The OWGR for this week lists 998 players. The last man on the list, Mark Williams of ZAF (which I assume is Zambia in South Africa) has a grand points average of .07. That's right, seven one-hundredths of a point. No player below #865 has more than one-tenth of a point, #595 has a quarter of a point, and #384 has a half point. Soren Kjeldsen of Denmark, sitting at #188, has .99 points and Benjamin Hebert of France finally breaks the single-point barrier at #187. He has 1.01 points.
That means the bottom 810 players in the ranking don't even have a single point. That's over 80% of the OWGR! Pardon me for being dense, but does this really tell us anything about how good these players are?
At the other end of the scale, world #10 Matt Kuchar has 5.00 points and #1 Luke Donald has 10.20 points. The Top 10 in the rankings are separated by more points (5.20) than the gap between #10 and #998 (4.93)!
A few other notable points milestones:
- 4.00 -- Sergio Garcia, #17
- 3.00 -- Miguel Angel Jimenez, #41
- 2.00 -- Anthony Kim, #74
What other options do we have? Most of the "measuring sticks" I can think of aren't much better:
- If we just count total majors, we can only assess a few players. After all, there are only 4 majors each year.
- Add the TPC, the BMW, and the WGCs and we're only up to 10 tourneys a year... and some of those don't have particularly long histories.
- Total wins adds another layer, but how do we rate players who have never won (which is most of them)? And how do we equate wins across tours?
- And each of these are cumulative over years. The big complaint about the OWGR now is that 2 years is too long for a ranking period.
Still, I guess anything is better than the BCS. They might as well draw numbers from a hat. ;-)