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 current 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 the actual player selection for the Olympics takes place, July 11, 2016, 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 the 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?

[It’s worth pointing out that Rory McIlroy’s 2014 British Open win gained him 1.1 Olympic points.  The winner of the 2016 John Deere Classic will get 34.  The events nearer selection day will be much more heavily weighted, as that’s the nature of the OWGR ranking system.]

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