Thursday, June 19, 2008

Field Scores

During the Wegmans Preview, I quickly threw together a way to measure the strength of a tournament field. I wish Total Driving had come to me that easily! Using the player rankings that I update after each event (I only post the Top 30 here every 4-5 weeks), I look for the top 40 players in the final field. For each player in the top 10, the score increases by four points. Players ranked from 11-20 add three points each, 21-30 add two points and Players 31-40 add one point apiece. Using this method, here is how all of the fields in 2008 rate:

100 Kraft Nabisco
98 Safeway International
96 Ginn Open
95 LPGA Championship
94 Michelob Ultra
93 Ginn Tribute
89 HSBC
89 Wegmans
85 Stanford International
78 Fields Open
75 SBS Open
68 SemGroup
65 Sybase
33 Corning
31 MasterCard
13 Corona

The Kraft Nabisco is the only event which has had all 40 players in the final field. Ji-Yai Shin’s absence prevented Safeway from being perfect while Shin and Sherri Steinhauer each kept their two points out of the Ginn Open. Shin was a three-point player by the LPGA Championship and Juli Inkster’s two missing points made that major only a 95. The Ginn Tribute would have ranked third had Lorena Ochoa not withdrawn the day before it started. I won’t have the “official” top 40 until Monday but as of now, they are all in the U.S. Open field next week.

Corona’s total is astonishing. Ochoa (4) and Hee-Won Han (3) supplied over half of the points! I had no idea that Corning’s field was nearly as weak as MasterCard’s – MC had one less 11-20 player and one more 31-40 – so in retrospect Leta Lindley’s victory was no more unlikely than Louise Friberg’s. All three of these bottom-ranked events have serious location problems (whether you mean physically or by its position on the schedule) which threaten their existence. SemGroup and Sybase fell victim to the 11-week marathon effect. Players have to take a week off now and then, and the ones who didn’t skip Corning (and even some who did) mostly chose one of these two.

I’m going to continue backwards and at least try to get all of 2007 done retroactively. It’s all part of my never-ending quest to get that historical picture set so I can put the present in its proper context. That’s why you read this stuff, isn’t it?

3 comments:

diane said...

Let me be the first to say it...

I LOVE THIS STUFF!!!

The Constructivist said...

Wow! Sometimes quantification really helps clarify things, eh?

I wish they'd move the Corning so that it's the week before the Wegmans. I think it would help both events, not to mention cut on the players' travel costs.

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