Here is my analysis of the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) men’s amateur golf rankings as at 30th September 2018 (Quarter 3 – 2018).
The blue columns in the first table below shows my Golf Bible Combined Amateur Ranking (GBCAR). The GBCAR uses the World Amateur Golf Ranking (WAGR) and the Scratch Players World Amateur Ranking (SPWAR) to form a composite ranking based on the average of the two main rankings.
The orange ‘WAGR v. SPWAR’ column shows the difference between each player’s respective rankings. A negative figure shows that the WAGR is ranking the player more highly while a positive figure indicates that the SPWAR likes them more. There are a number of factors at play here, such as each rankings approach to field assessments, points allocation, ageing and the events included.
The individual SPWAR (green) and WAGR (yellow) information / trends are considered separately further down this article.
I compare each player’s quarter end ranking, GBCAR, WAGR and SPWAR, with their position at the start of the year to help establish their playing trends. If the movement is negative they are moving up the rankings and if it is positive they are going the wrong way.
Tom SLOMAN (ENG) has taken over the No. 1 spot in the GBCAR. Tom from Taunton in Somerset has built on his Quarter Finals result at the Amateur Championship with a number of solid performances throughout the Summer. His tied 9th result at the Bridgestone Challenge event on the European Challenge Tour was particularly noteworthy.
Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) is second primarily due to reaching the Quarter Finals at the U.S. Amateur Championship in August.
There are a few material differences between the two rankings. Conor GOUGH (ENG), Peter O’KEEFE (IRE), John MURPHY (IRE) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) being the most significant.
In passing I should note that Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO) would have been GBCAR No.1 if the quarter had ended just a few days later. Ryan won the Marquette Intercollegiate at Erin Hills on 2nd October which is obviously not reflected in this analysis. He moved up to 42nd in the SPWAR whilst we will have to wait until next Wednesday to see his new WAGR.
Here is a detailed look at the progression over the last 9 months of the current Top 30 GB&I players in the SPWAR.
As I have stated many times before I am personally persuaded by the merits of the SPWAR over the WAGR and as such I consider the above table to be the clearest representation of our leading amateur golfers.
I therefore consider Mitch WAITE (ENG) to be GB&I’s No. 1 amateur at the end of September 2018.
Interestingly the WAGR’s No. 1 GB&I player (21st), Conor GOUGH is currently only rated our 38th best player in the SPWAR where he has a ranking of 284th and is therefore not included above.
Here is a summary of the current Top 30 GB&I WAGR ranked players.
At the start of 2018 Conor GOUGH (ENG) did not have a ranking so to find himself top of our WAGR pile at the end of September is some achievement.
The current WAGR ranks David WICKS (ENG) in 99th place. I have excluded him from my analysis as he turned Pro in late August ahead of competing in the Web.com Q-School series. Those players ranked lower than 99th are in reality one place better off than they are currently shown.
The lack of any points ageing or amortisation over its two year review period makes the WAGR a less useful player ranking in my opinion.
Please take an objective look at both the SPWAR and WAGR Top 30’s above to decide which you think is the most representative ranking of our amateurs.
Quarter 3 has seen many of our leading amateurs turn professional. Amongst those leaving the amateur ranks in recent weeks were Matthew JORDAN (ENG), Robin DAWSON (IRE), Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) and Todd CLEMENTS (ENG). Please take a look at the Turned Pro section of this website to view my rolling record of major departures.
As the above SPWAR and WAGR tables shows many players have made significant improvements to their rankings during 2018 so can look back on a successful season.
There is not a single Welsh player in the Top 30 GB&I lists of either ranking currently.
My Player Of The Quarter
Conor GOUGH is my Player of the Quarter.
15 year old Conor found form early in the summer winning the Boys’ Fairhaven Trophy in early May.
He then appears to have simply rode a wave of confidence all the way through the summer. The highlight being his Boys’ Amateur victory where he became he first Englishman to win the Championship since Matthew Fitzpatrick in 2012.
Here is a summary of his results over the last 3 months: –
European Boys Team – Medal T5
European Boys Team A Match – W4 / L0 / H0
English U16 (McGregor Trophy) – CHAMPION
Boys Home Internationals – W4 / L2 / H0
British Boys Amateur – CHAMPION
Jacques Leglise Trophy – W2 / L0 / H2
Italian International Amateur – T5
Junior Ryder Cup – W1 / L2 / H0 (beat Akshay Bhatia in Singles)
Conor Gough (Photo: The R&A / Getty Images)
Recent Rankings News
On 21st June 2018 the WAGR updated its website introducing a number of new features.
From September 2018 the SPWAR is inputting U.S. College results shortly after each event finishes. It previously updated periodically based on the GolfStat rankings (see Appendix 2 for information on this).
Amateur Tournament Ranking
Fred Solomon at the SPWAR maintains a rolling Amateur Tournament Ranking which whilst interesting in itself also shows how he assesses the leading events.
In his 2017/18 rolling list The Amateur Championship (2nd), European Amateur (7th), St. Andrews Links Trophy (8th), European Amateur Team (14th), Lytham Trophy (18th) and the Scottish Open Amateur (tied 20th) are all in his Top 20 worldwide amateur competitions.
The Brabazon Trophy fell from 17th to 43rd this year in terms of the quality of its field.
Click here to view the – SPWAR Amateur Tournament Ranking
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
September 2018 – Conor GOUGH (ENG)
June 2018 – Mitch WAITE (ENG)
March 2018 – Billy MCKENZIE (ENG)
December 2017 – Ben JONES (ENG)
September 2017 – Todd CLEMENTS (ENG)
June 2017 – Matthew JORDAN (ENG)
March 2017 – Jack DAVIDSON (WAL)
December 2016 – No award made due to the limited number of events played.
September 2016 – David BOOTE (WAL)
June 2016 – Scott GREGORY (ENG)
March 2016 – Jack HUME (IRE)
Appendix 2 – Ranking Notes
To view the two main Amateur Rankings referred to above please click the links below: –
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 originally wrote in February 2016 (and have subsequently updated a few times since) – ‘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 of course gives me something to do at each quarter end.
Appendix 3 – Previous Golf Bible Combined Amateur Rankings
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