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OWGR Bias Primer - 2009

OWGR Bias Primer - 2009

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Published by Ryan Ballengee

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Categories:Types, Research
Published by: Ryan Ballengee on Mar 24, 2012
Copyright:Attribution Non-commercial

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03/24/2012

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ThisweekattheWGCCAChampionship,SergioGarciacanbecomethenumberonerankedplayerintheworldifhewinsatDoralandTigerWoodsfinishesworsethan
2th
place.HewouldbecomethefirstEuropeansinceNickFaldoin1995toownthetopspotingolf'sworldrankingsystem.Justafewweeksago,therewassomecommentarymadeaboutthebizarrefieldmakeupoftheAccentureMatchPlayChampionship.BrendanJoneswasthe64
th
playerinthefielddespitenotbeingabletoholdontohisPGATourcardinthepriorseason.Currentlyranked66
th
intheworld,JonesfacedTigerWoodsadmirablyinWoods'returntothegame.Theseevents-amongotheranomalies~havecausedsometalkamongplayersandmediaaboutthebiasoftheOfficialWorldGolfRankingagainstAmericanplayers.TheproblemforplayersandmediabothishowtoexplaintheOfficialWorldGolfRanking,whatitsbiasis,andhowithasanimpactonthesport.ABRIEFHISTORYTheOfficialWorldGolfRankingswereoriginallydevelopedbyIMGfounderMarkMcCormackin1968.ThensimplycalledtheWorldGolfRanking,McCormackusedhissysteminanattempttoprovethathisclientswere,infact,thebestintheworld-notjustontheToursinwhichtheyplayed.McCormackwasconsultedbytheRoyalandAncientin1985tocreateanofficialsystemofrankingplayers.TheR&:Awaslookingforawaytoquantifythevalueofplayersthatdidnotplayonasingletour,orplayedontourswithdeeperorweakertalentthanothers.Thefirstofficialrankingcameoutjustbeforethe1986MastersandpeggedBernhardLangerasthebestplayerintheworldatthattime.ThePGATouradoptedtherankingsin1990,whichwereknownastheSonyRankingsatthetime.In1997,priortotheintroductionoftheWorldGolfChampionships,therankingswereadoptedbythenewFederationofPGATourswhichco-sanctiontheseriestoday.Atthattime,therankingswererenamedtowhattheyareknownastoday.Sincethatinitialrankingin1986,themethodofcalculatingtherankingshaschangedsignificantly.TherearetwosetsofcalculationsthatmakeuptheOfficialWorldGolfRanking.ThefirstisdetermininghowmanyRankingPointsaregiventoaparticularsanctionedmoneyevent.Thesecondisfiguringouthowthosepointsaredistributedtoplayersoveratwoyearperiod.HOWPOINTSAREASSIGNEDTOEVENTSOfficialeventsfromthesixtoursthatmakeuptheFederationofPGATours,aswellastheCanadian,Nationwide,andEuropeanChallengeTourscanawardWorldRankingPoints.Howmanypointsthatareawardedandtheirdistributionamongthefieldisdeterminedbyhowaneventisrated.
IstheWorldCatchingUptothePGATour?OrJusttheMath?-RyanBallengee
 
Aneventisratedbasedupontwofactors.ThefirstfactorisbasedontheOfficialWorldGolfRankingoftheplayersinthefield.Eachplayerinatournamentfieldthatiscurrentlyrankedinthetop200ofthecurrentOfficialWorldGolfRankingisgivenaRatingValuebasedontheirpositiononthelist.Forexample,everytimeTigerWoods(the#1player)entersafield,thetournamentgets45ratingvaluepoints.Thisgoesallthewaydowntothe200
th
rankedplayerintheworldwhogets1ratingvaluepoint.Then,theratingvaluepointsofalloftheplayersinthefieldaresummeduptogetthetotalratingvalue.Then,thereisthesecondfactorofHomeTourRatingValuepoints.Thisisapieceofthecalculationaddedin2001.Whatitattemptstodoisrewardeventsthathavethebestplayersfromthehosttourinthefield.ItawardsadditionalRatingValuepointstoatournamentforeveryplayerinthetournamentfieldthatwasinthetop30ofthehosttour'smoneylistduringthepriorseason.Ifthemoneylistororderormeritwinnerfromthepriorseasonofthehosttourisinthefield,hegetsanextraeightRatingValuepointsfortheevent.The16
th
through30
th
playersonlastseason'shosttourmoneylistwouldadd1point.TournamentATournamentBTournamentCTotalRatingValuePoints1004008001
st
PlaceWorldRankingPts245476
#
ofPlayersAwardedPoints275259ThesetwonumbersareaddedtogethertogivethetotalRatingValuePointsforanevent.Withthatnumber,thetournamentthenawardsWorldRankingPointsbasedupontherangeinwhichitsRatingValuePointsfalls.ThemoreRatingValuePointsatournamenthas,thenthehighernumberofWorldRankingPointsitcanawardandthehighernumberofplayerstowhomitcanawardpoints.ThereareminimumsforeachtourthatisrecognizedbytheOfficialWorldGolfRanking.Also,themajorchampionships,WorldGolfChampionships,andspecificmarqueeeventsonthemajortourshavespecificWorldRankingPointminimums.HOWPOINTSAREEARNEDBYPLAYERSTheOfficialWorldGolfRankingratesplayersoverarollingtwoyear,or104week,periodoftime.PlayersearnpointsforeacheventthattheyparticipateinwheretheyfinishinapositionthatearnsWorldRankingPoints.Thepointsarethenvaluedbya"timefactor"soastoplacemoreimportanceonrecentperformance.Pointsthatareearnedinthemostrecent13weekperiodretaintheirfullvalueaswhentheywereearned.Forexample,ifSergioGarciawinstheCAChampionshipthisweek,hewillearnsomewherearound70WorldRankingpoints.Twomonthsfromnow,thatwinwillstillbeworth70pointsinthecalculationtodeterminehisranking.IEarned70PointsThey'reNow__WeeksAgo...Worth
--
Points5703057.077026.63After13weeks,though,pointsearnedaremultipliedbyafactorlessthanonetoindicatethediminishingvalueofthosepoints.Thattimefactorissomewherebetween1and0andgetsclosertozeroaftereachweekofthetwoyearrollingperiod.Eventually,Sergio'shypotheticallywinwillbeworthjustasmallfractionoftheoriginal70pointsthatheearned.Todetermineaplayer'sranking,thetotalnumberofWorldRankingpoints-attheircurrentvalues-aresummedandthendividedbythetotalnumberofeventsthattheyplayedoverthetwoyearperiod.Thatnumberistheweightedaveragenumberofpointsthataplayerhasearnedforeachevent.Theplayerwiththehighestweightaverageisthetoprankedplayerintheworld.Itseemsprettysimple,right?Unfortunately,therearesomecleardistortionsinthewaythattherankingsarecalculatedthathavealastingnegativeimpactonthePGATourandAmericanplayers.
IstheWorldCatchingUptothePGATour?OrJusttheMath?-RyanBallengee
 
THEBIASOFTHERANKINGS
HomeTourRatingValuePoints
ThebiggestbiasoftheOfficialWorldGolfRankingstemsfromtheconceptofHomeTourRatingValuePoints.ThereisnocorrelationbetweenOfficialWorldGolfRankingsandHomeTourRatingValuePoints.Inotherwords,ifthemoneylistwinnerfromatourinthepriorseasonisnotinthetop200oftheOWGR,butisinthefieldonhishometour,thenaneventearnsanextraeightpointstowarditsRatingValue.Thismaybeanextremeexample,butconsidertheimpactofthistruthonanAsianTourevent.TakeaneventliketheBarclaysSingaporeOpen.ThiseventissanctionedbytheAsianTourandhasaprizepoolofaround$5million.ItiscontestedafterthePGATourseasonendsandthefinaleoftheEuropeanTour'sbiggestevents.Becausethesponsorpaysgenerousappearancefeesandthehighpurse,anumberofworldclassplayersenterthefield.ThisincreasestheRatingValuepointslikeitshould.But,itisalsoafullfieldAsianTourevent.Thismeansthatalmostallofthetop30ontheAsianTour'smoneylistfromlastseasonareintheeventaswell.Inotherwords,theeventgetsbonusRatingValuepointsbecauseofthepresenceofthebestthattheAsianTourhastooffer.IfanAsianTourplayermanagestosneakoutawinagainstbettercompetition,theyreapanextrabenefitintermsofWorldRankingPoints.Simultaneously,theimportedstarsfromothertourscanearnmorepointsthantheywouldotherwiseiftheywerebasicallyfacingthesamecompetitionontheirhometour.Inotherwords,itistothebenefitofeveryoneinvolvedtoplaytheevent.ThebetterplayersgettoplayforaroundthesameWorldRankingPointsthattheyusuallywouldandgettofaceweakercompetition.Thehometourplayerswinbecausetheygetbonusrankingpointsfromthepresenceoftheirownbestplayersandtheworld'sbest.Theeventisovervalued.AprimeexampleistheaforementionedBrendan]ones.Playingprimarilyin]apanlastyear,hefinishedinthetop40innineof10eventsheplayedthere.Inotherwords,heearnedatleast2.25WorldRankingPointsforeachofthose9startswhileplayingagainstweakercompetition.Thatisonlyonepointlessthanwhatisawardedtoa10
th
placefinisherintheweakestofPGATourevents.Addthatupovertime,andBrendan]onesfoundhimselfplayingTigerWoods.Thiskindofthingdoesnothappeninavacuumandcanaddupsignificantlyoveratwoyearperiod.Evenmorethanthat,thiscreatesanunendingcycleofinflatedpoints.Sincelowerratedplayersgetinflatedrankingsbyparticipatingintheseevents,theWorldRankingPointsawardedbythesetypesofeventsincreaseseachyear.Inotherwords,AsianTourandEuropeanTourplayersbenefitfromfullfield(especiallyco-sanctioned)tournamentsthatlureinworldclassplayerswithappearancefees.Theirworldrankingsareinflateddrasticallyonacontinualbasis.
The
Time
Factor
Asmentionedearlier,WorldRankingPointsaresteadilydevaluedovera91weekperiodfollowingthe13
th
weekafterthepointswereearned.Thisiscalledthe"timefactor"multiplewhichtriestoplaceanemphasisonpointsearnedinthelastthreemonthsofcompetition.
IstheWorldCatchingUptothePGATour?OrJusttheMath?-RyanBallengee

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