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European Tour - Volvo World Match Play Championship

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John Cregan
delToro87
robopz
Skydriver
GPB
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hend085
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Diggers
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Post by princedracula Thu 17 May 2012, 11:23 am

It's nice, for a change, to have from time to time a good match play event mixed up within the regular stroke play calendar. Fair play to Volvo for continuing to sponsor this long running European event, although in my view the current format and qualification criteria could probably do with some improvements. At the same time, the very limited field and the bucketload of owgr points on offer would be another contentious point, no doubt... Having said all that, should be a good contest this week at Finca Cortesin in Andalucia, where the 5-strong English contingent will be looking to maintain the 100% winning record since the event has been moved away from Wentworth. Conditions look to be good today (first match between Poulter and Senden just about starting now), but wind is likely to play some part over the weekend...

Matteo has been on stand-by at the course waiting patiently as a first reserve, but it looks like he probably won't get lucky... Should be well within Poulter's grasp to defend his title this week, specially considering his good form of late, but I've a good feeling it may be Kaymer's time to shine once again...

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Post by Diggers Thu 17 May 2012, 11:31 am

How can they call it a world championship is beyond me, random selection of players. And to think the PGA gets accused of hyperbole. Ultimately it's no different to any of the other end of season invitational jollys and should be treated accordingly with no OWGR points.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 17 May 2012, 11:52 am

I see Snedeker is two up already, assume his clubs arrived!

There was a particularly nauseating piece on golfchannel.com spinning Sneds's travel problems (diversion to the Azores due to a medical emergency, luggage mislaid) as reason for it to be "no real surprise that Snedeker is the only US player in the field".

Whatever Shotrock may say to the contrary, the stereotype of the insular American rears its head when you let idiots like Hoggard loose with a keyboard or microphone.

I'm still surprised that more pros don't ship clubs via a courier service - not expensive in the big scheme of things, and trackable every step of the way.

Anyway, good luck to Sneds who's been outspoken about his love for travel and playing in Europe - he kinda reminds me of Owen Wilson in Woody Allen's Midnight In Paris!

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Post by super_realist Thu 17 May 2012, 11:57 am

Diggers wrote:How can they call it a world championship is beyond me, random selection of players. And to think the PGA gets accused of hyperbole. Ultimately it's no different to any of the other end of season invitational jollys and should be treated accordingly with no OWGR points.

No worse than TPC being dubbed the Fifth Major, when the field wasn't that great.
Is there perhaps a slight dismissiveness because it's a match play format, which you don't like and Poulter is defending Champion?

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 17 May 2012, 12:09 pm

Disappointing field in prospect for the Wales Open.
Stupid Luke Donald can bemoan lack of tournaments in England 'til he's blue in the face, but he's not crossing fifteen miles into foreign territory to play, and no sign of McDowell either.
Look to be about twenty players ranked between about 30 and 100, but nothing much better than that - Molinari the top-ranked?

Pathetic by the European Tour and its top golfers.

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Post by hend085 Thu 17 May 2012, 12:26 pm

super_realist wrote:
Diggers wrote:How can they call it a world championship is beyond me, random selection of players. And to think the PGA gets accused of hyperbole. Ultimately it's no different to any of the other end of season invitational jollys and should be treated accordingly with no OWGR points.

No worse than TPC being dubbed the Fifth Major, when the field wasn't that great.
Is there perhaps a slight dismissiveness because it's a match play format, which you don't like and Poulter is defending Champion?


to even suggest this field is similar in quality to the TPC is ridiculous!

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Post by super_realist Thu 17 May 2012, 12:28 pm

I'm not suggesting that Hendo, but Diggers claiming it's no better than the Chevron or the Nedbank is a bit harsh.

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Post by LastDamnation Thu 17 May 2012, 1:51 pm

5 birdies for rose to start!

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Post by hend085 Thu 17 May 2012, 2:01 pm

definitley in the same ballpark as the chevron/nedbank i suppose.
although i dont think richard finch would have made it into either of them. some of the criteria for getting into the "world" matchplay is ludicrous.

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Post by Diggers Thu 17 May 2012, 2:07 pm

So why's it any different to the Chevron Super, let's here your reasoning ?
You bang on about hating those events but you defend the one Pouter wins, funny that.

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Post by super_realist Thu 17 May 2012, 2:16 pm

Diggers, I'm not defending it, I'm well aware that it's not a stellar field, doesn't deserve many ranking points and ought not to be named "World" Matchplay.

However, for a start there are almost as many players in the field as the Nedbank and Chevron combined.

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Post by GPB Thu 17 May 2012, 2:34 pm

super_realist wrote:
Diggers wrote:How can they call it a world championship is beyond me, random selection of players. And to think the PGA gets accused of hyperbole. Ultimately it's no different to any of the other end of season invitational jollys and should be treated accordingly with no OWGR points.

No worse than TPC being dubbed the Fifth Major, when the field wasn't that great.
Is there perhaps a slight dismissiveness because it's a match play format, which you don't like and Poulter is defending Champion?


Field was not that great?

The Players had a 144 player field with all them ranked inside the top 500 of the World Rankings. Perhaps you can tell me what other tournament in has that many players ranked inside the top 500? When you look at the bottom 20% of the field, the Players is the least diluted field in golf.

You can argue that it is not the greatest field, but it is a great field when you compare it to the Masters and US Open.

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Post by Diggers Thu 17 May 2012, 2:52 pm

And a lot of them are lower ranked than in those events. It's as I said, a straightforward jolly and whoever wins it shouldn't get any points.
It's a good chance for Poultry, mind you hasn't he lost in the first round in both the last 2 WGC matchplays...the real world matchplay championship.

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Post by Skydriver Thu 17 May 2012, 3:05 pm

Anyone going to Wentworth next week for the next stop of the European Tour?

[Even more tenuous addendum for anyone as tight as me that advance tickets to The Open this year are at a reduced price before end of this month]

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Post by LastDamnation Thu 17 May 2012, 3:47 pm

I don't see the problem with OWGR points going to this event. Poulter beat a tough field last year including wins over westwood and donald and clearly earnt the victory. However last year those who didn't make it out the group stages earned 2.4 points, which is clearly not right - is it the same this year?

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Post by robopz Thu 17 May 2012, 4:26 pm

super_realist wrote:I'm not suggesting that Hendo, but Diggers claiming it's no better than the Chevron or the Nedbank is a bit harsh.

But it is no better than the Chevron or Nedbank... field wise that it. It may have been "at least some years" in the past... but not now... and probably never will again if in fact it gets moved out of Europe. The only thing this event has for it is "official" sanctioning instead of "quasi-official" like the Nedbank and Chevron. If you can make a case the Volvo MP is somehow better because it's got a few extra guys over #100 in the OWGR over the Chevron or the chalk field of the Nedbank.... make it.

Diggers... I don't necessarily agree that events like this should get zero OWGR points... but IMO, small field events should be reduced percentage wise the smaller the field gets. Maybe something like:

90% of OWGR value for an event from 50-59 players
80% for event from 40-49 players
70% for event from 30-39 players
60% for event from 24-29 players
50% for event from 18-23 players
00% for event with 17 players or less

And YES... I would apply the same formula to the Tour Championship, Hyundai, and Shanghi as well. No reason those events couldn't bring their field up to some suitable minimum. For example 60 could advance to the Tour Championship but only give 30 the chance to win the FedEx Cup itself.... I'm sure the other 30 wouldn't mind playing a "still" short field for $1.5 million.


Last edited by robopz on Thu 17 May 2012, 4:34 pm; edited 3 times in total (Reason for editing : clarity)

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Post by robopz Thu 17 May 2012, 4:28 pm

GPB wrote:You can argue that it [PLAYERS] is not the greatest field, but it is a great field when you compare it to the Masters and US Open.

WOW... now that's a quote In which I am in 100% agreement. Very Happy

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Post by GPB Thu 17 May 2012, 4:45 pm

IMO, the Players has the best tournament field. I can see the argument that the PGA Championship has the best field, I just happened to put a lot of emphasis that the PGA is heavily diluted with 20+ players that absolutely have no chance of winning the tournament.

I like the chances of Joe Ogilvie winning the Players over any of the Club Pros or past champs like Mark Brooks winning the PGA

The Open Championship is a very close number 3, but there is a big gap when you get to the 4th best field.

IMO:

4. US Open
5th (Tie) Masters, Bridgestone, Cadillac, Accenture

Robo:

If you remove the OWGR biases (ie Rendlemen Brodie), don't the PGAT players generally move up in the rankings? If so, doesn't that lend more credence my position about the Players being stronger than the PGA?

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Post by Skydriver Thu 17 May 2012, 4:52 pm

Blimey - Rose called "paper" over Rock 7&6.

Looking for a big bounce back from Robert in his remaining matches. US Open place is within reach!


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Post by GPB Thu 17 May 2012, 5:02 pm

Skydriver wrote:Looking for a big bounce back from Robert in his remaining matches. US Open place is within reach!

Lets hope he has his visas and other paperwork in order. San Francisco is 3000 miles further away than Washington DC from Europe.

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Post by Skydriver Thu 17 May 2012, 5:24 pm

He did pretty well last year though, and we know that golfers are quite a superstitious bunch and like to repeat a successful formula!

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Post by robopz Thu 17 May 2012, 5:51 pm

GPB wrote:If you remove the OWGR biases (ie Rendlemen Brodie), don't the PGAT players generally move up in the rankings? If so, doesn't that lend more credence my position about the Players being stronger than the PGA?

I had posted the data in the other thread... but NO... I don't believe it does. Closer in strength... but still not stronger.

I can't find it right at hand, but basically the calendar bias is valid, and depending on who's data you look at the bias growth would be between 4.5 and 6% between the PLAYERS and PGA Championship. BUT remember that we have OWGR averages increasing due to the divisor changes last year as well. I believe you and I agreed there was likely between 2-3% per year or 1-1.5% divisor bias per 2 point divisor drop. Since the Divisor was 56 at the 2011 Players and 54 at the time of the PGA, we need to account for that too. So total bias between 2011 Players and 2011 PGA in would be between 6% - 7.5%.

2011 Players Sum of Averages = 302.98 adjusted to 321.16 to 325.70
2011 PGA Sum of Average = 342.45

By this calculation... the 2011 PGA was somewhere between 5.1% to 6.6% stronger than the 2011 Players.

NOTE: Based on our estimates of the divisor change... we would have expected the 2012 Players to have been somewhere in the range of 2-3% higher than the 2011 Players using sum of averages. Granted its only one event, and there may be other factors... but the difference was 1.7%.

EDIT: OOPS... actually the data we used to determine the calendar bias over the last 3 years also had the divisor reductions built in. So the divisor bias should have not been added to the above. That changes the Players adjustment back to 4.5%-6%. 316.61 - 321.16. Thus the 2011 PGA would have been between 6.7%-8.1% stronger than the 2011 Players.




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Post by GPB Thu 17 May 2012, 6:14 pm

I do think the Sum(Avg) is better a way to evaluate field strength than the OWGR system, better, and not necessarily the best.

Again, B-R alleges that the OWGR is biased against the PGATour players. Which I think he is true. Other tours have far more subsidies than the PGAT.

From the abstract of the B-R study:

http://www.columbia.edu/~mnb2/broadie/Assets/owgr_20120507_broadie_rendleman.pdf

we fin nd that PGA Tour golfers are penalized by an average of 26 to 37 OWGR ranking positions compared to non-PGA Tour golfers.

26 to 37 places bias against a PGAT player?

Lets take the OWGR avg difference between #150 and #120. It is about a 0.25 points. The difference between #200 and #230 is about 0.15 points. So, roughly, the back half of the Players field is getting hurt by about around 2/10 of a point per player. 70 players * .2 = 14 points



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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 17 May 2012, 6:17 pm

Lovely story about Snedeker and his starting set of 11 clubs, augmented by the rest of his arsenal when his clubs finally arrived after three holes.

Long day tomorrow . . . . . .

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Post by robopz Thu 17 May 2012, 6:18 pm

Question re Robert Rock.

OK... I was very impressed with that big win over Tiger and all... really... honestly... I was. And believe me... THAT's the story he'll be telling his grandchildren some day.

But seriously does anybody here really think this guy is a top-60 in the world player? This is NOT intended as a discussion of the merits of the OWGR system... so just put that aside... is he on YOUR top-60 in the world list... and why.

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Post by GPB Thu 17 May 2012, 6:43 pm

I was very impressed with Robert Rock at last years US Open. After the Passport/Visa snafu, he arrived in Washington DC area in wee hours of the morning on Thursday, never seeing the golf course and played the course blind on Thurday.

A US Open course.

And proceeded to have a Top 25 finish.

At this point in time, I think he is a much better player than these top 60 players: Ryo Ishikawa, KT Kim Paul Casey. Perhaps Dyson and Quiros because they have played so badly this year

Looking at players outside the top 60, Branden Grace, Johnson Wagner, and Ben Curtis and John Huh are players I might rank ahead of him. All four of those players are dragging around some very heavy baggage from 18 months in their two year resume. (or divisor screwed)

Rocks OWGR ranking is very close to where should be, within a few spots.

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Post by Diggers Thu 17 May 2012, 6:47 pm

I think Rocks win was a bit of a Simon Khan PGA moment. But he has had a decent few years, raised his game in his mid 30's.

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Post by robopz Thu 17 May 2012, 7:00 pm

GPB... my guess is we've done about all we can do on a comparison of the PLAYERS and the PGA at this time... I'm pretty sure we both can add additional data to strengthen our cases.

Perhaps we can wait until after the PGA this year and take some serious looks at ALL the big events and their strengths. B/R might add to that discussion... and this year's data will at least be free of the divisor change issue.

But back to a better ranking system... I completely agree that the current OWGR field strength scheme doesn't look deep enough into the fields to determine field strengths. As you accurately point out... all those players outside #200 add a lot to field strengths, and even in the biggest of events with the best fields... quite a few 200+ players show themselves to be very competitive.

And I would agree that while sum of averages is probably a better way to look at actual field strength, it's far from perfect too... especially right now, as it's based on possibly flawed and/or biased data.

What I think B/R does... is give us some idea of Tour bias in the OWGR, but thats about all. You and I have been discussing the same thing they found for years, but without the availability of the mountains of data to prove it. But we've anecdotally observed for years there are lots of highly ranked players due to home points and co-sanctioning (especially from Asia-Pacific regions) that are ill equipped to "play up to" their OWGR when they get invited to the world stage. And we've known those OWGR 50-80 range PGAT players have been getting the shaft getting into most Majors and WGC's via the OWGR. (but we also know that's often more than offset by other entry criteria that FAVORS PGAT players into many of those same events)

But as a ranking system within itself, B/R has some real problems too.

For instance it ignores winning.... In B/R the guy who loses the playoff gets exactly the same ranking credit as the winner as they both have identical round scores. (same flaw in Saragrin).

And there is no depreciation represented in B/R... so an event 50 weeks ago is just a valuable as this weeks event.

Now if we want a ranking system that tells us... "between two players, which one is more likely to prevail in a given head-to-head stroke play match-up within a larger field event"... Then B/R or Saragrin might be close to perfect systems.

But if we place any premium on a winner over 2nd place finisher beyond maybe a 288/287 margin... then we go back to a system where we reward winners much higher.... kinda like the 100/60/40 ratio the OWGR uses...

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Post by GPB Thu 17 May 2012, 7:12 pm

Going back to the match play, It appears that Quiros and Bjorn continue to play themselves out of the Ryder Cup consideration.

Kaymer may be out of the top 10 of the OWGR after this week.

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Post by robopz Thu 17 May 2012, 7:16 pm

Geo... remember the first 3 rounds are a round robin... Best two players from each 3 man bracket advance. Kaymer, Quiros and Bjorn aren't dead yet. Any of the three can win their match tomorrow and be right back in this event.

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Post by GPB Thu 17 May 2012, 7:23 pm

Yes, I know the format. But Quiros, Kaymer and Bjorn's form has been terrible this year.

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Post by kwinigolfer Thu 17 May 2012, 7:33 pm

Surely there's a limit as to how anal these calculations can become?

I'm happy with the current system with five modifications:

1).For limited field events, including WGC's, I wouldn't award points for failure, either to make the top 75% of finishers, or defeat in Round 1 of any Match Play event.

2).I'd reassess the minimums on any Tour every year each year, and that would take into account tournament "subsidies" above, say, ten pts to the winner.

3).And I'd reassess the points awarded to protected events, whether the Aussie Open, the BMW PGA, the Players etc each year.

4).Increase the strength of field calculation to embrace at least the top 250, arguably more.

5).Move one of the three US-based WGC's abroad every year.

The amortization seems to work well and the divisor also.

Tours and players are right to have an expectation as to the worst-case points situation at a particular event as they plan their schedule.

Overall though the ratings, which will never be perfect, do their job.

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Post by robopz Fri 18 May 2012, 3:03 am

kwinigolfer wrote:Surely there's a limit as to how anal these calculations can become?

I'm happy with the current system with five modifications:

I agree that the current OWGR system is pretty decent all the way around. But it could be even better. I also agree that all your suggested modifications would make the system better (except for maybe #5 which is a valid issue, but not necessarily an OWGR issue). But I think you've really hit on two of the core issues, in the tour minimums and flagships.

My biggest suggestion would be to go MUCH deeper in determining field strength which "might" allow the rankings to do away with Tour minimums, and home Tour event rating values all together. That's the sum of averages thing GPB and I have been discussing. IMO if every ranked player in the field contributed his OWGR average to the field strength, (instead of the arbitrary chart of the top-200 players they use now), then we could do away with Home Tour Values completely. But by using the current 200, or even 250 player depth for field strength, they have to maintain arbitrary tour minimums and Home values... otherwise the "lesser" tours would fall almost completely off the grid.

I guess what I'm saying is I would like to see an "honest" OWGR ranking free of tour politics. IMO as long as there are tour minimums, flagship event bonus, and home values, that's not possible. The only reason I'm not TOO disturbed by the OWGR tour bias giving "anyone but PGAT players" a leg up on big event qualifications, is because it may be balanced out (or even overwhelmed) by PGAT players getting an advantage over the other world tours into at least 5 of the 8 biggest events. (Masters, Players, U.S. Open, Bridgestone and PGA)

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Post by princedracula Fri 18 May 2012, 8:57 am

Doing a bit of holidaying these days and missed all the action yesterday...

robo... <<I would like to see an "honest" OWGR ranking free of tour politics>>
Welcome to the club, I think many people out there would like to see that. Unfortunately politics is something we humans haven't been able to avoid in the past and I doubt the golfing world will be able to find a breakthrough soon, other than trying to achieve an incremental reduction of political influence...

Back to the Volvo Match Play... well, they don't actually call it The World Championship, but 'The Volvo World Championship', so I guess there's a difference there...Wink

Wow, who would've thought a Rose could smash a Rock like that!
But considering DC's current form, I'd be surprised if rrock doesn't make it into the next round. Nice Snedd story indeed with those borrowed clubs, hope he makes it into the next stages. Saffers not having a good start today, but I guess it's still early...

So much for my Kaymer 'good feeling' yesterday morning, and considering that my top pick for the Byron Nelson was Adam Scott, maybe I should just go back to what I've been doing best this week... holidaying! Yahoo

...talking of which, I came across these days something that suggested the following trivia quastion (no googling, please):

Name a European golf course twinned with Augusta National...
(could be more of them out there, but I only found out of one)

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Post by delToro87 Fri 18 May 2012, 10:51 am

How are the standings decided if each player wins one match each? Obviously a head-to-head record would be circular, so they can't use that. What's the golfing equivalent of goal difference?

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Post by John Cregan Fri 18 May 2012, 11:28 am

Anyone else think the naming of the Groups after golfers/player managers/people no one haver ever heard of etc is just a bit silly??

Whats wrong with Group 1. 2, 3 etc Rather than the Gabrielson group, the Larson group, the Norman Group??........

Incidently, anyone know who Gabrielson & Larson are?? Why Player & Palmer and no Nicklaus??

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Post by John Cregan Fri 18 May 2012, 11:28 am

delToro87 wrote:How are the standings decided if each player wins one match each? Obviously a head-to-head record would be circular, so they can't use that. What's the golfing equivalent of goal difference?

Play off...........

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 18 May 2012, 12:13 pm

Bad week for Senden then . . . .

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Post by robopz Fri 18 May 2012, 3:03 pm

John Cregan wrote:Incidently, anyone know who Gabrielson & Larson are??

You gotta be kidding me... you don't know who Gabrielson is... seriously? He's the guy who.... um.... well YOU know... the guy who.... ummmm.... did like something..... ummmm.... REALLY IMPORTANT. And Larson... SAME THING. OK, maybe not exactly the same thing... but important never the less.

Sheesh... I can't believe you didn't know that. !!!!

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Post by hend085 Fri 18 May 2012, 3:08 pm

im guessing they are something to do with Volvo? founders or something?

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Post by John Cregan Fri 18 May 2012, 3:18 pm

hend085 wrote:im guessing they are something to do with Volvo? founders or something?

Yep, i googled it!!

Personally id have preferred if each group wasd called after a model of Volvo!!

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Post by Sand Fri 18 May 2012, 3:26 pm

Wow Darren Clarke in rubbish performance again... What has been his best result since the open? Hes been so gash.

Think il edit this... Rather use the word rubbish than the chosen word being chosen to poopie!!


Last edited by Sand on Fri 18 May 2012, 4:32 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Post by John Cregan Fri 18 May 2012, 3:59 pm

Clarke was much worse this morning and only got beat on the 18th..........Rock played terrible to beat him.

This a/noon he's getting birdies thrown at him by the man who looks like one to beat

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Post by LastDamnation Fri 18 May 2012, 4:04 pm

Being the man to beat doesn't necessarily mean that much - Westwood annihilated his group last year then Poulter pulled off a big performance to beat him.

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Post by kwinigolfer Fri 18 May 2012, 4:36 pm

There must be at least two play-offs on the horizon . . . . Do they have to wait until Kaymer and Finch have finished?

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Post by McLaren Fri 18 May 2012, 4:47 pm

How does the play off work, i assume it is not a full 18 holes?
McLaren
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Post by Sand Fri 18 May 2012, 5:04 pm

There was 4 playoffs the results are on the standings page. Its sudden death.

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Post by Sand Fri 18 May 2012, 5:08 pm

Kaymer out at first hurdle must admit didnt see that coming.

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Post by pedro Fri 18 May 2012, 9:09 pm

John Cregan wrote:
hend085 wrote:im guessing they are something to do with Volvo? founders or something?

Yep, i googled it!!

Personally id have preferred if each group wasd called after a model of Volvo!!
Yup, a bit embarrassing those group names...

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Post by kwinigolfer Sat 19 May 2012, 12:15 pm

Oof,
Poulter and Rose can't be happy to be on their bikes.
But Lawrie must be ecstatic as he has the chance to accrue Ryder Cup points!
Sergio vs McDowell should be good entertainment.


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