Pointless and Embarrassing — The IGF Olympic Rankings

Whatever happened to pride in one’s work?

The International Golf Federation (IGF) has released its first Olympic ranking, and it is completely pointless.

All they did was take the OWGR rankings and delete the players whose nations’ slots were already filled by higher-ranked players.  The result is a ranking that is 99.9981 percent inaccurate.  That’s not even “good enough for government work.”

Here’s the problem:  By the time of the actual player selection for the Olympics, all of the current OWGR tournament results will have rolled off except for last week’s.  And last week’s will be only one week away from being rolled off, which means only 1/92 of their awarded points will still count for anything.

The IGF’s method is an incredibly lazy and stupid way to produce “Olympic rankings.”  The result is worthless.  Why even bother?

The way it should be done is simple.  Take last week’s results and divide by 1/92.  Take next week’s results and divide by 2/92.  The next week by 3/92.  The last thirteen weeks will retain full value.  Add them together as you go along.

As a result of the IGF’s nonsensical rankings, we were treated to such headlines as this from Golf, “It’s early, but the Olympic rankings show Tiger’s in, Phil’s out at 2016 Rio Olympics.”

Not true, other than the part about it being early.  Here are the true rankings for American players:

  1. Rickie Fowler         50 ÷ 92 = 0.5434
  2. Jim Furyk                  30 ÷ 92 = 0.3260
  3. Dustin Johnson      11  ÷ 92 = 0.1106
  4. Ryan Moore              11  ÷ 92 = 0 .1196
  5. Chris Kirk                          (and so on)
  6. Keegan Bradley
  7. Phil Mickelson
  8. Ben Martin
  9. Brian Harman
  10. Jimmy Walker

The top four Americans are in the top sixteen in this ranking, so they would all get to participate in the Olympics.  (The limit is two per nation, plus all players in the top sixteen.)

Now, was that so difficult?  If you are going to do something, why not do it right?

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Don’t You Dare Compare Rory to Tiger!

With Rory McIlroy winning his third major in four years, and Tiger Woods about to complete his sixth major-less year in a row, the golf media is having to face the music. Since Woods last won a major, five golfers have won two or more majors.

Tiger Woods has become just another golfer, and it’s embarrassing that the golf media hasn’t been able to grasp that.

So, is the golf media finally ready to move on, to start heaping praise on the today’s top players like Rory McIlroy?

No, they are not. The current plan seems to be to denigrate the accomplishments of today’s golfers while regaling us with tall tales of Woods’s one-time invincibility and uniqueness.

Example 1: “Rory McIlroy is the best candidate to be golf’s next star, but not golf’s next Tiger

“McIlroy had a head start. He turned pro when he was 18. This is his seventh year playing the majors.”

Wow.  Rory winning his first professional tournament while a teenager is somehow a strike against him.

Example 2: “Tiger Woods remains the most fascinating figure in golf despite his six-year quest for a trophy

Typical golf media drivel.  Woods is the most fascinating story in golf.  How did you arrive at that conclusion?  Because we all cover him so much.  Yeah, but why do you cover him so much?   Because he’s the most fascinating story in golf.

Example 3, my favorite: “Stop comparing Rory McIlroy to Tiger Woods

Stop. Please. Stop, stop, stop. Rory McIlroy isn’t Tiger Woods. Rory McIlroy isn’t going to be Tiger Woods. Maybe — maybe — he’ll win 14 majors one day, but the odds are so stacked against him that it’s not even worth discussing unless he gets halfway there. Here’s what Rory would have to do to keep at Tiger’s Grand Slam pace: win the next three majors he plays. The odds of him doing that are equivalent to 2014 Tiger Woods doing the same thing. Zippy.

So, it is too early to discuss Rory passing Woods when Rory is eleven behind, but it wasn’t too early to discuss Woods passing Jack when he was thirteen behind.  In fact, for the past 15 years, that’s just about all that was discussed!

Now suddenly it’s verboten to speculate about a young guy reaching such a record.

Moreover, Woods’s career, we now plainly see, was front-loaded. Does anyone here think Rory will go 0-for-24 during his prime playing years like Woods did?

And who is to say that Rory is playing anywhere near his best golf right now? Rory may peak in his mid-30′s like Vijay and Mickelson.

Rory might win the Grand Slam one of these years, something not even Nicklaus accomplished.  That’s the greatest accomplishment in golf.

Woods won 14 majors in 18 years. That’s 0.77 per year. If Rory wins at Valhalla, he’ll have four in four years, or 1.00 per year.  If he doesn’t, he’s at 0.75, Woods’s ratio,  since winning his first.  If Rory wins one a year, barring injury, he will pass Woods.  Bear in mind that Rory has yet to win the Masters, which is the easiest major to win.

Tiger outpaces Rory in every major metric. In his first 24 majors, Rory had nine top 10s, six top 3s and three wins. In his first 24 majors, Tiger had 12 top 10s, eight top 3s and six wins.

This my favorite part of the article, because, for years, a mention of Jack’s nineteen second-place finishes and eleven 3rd place finishes always brought the same response: Second place is first loser. Now, all of a sudden, we learn top three finishes are really important.

Well, with some conditions.  When comparing Woods to Jack, they still are not important, but when comparing Woods to Rory, they are vitally important.

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“I bet you’re not afraid of Tiger, though, are you?”

Rickie Fowler’s appearance on CNBC this morning had its moments, thanks to Joe Kernan, who is not averse to putting his guests on the spot.  He prefaced one question with (all my quotes here are paraphrases recreated from notes I jotted down), “I know players don’t even like to be asked about Tiger Woods, because they are so sick of it.”

Fowler answered in a typical fashion, but with one notable phrase, calling Woods “the greatest player… that’s… been around.”  I think Joe nailed it: these guys don’t give a crap about Woods.

Joe then asked, “I bet you’re not afraid of Tiger, though, are you?”

Fowler, well aware of how the golf media creates Tiger Insult Stories out of nothing, diplomatically answered, “I relish the challenge.”

After the remote ended, Kayla Tousche, herself a cute young blonde, compared Fowler to Leonardo DiCaprio.
fowler-dicapHere’s a link to part of the interview, but be warned, the part I wrote about was trimmed from the posted video.  Remember, NBC, CNBC, and Golf Channel are part of the same family.  I guess Joe’s sick-of-Woods remark was deemed unacceptable.

Thanks go to Joe for making the interview interesting and entertaining.

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Rickie Fowler to be on CNBC’s Squawk Box at 8:40 EDT

For those interested, Rickie Fowler will be on CNBC’s Squawk Box this morning (Wednesday) at 8:40 EDT.  Joe Kernan is a big golf fan and golfer (he plays in the Pebble Beach Pro-Am every year), so the potential is there for a decent interview.

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Is Logic Extinct?

Sometimes I wonder why I even bother.  There is simply no respect for logic any more.

Brandel Chamblee recently said of Tiger Woods:

“If he had never abandoned Butch Harmon’s swing or Hank Haney’s swing, either of them was good enough to ride into the sunset with 25 major championships.”

But look at this article from Golf where Peter Kostis points out that Woods made the changes because injuries dictated he do so.

If you don’t care what Kostis says, here’s Woods saying it himself in 2012:

Woods said he is working on a swing which prevents injury but allows him to perform at his best.

‘I’m always trying to get a little bit better, but also, I’m trying to play around injuries I’ve had in the past,’ he said in response to a question from Roger Maltbie. ‘I’m trying to get a swing to ease that stress on the knee over the years, … but also play at a high level at the same time.’

Okay, that was Woods two years ago explaining why he needed a new swing.  Has Chamblee not heard that?  Has he forgotten?  Why is his analysis based on the supposition that Woods could still be using his old swings if he wanted?  Does he think Woods is lying?

Chamblee is mired in a total breakdown of logic.  Someone needs to tap him on the shoulder and tell him, “Uh, Tiger couldn’t keep using the old swings due to injuries.”  At that point, Chamblee could utter, “Nevermind,” and SNL would have a skit.

When golf reporters ignore facts and logic, they are just babbling.

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The Most Important Article I’ve Read This Year

Damon Salvadore of the Latin Post has written the kind of article I’ve been waiting a long time to see.  It’s well-written and logical, and, above all, convincing.  I label it “important” because it is a marked departure for the sports media.

Rory wins the British Open on Sunday, and the sports media addresses Woods-Galea on Tuesday.  Things are looking up in the world of golf.  Here’s a one-sentence excerpt, but you owe it to yourself to go read the entire piece:

This is reminiscent of the baseball star that used to hit 40-50 home runs a year and then, once accused, can barely hit the ball out of the infield.

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Rorksy Redux!

rorksy2-bJust two months after the BMW PGA Championship:


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