Wednesday, August 08, 2007

Higher Scoring, Part Deux

Almost three months ago, I posted a chart which showed that scoring in 2007 was up about 0.60 strokes from 2006. I said I would revisit this topic, so here it is (using the same chart format):

Pos 2007 2006 Diff
1 70.08 69.24 +0.84
5 71.44 70.48 +0.96
10 71.76 71.02 +0.74
15 71.93 71.33 +0.60
20 72.12 71.51 +0.61
30 72.45 71.80 +0.65
40 72.87 72.08 +0.79
50 73.00 72.22 +0.78
60 73.21 72.44 +0.77
70 73.31 72.65 +0.66
80 73.46 72.85 +0.61
90 73.62 72.99 +0.63
100 73.75 73.16 +0.59
125 74.26 73.74 +0.52

At most of these positions, the differential is a little larger than it was in May. The average appears to now be up about 0.65 strokes. I’m sticking to “adverse weather conditions” as the most likely reason for the increase, but that’s only my opinion with no evidence to back it up. The difference interests me because the scoring average piece of my player rating system is based on raw scoring average rather than where the player ranks in scoring average. For example, even though Lorena Ochoa led all players in that category last year and leads again this year, she doesn’t get the same number of points. 69.24 is worth 22 points and 70.08 is worth only 20. If the year-to-year fluctuation in scoring is often as severe as this, I may decide to change that approach.


The Constructivist said...

I wonder if pressure also accounts for the higher scores this year--with more people with a good shot to win than ever before, people may be pressing more, taking more risks, and suffering more bogeys and worse as a result. If, say, #50 to #25 are far better than they have been in the past, then it's a lot more pressure on the top 25 to go lower.

Or it could just be that people are struggling with swing changes (MH Kim, Paula Creamer) and injuries (Sorenstam, Gulbis, Francella, S Lee, and many more) more this year than other years. Although why that would be so I don't know. Maybe the really top players are in the middle of a "tweaking their games" mode to try to close the gap on Ochoa and the results are slow to follow?

Hound Dog said...

From looking at the Vare Trophy winners' average through the last several years, their numbers bounce around from year-to-year with the general trend towards lower scores. Most of that trend can be attributed to better equipment although I believe the quality of the players is improving too. Other recent years where the Vare winner's average spiked up more than 0.5 strokes were 2003 and 2000.

I'll have to study those years, but I would assume that the overall scoring average would mimic the Vare winner's trend.