Rankings

Here is my analysis of the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) men’s amateur golf rankings as at 2nd July 2017 (Quarter 2).

With 2017 being a Walker Cup year this analysis is becoming increasingly important as selection decisions will shortly have to be made.

The table below shows the Golf Bible Combined Amateur Ranking (GBCAR). The GBCAR uses the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WGAR) and the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) to form a composite ranking based on the average of the two main rankings.

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In this quarter we lost our long-term number 1 player Sam HORSFIELD (ENG) to the Pro ranks. Connor SYME (SCO) is now GB&I’s leading amateur, a position he consolidated yesterday by qualifying for the 2017 Open Championship at Gailes Links

The orange ‘WAGR v. SPWAR’ column shows the difference between each player’s respective rankings. There are a number of factors at play here, such as the event points allocation and ageing approach, the event field assessments and the number of events included.

Here is a detailed look at the progression over the last 12 months of the Top 30 GB&I players in the SPWAR, my preferred ranking (see Appendix 2 for the reasons why I rarely reference the WAGR outside this page).

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As you can see in the above table a number of players have achieved material improvements in their SPWAR’s during 2017.

Standouts include Jack DAVIDSON (WAL), Matthew JORDAN (ENG), Jamie STEWART (SCO), Harry ELLIS (ENG), Laird SHEPHERD (ENG), Jake BURNAGE (ENG) and Charlie STRICKLAND (ENG), all of whom have made huge strides forward.

PLAYER OF THE QUARTER: Matthew JORDAN (ENG)

In most other years this award would have gone to the Amateur Champion Harry ELLIS or possibly the new European Amateur Champion Alfie PLANT. Both Harry and Alfie won their titles in memorable displays, demonstrating huge amounts of fight and nerve on the respective final days.

However, this Quarter there can only be one winner. Matthew JORDAN has put together an unbelievable run of results to the extent that over a period of two months he has gone from rank outsider to guaranteed member of our Walker Cup team.

Just look at this form and in particular the events and venues: –

28/6 – European Amateur (Walton Heath) 6th
26/6 – The Open Championship Regional Qualifying (West Lancashire) T7 Qualified
19/6 – The Amateur Championship (Royal St. George’s) MP Rd of 64
9/6 – St. Andrews Links Trophy (St. Andrews) CHAMPION
2/6 – Scottish Open Amateur (Western Gailes) 2nd

25/5 – Brabazon Trophy (Woodhall Spa) 5th
11/5 – Irish Amateur (Royal County Down) T4
5/5 – Lytham Trophy (Royal Lytham & St. Annes) T7

Matthew Jordan (Photo: Kenny Smith)

I have to recognise this. Well done to Matthew on his superb play over the last few months.

Moving on to the WAGR, here is a summary of the Top 30 GB&I ranked players.

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The lack of any points ageing or amortisation makes the WAGR a less useful ranking in my opinion. It also makes it largely irrelevant for selecting in form representative teams.

To finish I have included three Appendices below – one showing my previous Player’s Of The Quarter, another providing some more information on the two main Rankings and finally one showing previous quarterly Combined Ranking spreadsheets.

Appendix 1 – Previous Golf Bible Player Of The Quarter Results *

June 2017 – Matthew JORDAN (ENG)
March 2017 – Jack DAVIDSON (WAL)
September 2016 – David BOOTE (WAL)
June 2016 – Scott GREGORY (ENG)
March 2016 – Jack HUME (IRE)

* No award is made for the December Quarter due to the limited number of events played.

Appendix 2 – Ranking Notes

To view the two main Amateur Rankings referred to above click these two links: –

Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) – apply GB&I filter in the top right hand corner

World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) – GB&I filter already applied

There is no question in my mind that the SPWAR is the most accurate amateur golf ranking. I discussed the reasons for this in an article I wrote in February 2016 (subsequently updated) – ‘Why The SPWAR Is Better Than The WAGR’.

However, the WAGR is undoubtedly the most important ranking because of the credibility given to it by both The R&A and the USGA and because it is used by many events, particularly outside of the USA, to assist with entry eligibility.

As I am not a player and am not running a tournament, but am solely interested in assessing who are GB&I’s best amateur golfers, my personal preference is for the SPWAR.

The GBCAR provides an interesting aggregation of the two leading amateur rankings and gives me something to do at each quarter end.

Appendix 3 – Previous Golf Bible Combined Amateur Rankings

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ME.

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