Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Rolex Pot Shots

I haven’t complained about the Rolex Rankings lately so rather than let them think I’m ignoring them…

So Annika Sorenstam winning the SBS while Suzann Pettersen finishes T16 equates to Annika jumping from #4 to #2 in the rankings (over Karrie Webb as well). Annika’s Rolex Average jumped from 7.34 to 8.22 while Suzann’s stayed virtually the same, further accentuating the system’s bias toward players with fewer events played. If she wins again at Fields, I calculate Sorenstam’s Rolex Average will be 9.03. At this rate, she should catch Ochoa in about two months. Unless of course, Ochoa elects to not play at all – then it will take much longer for her to be caught!

Natalie Gulbis didn’t have a good week at SBS, but she made the cut and finished T51. Still she fell two spots, from #19 to #21, behind Seon Hwa Lee (who finished T12) and Yuri Fudoh, who didn’t play at all, in any tournament. So in the case of Fudoh we have another example of how Rolex would prefer you to NOT PLAY over finishing less than Top 20 on the best Tour in the world. This isn’t an isolated instance, either. Just look a little farther down – Catriona Matthew didn’t play at SBS. She jumped two spots to #26, passing Sherri Steinhauer (T25 at SBS) and Maria Hjorth (T42).

Russy Gulyanamitta is now ranked #174, a jump of 423(!!) spots from last week. Erica Blasberg jumped 52 spots to #183. Look at their results from the last two years and include the SBS (that’s what Rolex measures). Does Russy finishing T2 over Blasberg’s T8 at SBS REALLY outweigh Blasberg’s performance advantage over Russy during that span? Admittedly the difference between players 174 and 183 is negligible, but there is no way Russy should be ahead of Erica no matter the margin. And don’t get me started on Grace Park being ranked behind her too! “…two made cuts in 15 career starts…”, he mutters under his breath.

Is that enough? If you want more,
I’m sure you can find them.


The Florida Masochist said...


How about Hee Won falling 26 spots just because she sat out most of 2007 due to being pregnant and giving birth? Just imagine if the same happened to one of the golf media's darlings, Annika, Creamer, Kerr, Gulbis. They's be all over the Rolex rankings saying it was unfair.

Make a bet it happens one day. Probably involving Cristie Kerr. Cristie has been married about 3 years(?)

The rolex rankings ought to give players a break if they take time out to have a child. After all this is a woman's sport.

Hound Dog said...

Kerr got married prior to the 2007 season. Yes, she would be the prime candidate to take a big points hit by missing six months due to pregnancy.

I guess they equate it to being injured (unable to perform). But it sure ain't the same.

sag said...

Concerning the examples of Gulbis, Fudoh, Matthew, Steinhauer, etc... when players are only a few hundredths apart the difference just isn't statistically significant. I don't think the rankings are really about making such fine-grained distinctions.

In my view, the world rankings need to get two important things right. One, they need to get the top 5 right, meaning the right 5 players in the right order that corresponds with most knowledgeable people's subjective view. Two, they need to accurately account for the different tours' relative strengths such that if a player switches tours and plays with the same proficiency her ranking remains essentially unchanged.

What sort of changes would you suggest? Should it be like tennis with a best X events? Should it be like a diving competition with the best and worst result thrown out? Should the rankings of players injured or on maternity leave (like Sorenstam and Han, respectively) be frozen?

Albert said...

Golf rankings at the moment are mostly for show (and bragging rights). Tennis is very different -their rankings are of paramount importance because they determine both access to ALL tournaments of all levels worldwide as well as seeding.

The Constructivist said...

Wondering what you think of the Sagarin system.... The latest ranking:

1 Lorena Ochoa 68.25
2 Suzann Pettersen 69.55
3 Annika Sorenstam 69.58
4 Paula Creamer 69.59
5 Mi-Hyun Kim 70.07

Look how close #2-#5 are there--lots of volatility there!

Only thing I don't like about it is they haven't negotiated with the KLPGA to get their results included in their system. That's how you have Momoko Ueda at #6 and not officially there at all (although once she gets one more LPGA, LET, or JLPGA event in, she'll be at 10 for the past 52 weeks and right behind Creamer)....

The Constructivist said...

The missing name is, of course, Ji-Yai Shin!

Hound Dog said...

Sag, if they are going to list them as #24, #25 and #26, I say they ARE making that fine-grained distinction. I do the same thing in my rankings. The way mine work generally speaking, #24 might have a little better scoring average than the next two while #25 has one less missed cut than #26 with everything else even amongst the three of them.

In previous rantings, I've talked about why I don't like Rolex but I confess I don't know how to fix them. They are trying to measure worldwide performance with a very small amount of interlocking data. The majors, Evian and the Asian events are the only shared sites and there even that is truncated by only having a small cross-section of players from each Tour.

The job Rolex is trying to do isn't an enviable one (I would never attempt it) so I probably shouldn't criticize it so much. But if I don't do it, who will?

Hound Dog said...

TC, I like Sagarin's results but haven't looked into it enough to develop an opinion on how it's designed. I'll do that sometime.

Anonymous said...

Welcome to our wow Gold and store. We are wow power leveling specilized, professional and reliable website for selling and service. By the wow powerleveling same token,we offer the best WoW service for our long-term and loyal customers You will find the benefits and wow gold value we created different from other sites. As to most people

milla said...

I know nothing about these
watches. Most of them are $300 or higher. There is only one
at $200. What is it that I must look for to get him a watch he will
treasure and be able to use for the next 20 years? What is it that
makes this one $200 watch different from those at $300 or more?....
If only everything were as simple as using
Generic Viagra

Сергей Лазарев said...

FDA approved mens health medication viagra is not a drug to be taken lighliy you should read all about the pros and cons regarding the medication before you buy viagra!

Unknown said...

Nice post!! Thanks for sharing!!
Cialis Generico