Thursday, October 14, 2010

Is It Even Worth Paging the AP at This Point?

How it is possible that the AP's main preview story for the CVS/pharmacy LPGA Challenge gets basic facts wrong about the 2 most prominent golfers in the tournament's field, Cristie Kerr and Paula Creamer?

It's hard to tell which is worse. The one about Creamer matters less to the major thrust of the article, but it reveals how little effort was put into the writing or editing of the piece. Look, I'm not expecting anyone who doesn't cover the LPGA regularly to visit Hound Dog's site or mine, but a quick trip to's pre-tournament interviews page or Paula Creamer's season performance rundown page would show that this couldn't possibly be Creamer's 2nd tournament back since surgery--more like her 10th!

The more I think about that mistake, though, the worse it feels. Making Creamer an afterthought in an article with a flawed major premise puts even more pressure on that premise. The New York Times at least softens the problem by titling the piece "Kerr Trying to Regain No. 1 Ranking," and while its core claim is technically correct, it nevertheless leaves key details out:

Miyazato, who has held the No. 1 ranking for eight straight weeks, tied for 27th at the Navistar Classic but is skipping this week's Northern California stop on the tour. Shin, Suzann Pettersen and Yani Tseng also are bypassing the tournament.

That means Kerr can regain the No. 1 ranking for third time this year with a win. Even a top-five finish will likely push her past Miyazato.

It's almost as if the AP's reporter is unaware that while Miyazato, Tseng, and Pettersen are indeed resting or travelling this week, Shin is playing in the JLPGA's Fujitsu Ladies. Given that she's only .24 points behind Kerr and .32 points behind Miyazato in the latest Rolex Rankings, a Shin win in Japan could complicate matters in next week's ranking considerably. The scenario in which Kerr passes Miyazato but Shin passes both of them isn't even in the realm of possibility for the AP's writer. How many points each player is losing from the event 2 years ago that's dropping out of the ranking will have an impact on how likely this scenario is.

You'd think that with so much attention on Tiger and Phil--and lately Lee and Martin--in the race for the #1 ranking in the OWGR, someone working for the AP would realize the Rolex Rankings use a similar methodology--if not the writer, then maybe a fact-checker or editor. I'm not saying Kerr can't or won't be #1 with a win this week in Northern California. I'm just pointing out that the same week Miyazato won on the LPGA and Shin on the JLPGA earlier this season, it was the latter who was the 1st to overtake Lorena Ochoa and become the LPGA's new #1. Shouldn't the AP have investigated the possibility that Shin could spoil Kerr's bid to replace Miyazato at the top of the world of women's golf?

[Update 1 (8:52 am): Randall Mell gets it. Why can't the AP?]

[Update 2 (9:03 am): You can trust the local media to get Creamer's story right. So why not the national media?]

1 comment:

courtgolf said...

It's the AP - putting any kind of faith or positive expectation on that band of "journalists" is a waste of time.