Rankings

Here is my analysis of the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) men’s amateur golf rankings as at 5th April 2017 (Quarter 1).

With 2017 being a Walker Cup year this analysis will clearly take on greater importance as the months pass by.

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.

Screen Shot 2017-06-03 at 16.09.01Sam HORSFIELD (ENG) remains our highest ranked player in both of the main rankings. After a slow start to the 2016/17 season Sam has started to find his feet and has produced a number of very good results recently as he starts to focus on the NCAA Division I Championship.

The orange ‘WAGR v. SPWAR’ column shows the difference between each player’s respective rankings. There are a number of factors at play here but a cursory glance at those players most affected suggests that the WAGR tends to afford more ranking points to home events whilst the SPWAR favours USA and international tournaments.

At this time of the year we also need to be mindful of the seasonal bias against GB&I players. With few events taking place at home during our winter players from warmer climes, most notably Australia and South Africa, start to benefit from their seasons being in full swing.

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).

Screen Shot 2017-06-03 at 16.03.42As you can see in the above table a number of players have achieved material improvements in their SPWAR’s during 2016.

Jack DAVIDSON (WAL), Liam JOHNSTON (SCO), Robin DAWSON (IRE), Alex GLEESON (IRE) and Jack SINGH BRAR (ENG) in particular have all had good starts to 2017 with impressive results in Australia, South Africa and Spain.

On the US College circuit David WICKS (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG) and Ryan LUMSDEN (SCO) have all performed well. Wicks has recently been picked for Europe’s Arnold Palmer Cup Team as a reward for his strong recent play for Jacksonville this year.

PLAYER OF THE QUARTER: Jack DAVIDSON (WAL)

Jack DAVIDSON has won the Spanish International Amateur and European Nations Cup Individual in the last 3 months thus making this Quarter’s decision very straight forward.

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Jack Davidson with the Spanish International Amateur Trophy

Jack has clearly worked hard in the off season, particularly on his putting, and has already delivered some outstanding results in 2017. In addition to his two wins he also finished 3rd in the South American Amateur and tied 7th in the Portuguese International Amateur. Few amateurs in the world are playing better than he is in 2017 and he now looks very well placed for a spot on the GB&I Walker Cup team.

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

Screen Shot 2017-06-03 at 15.54.07The lack of any points ageing or amortisation makes the WAGR a less useful ranking in my opinion.

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ONE TO WATCH: Joe PAGDIN (ENG).

I mentioned Joe in my last quarterly report and I see no reason not to stay with him in this section. Joe is an Orlando-based Englishman who has already accepted a golf scholarship to the University of Florida, for whom Sam Horsfield currently plays.

At the end of 2016 he was ranked 1,382nd and 2,770th in the SPWAR and WAGR respectively. He is now 527th in the SPWAR and 2,016th in the WAGR. This year he has finished 6th in the New Year’s Invitational, 1st in the AJGA Heritage Junior and last week tied 2nd in the Azalea International. The first and third of these (men’s) events are relatively prestigious in the US and represent exceptional results for a 15 year old.

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Joe Pagdin (Photo: @JoePagdinGolf)

I met Joe on my recent visit to Orlando and he indicated that he hopes to come over to the UK in the summer. He currently plays off a handicap of +3.4 and plans to enter at least the Boys Amateur Championship which should be interesting.

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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 *

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 – ‘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.

Appendix 3 – Previous Golf Bible Combined Amateur Rankings

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ME.

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