory still the World #1, and what does that tell us about the ranking system?We know that points are accumulated over a 2 year cycle (debatable) with a leaning towards the current year (better) and another leaning (rightfully) towards the bigger events where the bigger names play, but I can’t help thinking that the world rankings don’t react quickly enough to the changes in form that mark golf at all levels.

There’s no doubt that these 3 golfers are the best in the world, but it seems that the order is totally out. Unless of course if Day wins again soon, like in this week’s Deutsche Bank event just outside Boston (which, by the way, only starts on Friday and finishes on Monday) and which would see him rightfully on the top of the pile (unless Rory finishes at least tied for second).

And this got me thinking and drawing parallels with our own handicap system, even though our handicap system changes once a month as opposed to the world rankings changing weekly.

But for a handicap system that is live and in real-time, why doesn’t it change every time you put in a score? Wasn’t that the aim of having a national network where formulas determine everything as you input them? You can play average stuff for most of the time, even slightly worse than your handicap, but then one decent round triggers an automatic re-calc, which then cuts you and then you get left to your lower handicap whilst you return to your normal average (or higher) scores for at least another month or two before your handicap equalizes back to your proper or rightful average.

Just as Rory’s still number 1 when Jordan & Jason – and maybe even Bubba Watson, Dustin Johnson & Justin Rose – have clearly had better years!

Richard Kaplan
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Richard Kaplan

Head Professional at Houghton Golf Club
Richard had a decorated amateur career during the 1980s, which included winning the English Men’s Open Amateur Stroke Play Championship (Brabazon Trophy) in 1986 and the Southern Transvaal Open Strokeplay in 1984. He also earned his Springbok colours four times.

Kappy turned professional in 1986 and won for the first time on the Sunshine Tour in 1995. He added three more tour wins between then and 2000. His best year-end finish on the Order of Merit was 9th in 1993, 1994 and 1995.

Kappy has also competed on the Asian Tour where, in 1996, he won the Royal Thai Classic and finished in the top 20 on the Order of Merit.
Richard Kaplan
Follow Kappy

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