Here is my analysis of the Great Britain & Ireland (GB&I) men’s amateur golf rankings as at 1st April 2018 (Quarter 1 – 2018).
The blue columns in the 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. 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 WAGR (yellow) and SPWAR (green) information / trends are considered separately further down this article.
I compare each players quarter end ranking, GBCAR, WAGR and SPWAR, with their position at the start of the year to help us establish trends.
For the third consecutive quarter Matthew JORDAN (ENG), a member of our 2017 Walker Cup team, remains GB&I’s leading player.
Matthew’s Bonallack Trophy playing partner Todd CLEMENTS (ENG) is hunting him down though. Indeed Todd is now the highest ranked GB&I player in the WAGR but remains two places behind the man from Hoylake in the GBCAR due to a weaker SPWAR.
Ben JONES (ENG) continues to trend in the right direction helped this Quarter by a tied 2nd place at the Portuguese international Amateur.
Billy MCKENZIE (ENG) cemented his place in the Top 30 by winning the Spanish International Amateur. Runner-up Alex FITZPATRICK (ENG) entered the Top 30 for the first time too.
Bailey GILL (ENG) and Joe PAGDIN (ENG) have also entered the GBCAR Top 30 this Quarter. Interestingly Bailey enjoys a stronger SPWAR whilst Joe is currently preferred by the WAGR. Bailey’s rise is due to two Top 5’s on the Algarve tour, a strong contribution in the Octagonal Match in Spain and a tied 2nd place at the Portuguese. US-based Joe has benefitted from impressive results in the Jones Cup and a few weeks ago the Azalea Invitational, where he lost in a play-off.
Looking at the Combined Rankings Joe Pagdin is currently holding off Robin WILLIAMS (ENG) for the title of best GB&I U18 Boy. Robin has moved firmly onto our radar after Top 10’s at the Portuguese and Spanish International Amateurs this year.
There was one high profile departure this Quarter. As expected Craig HOWIE (SCO) joined the professional ranks early in 2018. Please take a look at the Turned Pro section of this website for more details on those GB&I players that have recently left the amateur stage.
Here is a detailed look at the progression over the last 12 months of the current Top 30 GB&I players in the SPWAR, my preferred ranking (see Appendix 2 below for the reasons why I rarely reference the WAGR outside of this page).
Here is a summary of the current Top 30 GB&I WAGR ranked players.
The lack of any points ageing or amortisation makes the WAGR a less useful player ranking in my opinion.
Finally I have started work on a European U18 Boys list. As neither of the main Rankings quote ages this is not without its difficulties. However, by considering entries to elite U18 Boys events across Europe in 2018 I have tried to extract the data required. I have chosen to use the SPWAR as my primary ranking for this purpose. Please let me know if you see any errors or omissions.
Robin WILLIAMS (ENG), Joe PAGDIN (ENG), Mark POWER (IRE) and Harry GODDARD (ENG) all feature in the Top 30.
PLAYER OF THE QUARTER
Hampshire’s Billy MCKENZIE is my Player of the Quarter, reward for his superb win in the prestigious Spanish International Amateur in early March.
Having graduated from William Woods University in 2017, having improved year on year over in the States, left hander Billy made a great start to the season at La Manga.
It was an interesting Championship for the man who plays out of Rowlands Castle GC near Portsmouth. Stroke play rounds of 77 and 77 (+8) saw him qualify for the match play stage in 32nd place, the final spot. However, once he had taken our medalist Jake Burnage in Round 1 he quickly gained momentum before eventually beating fellow Englishman Alex Fitzpatrick 3&2 in the final.
Billy will be teeing it up on the European Tour next week. The winner of the Spanish International Amateur is invited to compete in the Spanish Open. This year’s Championship is being played at National Golf Centre in Madrid between April 12th – 15th.
Billy McKenzie (Photo: Adolfo Luna)
Todd CLEMENTS (ENG), Bailey GILL (ENG), Alex GLEESON (IRE), David HAGUE (ENG), Harry HALL (ENG), Joe PAGDIN (ENG) and Gian-Marco PETROZZI (ENG) have all started the new year well but at the end of the day ‘it’s all about the W’. Whilst Gian-Marco also had a win, the Spanish International Amateur trumps the New South Wales Amateur for me.
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 list The Amateur Championship (2nd), European Amateur (6th), St. Andrews Links Trophy (8th), European Amateur Team (12th), Brabazon Trophy (16th) and Lytham Trophy (18th) are all in his Top 20 worldwide amateur competitions.
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 *
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)
September 2016 – David BOOTE (WAL)
June 2016 – Scott GREGORY (ENG)
March 2016 – Jack HUME (IRE)
* No award was made for the December 2016 Quarter due to the limited number of events played.
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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