Watch Out Vijay and Ernie Exhale Tiger

By George WhiteOctober 12, 2004, 4:00 pm
Vijay Singh has entered a stretch where his points at the top of the Official Golf World Rankings will fall. Ditto Ernie Els. But Tiger Woods wont be affected nearly as much in the short term. Translated, this means good news for Woods, not so good for Singh and Els.
 
Now, Ill be the first to admit that I didnt figure this out. I would have a better chance at conversing casually in Russian than trying to decipher the nuances of the OWGR (thats golf rankings in shorthand). Fortunately, there are a few world-class mathematicians who do understand it, and thats who I am paraphrasing today. Hey, I read Keith Lowe on the website golfobserver.com, and he seems to have grasped the fundamentals of the rankings. I dont have a brain to figure out anything so complicated ' and neither, I suspect, does Singh, Els or Woods.
 
This is what I know of the World Rankings after wading through the article several times - based on a two-year rotation, the 104 weeks are broken down into 13-week segments. After each 13 weeks, the points awarded for the results are reduced.
 
Stay with me, because this is where it gets complicated. Each tournament is weighted differently, according to several variables, many of which I dont fully understand. They have to do with whether the tournament is a major, or whether it has the majority of highly ranked players entered, etc. Players are variously awarded points, and the points are then divided by the number of tournaments entered.
 
But the important thing for this sermon is this ' the most recent 13-week period is weighted at 2 times the total of the points, the second period 1.75, the third period 1.25, etc., down to 0.25 for the final 13-week period two years ago. Multiply each players totals by 2, or 1.75, or 1.50, etc. ' thats the most important statistic for our treatise.
 
Thats still kind of fuzzy, but its the OWGRs attempt at putting more weight on the current 13-week period and less on each succeeding time frame. So the current ratings go all the way back to the end of 2002 ' that 13-week period which begins with Oct. 10, 2002, and continues though the second week of January 2003.
 
Singh and Els have both done much better in the past year than has Woods. But during each 13-week period, they have lost points at a multiple of O.25. I know only because it is in Lowes article, but Singh is entering a stretch where he will lose 29.125 rankings points and Els will lose 25.43 ' trust me, that is a lot. Lowe said it, and I cant deny it because I dont have a command of the statistics like he does.
 
Woods, meanwhile, will lose less than half the points that Els and Singh do. Unfortunately, Tiger doesnt plan to play anytime soon, due to the fun he is having in some foreign port of call in some ocean on his honeymoon ' dont ask where. He normally plays at Disney near his home, but now he is balking at that. The next time he definitely will tee it up is in the Tour Championship the end of the official season.
 
Singh and Els are playing this week in the HSBC World Match Play Championship at Wentworth in England. Following this week, there are still two tournaments left on the PGA Tour schedule (Disney and Tampa) plus the Tour Championship.
 
Singh will probably play in all three. So he has the opportunity to pick the points up again. Els will probably play in two. And Woods will actually add a slight number of points, regardless of the fact that he will be inactive.
 
Whew! If youve read this far, here is the important premise of the article: During the next six weeks (into the unofficial tournaments), Els and Singh both get hammered. They both can recoup by winning, but Singh has 100 points (the PGA Championship victory times 2, the immediate 13-week period) being significantly reduced. Els loses 78 points, while Woods drops only 35.
 
All this isnt sufficient for Woods to regain his position at the top of the rankings, but it signifies a period in which he isnt penalized nearly as much as he has been. And Singh and Els need to both keep finishing near the top. Neither did themselves any favors last week at the dunhill links, Els coming in tied for seventh and Singh finishing tied for 18th.
 
Lowe understands it perfectly. I somewhat understand it. Singh and Els need some help. Woods needs less help. Enough said.
 
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Rose wins; Aphibarnrat earns Masters bid in Indonesia

By Will GrayDecember 17, 2017, 1:59 pm

Justin Rose continued his recent run of dominance in Indonesia, while Kiradech Aphibarnrat snagged a Masters invite with some 72nd-hole dramatics.

Rose cruised to an eight-shot victory at the Indonesian Masters, carding bookend rounds of 10-under 62 that featured a brief run at a 59 during the final round. The Englishman was the highest-ranked player in the field and he led wire-to-wire, with Thailand's Phachara Khongwatmai finishing second.

Rose closes out the year as perhaps the hottest player in the world, with top-10 finishes in each of his final 10 worldwide starts. That stretch includes three victories, as Rose also won the WGC-HSBC Champions and Turkish Airlines Open. He hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since missing the cut at the PGA Championship.

Meanwhile, it took until the final hole of the final tournament of 2017 for Aphibarnrat to secure a return to the Masters. The Thai entered the week ranked No. 56 in the world, with the top 50 in the year-end world rankings earning invites to Augusta National. Needing an eagle on the 72nd hole, Aphibarnrat got just that to snag solo fifth place.

It means that he is projected to end the year ranked No. 49, while Japan's Yusaku Miyazato - who started the week ranked No. 58 and finished alone in fourth - is projected to finish No. 50. Aphibarnrat finished T-15 in his Masters debut in 2016, while Miyazato will make his first appearance in the spring.

The results in Indonesia mean that American Peter Uihlein and South Africa's Dylan Frittelli are projected to barely miss the year-end, top-50 cutoff. Their options for Masters qualification will include winning a full-point PGA Tour event in early 2018 or cracking the top 50 by the final March 25 cutoff.

Cabreras take 1-shot lead in Father/Son

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 11:23 pm

ORLANDO, Fla. - Two-time major champion Angel Cabrera and Angel Cabrera Jr. birdied their last three holes for a 13-under 59 to take a one-shot lead Saturday in the PNC Father-Son Challenge.

Cabrera, a Masters and U.S. Open champion, is making his debut in this popular 36-hole scramble. His son said he practiced hard for 10 days. What helped put him at ease was watching his father make so many putts.

''We combined very well,'' Cabrera said. ''When I hit a bad shot, he hit a good one. That's the key.''

They had a one-shot lead over Mark O'Meara and Shaun O'Meara, who are playing for the first time. That included a birdie on the last hole, which O'Meara attributed to the strength of his son.

''My little man hit it 58 yards by me on the 18th,'' said O'Meara, the Masters and British Open champion in 1998. ''It's a little easier coming in with a 6-iron.''

Defending champions David Duval and Nick Karavites rallied over the back nine at the Ritz-Carlton Golf Club for a 61. They are trying to become the first father-son team to repeat as winners since Bernhard and Stefan Langer in 2006. Larry Nelson won two years in a row in 2007 and 2008, but with different sons.

''I'd imagine we have to break 60 tomorrow to have a chance to win, but hey, stranger things have happened,'' Duval said. ''I've even done it myself.''

Duval shot 59 at the Bob Hope Classic to win in 1999 on his way to reaching No. 1 in the world that year.

Duval and his stepson were tied with Bernhard Langer and 17-year-old Jason Langer, who made two eagles on the last five holes. This Langer tandem won in 2014.

Jack Nicklaus, playing with grandson G.T., opened with a 68.

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Woods' 2018 schedule coming into focus ... or is it?

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 16, 2017, 5:46 pm

Two weeks after his successful return to competition at the Hero World Challenge, Tiger Woods’ 2018 schedule may be coming into focus.

Golfweek reported on Saturday that Woods hopes to play the Genesis Open in February according to an unidentified source with “direct knowledge of the situation.”

Woods’ agent Mark Steinberg declined to confirm the 14-time major champion would play the event and told GolfChannel.com that Woods – who underwent fusion surgery to his lower back in April – is still formulating his ’18 schedule.

Woods’ foundation is the host organization for the Genesis Open and the event supports the Tiger Woods Learning Center in Anaheim, Calif.

The Genesis Open would be Woods’ first start on the PGA Tour since he missed the cut last January at the Farmers Insurance Open.

Rose weathering delayed Indonesian Masters

By Associated PressDecember 16, 2017, 3:52 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose held a three-stroke lead after eight holes of the third round Saturday when play was suspended for the day due to bad weather at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose was 3-under on the day and led his playing partners Kiradech Aphibarnrat and Scott Vincent. The Englishman led both players by a stroke after the second round was completed Saturday morning due to weather delays on Friday.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters.