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PGA Tour: Thanksgiving for the Pilgrims: Notes from the Ballwasher

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 26 Nov 2014, 6:52 pm

First topic message reminder :

1).Golfing's circus has called a halt this week, in the US at any rate - who cares about the Aussies' Fifth Major, etc, etc?
So just a couple of notes to offer some Thanks for some personal highlights this past year.

2).Thanks to the broadcasters who bring the game to my armchair. Many are terrible of course and we p1ss and moan about them frequently.
But Thanks to Warren Humphreys and Roger Maltbie, Peter Kostis and Ken Brown, Dottie Pepper and Gary Koch - you guys are terrific! And the Golf Channel crew are slowly overhauling CBS & NBC in terms of quality of coverage - wish they'd hire Paul Azinger.

3).I don't get to see much Pro golf, but in the tournaments we got to, Thanks to Retief Goosen for producing our shot of the year. Long par-5, badly pulled drive which comes to rest on a cart-path beside a tree with heavy overhanging branches. No drop, took something like a 4-iron which he picked cleanly off the cement, drilled and drawn 200 yards, all of it less than 2 feet off the ground to avoid the tree branches. Perfect lay-up, perfect wedge, birdie! EDIT: That's the sort of shot I LOVE to see when I go to watch the Pros!
(And, incidentally, Thanks to Tim Clark, Nick Watney for making up the rest of the threesome and chatting, joking, laughing their way around the course, caddies all joining in. Plenty of pros would do well to remember that golf is meant to be fun. And, yes, all three finished Top 12.)

4).Thanks of course to Messrs McDowell, Rose, Stenson, McIlroy, Dubuisson, Garcia, Gallacher, Donaldson, Westwood, Bjorn, Poulter, Kaymer and McGinley for . . . . you know what for.

5).Thanks to 606v2 for letting us all write our drivel.

And Happy Thanksgiving to all American readers, stuff your turkeys.


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Post by super_realist Mon 01 Dec 2014, 8:09 pm

Must be boring to be as righteous as Mac.

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Post by incontinentia Tue 02 Dec 2014, 11:40 am

GPB wrote:My guess is that we will get some new buzzwords from the Tiger Woods lexicon.

Who can forget:  

"I need reps"

"Its a process"

Or "Flaming Crop-Dusters"

or "Hot Pulls"

or "Working on my fast twitch muscles"

Sounds like he's feeling "excited" again.
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Post by pedro Tue 02 Dec 2014, 12:11 pm

Prozac?

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Post by robopz Tue 02 Dec 2014, 6:46 pm

LOL... Must be the season for "let's get our shots in on Tiger", and pre-diminish whatever he accomplishes this week just in case... Hilarious..

As for the World Challenge getting OWGR points... I don't remember anybody screaming when the NedBank started getting them 2 years before the WC... then by about the 2nd year the WC started getting them.... and "fire hydrant" and TW's hold on #1 was becoming tenuous... then all of a sudden... events like this getting OWGR points became a capital crime... Gee... I wonder why... ??? (Rhetorical... no need to answer)

But still... I don't have a problem with events like this getting OWGR points... I just think they get TOO MANY...

I would prefer the OWGR adopt a schedule that reduces points in steps for events below 60 players... ALL events... not just the WC.

For instance something like.....

60+ players = 100%
50-59 = 90%
40-49 = 80%
32-39 = 70%
26-31 = 60%
20-25 = 50%
>20 = 0%

So using the above... the World Challenge would have to raise it's field to a minimum of 20 players from 18... and then it would still get only 23 points to the winner instead of 46

This would also require the Hyundai ToC, NedBank, Volvo World Match Play, PGAT Tour Championship... to all increase the size of their fields if they want full allocations of points. (and there are others... this is just an example)

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Post by GPB Tue 02 Dec 2014, 7:07 pm

Robo:  What do you think of my 2013 example.

DJohnson finishes DFL of the 2013 WC (by 24 shots) and earns 2.4 OWGR points.

DJohnson beats 100 players at the 2013 USOpen and finishes 16 shots behind Justin Rose and earns 2.0 points.

I know you made arguments before about the players not worrying about Minimum OWGR points.  If they are not worried about min OWGR points, then why not only give the top 4 or 5 finishers OWGR points.  

Which is roughly the same percentage of players that  a Level 46 tournament gives a full field even.  (48 places out of 156 players)

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Post by pedro Tue 02 Dec 2014, 7:53 pm

Agree robo, GPB,
Free OWGR is a disgrace. So is the free (official) money, especially in the limited field events. Nobody should get OWGR points or official money for just showing up.

If the players absolutely need a money incentive for showing up, then make it unofficial money.

This problem (free money) is of course most evident on the ET, and less so on the PGAT after adoptation of the FEC points system. But also free OWGR is a bigger issue on the ET as regular events are usually weaker than on the PGAT.

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Post by robopz Tue 02 Dec 2014, 8:41 pm

GPB wrote:Robo:  What do you think of my 2013 example.

DJohnson finishes DFL of the 2013 WC (by 24 shots) and earns 2.4 OWGR points.

DJohnson beats 100 players at the 2013 USOpen and finishes 16 shots behind Justin Rose and earns 2.0 points.

I know you made arguments before about the players not worrying about Minimum OWGR points.  If they are not worried about min OWGR points, then why not only give the top 4 or 5 finishers OWGR points.  

Which is roughly the same percentage of players that  a Level 46 tournament gives a full field even.  (48 places out of 156 players)
As I previously said... I think ultra-limited field events like this get too many points. In the case of the WC it should have to raise it's field to at least 20... and last should be worth half what it is now.... There, that solves most of your problem right there.

But otherwise I see all this "hand wringing" over the minimum points players get in these limited field events as much ado about [almost] nothing because:

1) I  don't have a problem with somebody accomplishing something in the game that earns them the "perk" of qualifying for a limited field event. And I don't view the minimum point some guy earns for last place in one of these events as a reward for finishing last in the event, I see it as a minimum reward for qualifying to make the field for the event in the first place.

2) These minimum points RARELY make much of a difference to anything. Sure they could, but in practical matter, they rarely do.  

3) And even in the cases that point or 2 does make a difference, I say SO WHAT because almost always the guy who get's bumped had the same opportunity to earn his way into some premiere events of his own... but didn't.  

Now where I see a bigger problem with these kinds of events in general is more in the MONEY lists for the various Tours.  

That's far less of a problem now with the PGA Tour as it's gone to a FE point system for most of it's various qualifying benchmarks. FE points skew much less to a bottom finisher than a high minimum money level in one of these events would.  But that's not a factor this week on the PGA Tour (or any other tour for that matter) as the WC is not official on any tour.  

But Pedro is right...  the Official Euro Tour money earned for the NedBank which is now official, is WAY out of whack with it's other events... IMO the ET has only partially dealt with the problem by only partially recognizing as official the earnings for the NedBank.


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Post by GPB Tue 02 Dec 2014, 8:55 pm

The money of the Hero WC is all unofficial.  As it should be.  I have no problem with the elite players playing for a million bucks as long as there is no competitive advantage over guys fighting to be in the top 50.

Even though Nedbank money is considered official, I believe it is discounted for the RtD.  Which is obviously better than full value.

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Post by GPB Tue 02 Dec 2014, 9:04 pm

robopz wrote:2) These minimum points RARELY make much of a difference to anything. Sure they could, but in practical matter, they rarely do.  


If they don't make much of a difference, then why is it there? Lee Westwood's 4.03 pts from his 2013 T16 finish (out 18) could most certainly mean the difference between 50th ranked and 51st rank at the end of year.


If they don't make a difference, why are you defending it so much?  If a World Class elite player is THAT GOOD, they don't need the food stamps.




edited to add:


PS:   .BTW....you can tell your friends that are afraid to debate mano a mano that whatever I say for the Hero WC, goes for the Nedbank, the Japanese event, the Volvo Match Play etc.  (For the 1000th time)

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Post by robopz Tue 02 Dec 2014, 9:07 pm

GPB wrote:The money of the Hero WC is all unofficial.  As it should be.  I have no problem with the elite players playing for a million bucks as long as there is no competitive advantage over guys fighting to be in the top 50.

Even though Nedbank money is considered official, I believe it is discounted for the RtD.  Which is obviously better than full value.
Well... if PD's chart is correct... the WC won't have an impact on the top-50 and Masters qualification on year end.   Stricker can't fall far enough even without any points he might earn in the WC.... and he's going to have to earn a LOT of points in the WC for those on their own to be enough to hold his top-50 spot for the WGC Cadillac... so the minimum point issue doesn't come into play there either.

And I believe I addressed the situation on the ET not giving full allocation of NedBank money to their R2D... but IMO the minimum money in the NedBank still skews way too high because it's more than 5% of first place.   Other Tours handle it differently with limited field events.... For instance, it wasn't until the other day I realized the Japan Tour counts money won in Majors in their official money standings, but they don't count WGC money.

PS: Edit to add... if you have something to say to somebody... say it to them yourself. You obviously know where to find them.

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Post by robopz Tue 02 Dec 2014, 9:28 pm

GPB wrote:
robopz wrote:2) These minimum points RARELY make much of a difference to anything. Sure they could, but in practical matter, they rarely do.  


If they don't make much of a difference, then why is it there? Lee Westwood's 4.03 pts from his 2013 T16 finish (out 18) could most certainly mean the difference between 50th ranked and 51st rank at the end of year.

If they don't make a difference, why are you defending it so much?  If a World Class elite player is THAT GOOD, they don't need the food stamps.
As I've previously stated.. I think these ultra small events get too many points... adjust them as I've suggested and that takes care of at least half the problem of the WC.

And if the roughly 2.3 depreciated points Westwood earned a year ago ends up being the difference to keep another guy from getting to top-50... then so be it... see from above... "3) And even in the cases that point or 2 does make a difference, I say SO WHAT because almost always the guy who get's bumped had the same opportunity to earn his way into some premiere events of his own... but didn't." I'll also add that if Westy doesn't get it going, the system is self correcting and minimum points in the WC won't matter anymore because he WON'T be earning his way into it will he?

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Post by GPB Tue 02 Dec 2014, 9:58 pm

The system is "self Correcting".  OK if you think years is self correcting, then yes the system is self correcting.

You got to go down to #292 to find a player that has grossed less OWGR points in 2014 than Woods.  Only two players in the top 400 have earned less points in 2014 than Woods.

And Woods is still ranked 24th in the rankings.  The rankings are simply not designed to be self correcting.

And BTW....I have sent you a PM.

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Post by robopz Tue 02 Dec 2014, 10:22 pm

GPB wrote:The system is "self Correcting".  OK if you think years is self correcting, then yes the system is self correcting.

You got to go down to #292 to find a player that has grossed less OWGR points in 2014 than Woods.  Only two players in the top 400 have earned less points in 2014 than Woods.

And Woods is still ranked 24th in the rankings.  The rankings are simply not designed to be self correcting.

And BTW....I have sent you a PM.
Of course they're self correcting... Woods had lost more than 10 points off his average and is dropping down through the rankings like a rock.  The only reason he didn't drop faster is because he had gotten so high in his average to begin with (in the 14's) and if he doesn't start earning points quick, he'll continue to do so...  without any more points... he's projected at 30th by the end of the year.

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Post by kwinigolfer Tue 02 Dec 2014, 10:28 pm

Confirmation that your Heros are off to Bahamas for the next three years.

And a bagful of strong commitments for Humana, including Phil, Keegs, Billy Ho, Poults, Zach, Duff, Reed, Lukey, Gonzo, Franny Molinari.

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Post by pedro Tue 02 Dec 2014, 10:38 pm

The current system just makes it harder to drop out of the top50 than get into the top50. Don't know if that's right.

IMO the ET should try out a points system like the FEC, where for instance the Czech Open would be worth the same as the French Open. I think that would help spread out who plays where a bit better. Hence you would probably see the better players prioritise their schedule a bit differently. (Assuming that everybody wants to compete for the final R2D crown.)

Today the big ET players don't bother with the smaller events, but if the R2D points allocation was different this might change. Anyway, this seasons change may already be the first step in that direction.

P.S. I'm not sure too many experiences can be learned from the PGAT as most events already had pretty similar purses beforehand.

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Post by robopz Wed 03 Dec 2014, 1:10 pm

pedro wrote:The current system just makes it harder to drop out of the top50 than get into the top50. Don't know if that's right.
I think that's partially correct... but maybe not as hard to drop out of the top-50 as we think.  Sure... if a guy gets himself up to an dominant #1 position like Tiger did getting into the 14's in his average, it's gonna take a long time for him to drop.  But the reality is Tiger has lost roughly 75% of the points off his average (from roughly 14 to 3.5). Had Tiger gotten up to maybe only 5th in the rankings at 7 points on his average in his last run... he would be down to about #80 today. Had he started at #25... he'd be out of the top-200.

I did another check... I went back to the last full year and compared the 2013 year end rankings to the year end 2012 rankings.  There were only 12 NEW Top-50 players on the list, which wouldn't indicate much turnover... However, if you go in week by week... you find another 13 players who came in and went out of the top-50 at sometime during that year... meaning there were 75 players in the top-50 sometime during 2013.

Bottom line... YES... getting into the premiere no cut events like WGC's where all but a few get at least minimum points (all of them in the MP), and getting into these ultra-short field events where even last place get minimum points, is an advantage.  BUT... that doesn't mean you have a free ride and don't have to play well when you have the advantage...  just ask the 25 players who either started with or earned a top-50 ranking sometime in 2013, but couldn't maintain it to the end.


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Post by McLaren Wed 03 Dec 2014, 1:15 pm

Tiger to return to his early 90's swing.

http://www.golfchannel.com/media/tiger-return-competition/

39 year old tiger woods will try and replicate the swing of his teenage years.  His early to mid nineties swing is the only swing, other than the foley stack and duff swing, to not yield a major championship.  

He has been looking at his swing DNA apparently, lets wait for the selfish gene jibes.


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Post by robopz Wed 03 Dec 2014, 1:16 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:And a bagful of strong commitments for Humana, including Phil, Keegs, Billy Ho, Poults, Zach, Duff, Reed, Lukey, Gonzo, Franny Molinari.
Wow.... sweet... maybe Phil's not limiting his recruiting efforts just to get players to Arizona State... :-)


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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 03 Dec 2014, 1:21 pm

I would say that the biggest difficulty is for players who are injured and miss those limited field jollies with guaranteed points - as robo suggests would be Tiger's fate if not for his stonking 2013. Securing minimal points in each of those "tournaments" wouldn't stop their fall, but might at least slow it down.
Casey and Clark are two recent examples that come to mind - even Dustin Johnson will enter free-fall unless he comes back as soon as his six-month sabbatical is complete.

PS: Zach Johnson a surprise omission from the Hero field; haven't yet seen an explanation as to why he wouldn't defend his title. EDIT: I didn't see Zach's name among the runners and riders but he's definitely there as robo reports . . . . Doh


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Post by robopz Wed 03 Dec 2014, 1:24 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:
PS: Zach Johnson a surprise omission from the Hero field; haven't yet seen an explanation as to why he wouldn't defend his title.

Huh?  Zach is playing... First off 11:25 tee time...

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Post by robopz Wed 03 Dec 2014, 1:31 pm

kwinigolfer wrote:I would say that the biggest difficulty is for players who are injured and miss those limited field jollies with guaranteed points - as robo suggests would be Tiger's fate if not for his stonking 2013. Securing minimal points in each of those "tournaments" wouldn't stop their fall, but might at least slow it down.
Casey and Clark are two recent examples that come to mind - even Dustin Johnson will enter free-fall unless he comes back as soon as his six-month sabbatical is complete.

Exactly... I'm sure there are examples of players getting minimal points that got them into one more event down the line somewhere... but it doesn't last forever.

And correct on DJ... he's got a little more time as dropping events off his divisor is saving him for the time being... but if he's not back not only playing, but playing reasonably well by the WGC Cadillac... he'll fall off the cliff.

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Post by kwinigolfer Wed 03 Dec 2014, 1:39 pm

Why did I miss Zach? Edit forthcoming, Thanks robo.

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Post by super_realist Wed 03 Dec 2014, 1:41 pm

Anyone got a bet on what hole 9C is going to withdraw?

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Post by robopz Wed 03 Dec 2014, 2:25 pm

Anybody got a feel if this new "points" thing for the R2D really changes anything? If I'm reading correctly... it just changes euros into points for the whole season... until the final series events where more points than money is available... is that correct?

Also.. does anybody know what events are "adjusted" euro's or points during the year (and by what percentages)? As I recall the NedBank earnings only showed up partially on the R2D money list... is that still in force and/or are there other events where the same thing is done?

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Post by pedro Wed 03 Dec 2014, 2:38 pm

The 50th ranked player as we speak has an OWGR avg of 2.57. If ending dead last in one of those limited field events earn you at least 2 points - and as 50th place in WGC's and majors gives you ~2 points as well - it's hard to argue against that being in the OWGR top50 (and getting to play these events) doesn't help you remaining there!

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Post by pedro Wed 03 Dec 2014, 2:44 pm

robopz wrote:Anybody got a feel if this new "points" thing for the R2D really changes anything?  If I'm reading correctly... it just changes euros into points for the whole season... until the final series events where more points than money is available... is that correct?

Also.. does anybody know what events are "adjusted" euro's or points during the year (and by what percentages)?  As I recall the NedBank earnings only showed up partially on the R2D money list... is that still in force and/or are there other events where the same thing is done?
Correct on part 1. Although I think it could be the first step towards a FEC like points system, making the OOM independent of money earned.

For part 2. Apart from Nedbank (which was reduced 15% this year), The World Match Play also used to be capped. Don't know if that was the case this year though.

EDIT: The Match Play was reduced with ~40%(!) in 2014.

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Post by GPB Wed 03 Dec 2014, 3:31 pm

Robo:  Sure Tiger had a built his average up.  But it was all in 2013 and 2014 is almost over.

What happened in 2013 is irrelevant now and should not be counting towards the rankings. His win in the 2013 B-Stone is worth more than Furyk's T5 in the 2014 PGA.  

Stricker didn't have a big average at the end of 2013.  And he still is ranked in the top 40.

Dustin has not played in 4 months, his ranking has fallen 2 spots in that time.

Mickelson has not played in 3 months.  His ranking has fallen 2 spots.

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Post by navyblueshorts Wed 03 Dec 2014, 4:06 pm

McLaren wrote:Tiger to return to his early 90's swing.

http://www.golfchannel.com/media/tiger-return-competition/

39 year old tiger woods will try and replicate the swing of his teenage years.  His early to mid nineties swing is the only swing, other than the foley stack and duff swing, to not yield a major championship.  

He has been looking at his swing DNA apparently, lets wait for the selfish gene jibes.
That would be the "stack and duff" swing that won how many events in 2013?? I'm sure you know all about Bennett and Plummer's methods and whether Foley is a dyed-in-the-wool follower or has his own variant...
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PGA Tour: Thanksgiving for the Pilgrims: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 2 Empty Re: PGA Tour: Thanksgiving for the Pilgrims: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by Shotrock Wed 03 Dec 2014, 4:12 pm

Actually, Foley's got a variant of the "Stack and Tilt" swing; and it did serve Tiger pretty well even if he was major less during 2013. Plummer used to be the teaching pro at my club and his method has worked for me (to a large degree).

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PGA Tour: Thanksgiving for the Pilgrims: Notes from the Ballwasher - Page 2 Empty Re: PGA Tour: Thanksgiving for the Pilgrims: Notes from the Ballwasher

Post by robopz Wed 03 Dec 2014, 4:59 pm

GPB wrote:Robo:  Sure Tiger had a built his average up.  But it was all in 2013 and 2014 is almost over.

What happened in 2013 is irrelevant now and should not be counting towards the rankings. His win in the 2013 B-Stone is worth more than Furyk's T5 in the 2014 PGA.  

Stricker didn't have a big average at the end of 2013.  And he still is ranked in the top 40.

Dustin has not played in 4 months, his ranking has fallen 2 spots in that time.

Mickelson has not played in 3 months.  His ranking has fallen 2 spots.
Sounds like most your problem is with a 2 year ranking system. I think 2 years is fine, you think it should be shorter, we'll just have to agree to disagree on that one.  But as for the 3 you mention...

Stricker - he's actually beginning to fall quickly now. He was #25th at the qualification cut off for this event in September and 39 now.   The only reason why he's been able to stay as high as he has, is because he's played at least moderately well when he has played.... averaging over 5 per event for his 11 events this year.   At his current pace, he's trending to about a mid-80's ranking (5.2 points per event x 24 actual events / 40 divisor x 56.25% = 1.755).  That's equiv. to around #80... not enough to get him into this event or any of the WGC's next year... SELF CORRECTING unless he starts playing either more at the same level he's playing (40 events at his 2014 pace would trend to about 2.9 or about where he is now in the rankings in the high 30's)... or plays better in his limited starts.

Dustin - You know enough about the rankings to understand he's living on borrowed time with his decreasing divisor mitigating his depreciating points. He's down to 42 events from 51 now... so he better get back early next year and playing well... or he'll be dropping like a rock too.  But in his case, I'm guessing the same phenomenon that's "saving" him now would happen at least somewhat in either a 1 or 2 year ranking system that has depreciation built in.  The only thing that would hurt him more in a 1 year is a lot of his points were early in the year.

Mickelson - Is getting divisor help too by not playing 2 in the Far East this year like he historically had done in the past... he's also just been "lucky" that only two of those "relatively" close and behind his ranking at week 36 have played particularly well since then.

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