Monday, February 17, 2014

Congratulations to Karrie Webb and Chella Choi!

The top 2 finishers in the ISPS Handa Women's Australian Open each have a career milestone to celebrate:  Karrie Webb earned LPGA victory #40 and Chella Choi broke the $2M barrier in career winnings on the LPGA.  Congratulations to them both!

Jenny Shin pulled narrowly ahead of Gerina Piller in their race to the $1M mark, as each nabbed top 10s yesterday.

Look for Sun Young Yoo to cross the $4M rubicon soon and for Beatriz Recari to join Choi in the $2M Club before too long.  Lexi Thompson will have to bounce back quickly from her missed cut to beat Recari to membership.

Meanwhile, only 12 points separate Stacy Lewis, Inbee Park, and Paula Creamer in my career ranking spreadsheet.

Let's see how they all do in Thailand this week!


Tony Jesselli (Tonyj5) said...

This was one crazy tournament. I have would have bet the house that the winner was coming out of the Hedwall, Pettersen, Choi bunch. Everytime you thought someone had it they lost it. In the end Karrie's experience and patience payed off.

Bruce, Do you have any idea why I.K. Kim is skipping the first 4 events?

Anonymous said...

When I look at your spreadsheet I think there are some problems with your calculations.

First your valuation of Majors versus normal tournaments is 3.5 times as much for the Majors, which seems excessive. (E1*100 + F1*40), makes each Major worth *140 versus *40 for each tournament win, since Majors are in both E and F.

Second, it is ridiculous that someone who has played 2 tournaments as an LPGA player has the most points.

Somehow you need to reward those with 8 years or 200 tournaments versus someone with half as many years or tournaments played. Someone who has the same percentages with 8 years versus someone with 4 years does not mean they are equal, because of the ebb and flow of a career as it gets longer. Your calculations only are meaningful if they have the same number of years or close to the same number of tournaments

The Constructivist said...

I agree Lydia Ko hasn't played enough events to have a real sense of where she stands, so I'm basically ignoring her numbers for now, just getting her in the system so I don't have to plug in a lot of numbers all at once.

That said, I think my system helps distinguish someone like So Yeon Ryu from Hee Kyung Seo from Caroline Masson fairly accurately, so give it a season or two and Ko will be where she oughtta be. Right now those non-member wins weigh quite heavily. By looking at finish rates and $/start and $/finish, I believe my system starts being pretty accurate once you've got a statistically significant sample of starts. Yet it still allows for pretty big swings in those first few seasons, as players heat up or cool off. Of course, over time, individual events count less, but that's the way a career ranking should be.

Tony, I have no idea what's up with Inky and I've been asking around myself. Would love to know when she plans to start the season and why she held off as long as she has so far.

The Constructivist said...

On the overvaluation of majors issue, I'm willing to tinker with the formula, but consider how we measure greatness in general in golf. Which is more impressive, Tiger's 14 majors or 80-something total wins? As great as Lorena was, isn't her total of 2 career majors less impressive than Se Ri Pak's 5?

Given how few majors there are, how strong the fields are, and how much pressure is involved (self-, peer-, and media-/fan-imposed), I don't think I'm overvaluing majors as a career measure all that much. Players who beat strong fields in non-majors will get credit via the $/start and $/finish measures, as big purses attract strong fields. Players who can win more often get a bonus in finish rates, as well. So the major bonus is less than it first appears....

But I did decide to break out performances in LPGA majors in a separate spreadsheet, as I'm interested in seeing how players have done historically, whether or not they were LPGA members when they played in LPGA majors. So I'd be interested in comments on that ranking, as well.

Tony Jesselli (Tonyj5) said...

Bruce, if I may stick my two cents in, I am a huge fan of all your statistical blogs.

That said, if your rating majors 3.5 to 1, I agree that is too high.

The LPGA doubles points earned in majors for their player of the year standings, and adds only 25% more points for the new Race to the CMA Globe.

If you ask me if I would rather have 7 wins and no majors, or 2 wins which are both majors, I take the 7 wins.

Just my opinion.

The Constructivist said...

Sorry, Tony, if my system overvalues majors so grossly, why isn't Inbee #2 behind Ya Ni? How is Ji-Yai ahead of Stacy? Why are those who have won only 1 major not stacked up ahead of all the non-major winners?

It might make for more drama if Ya Ni's lead on everyone else weren't so huge, but if we're talking about seeing how recent players stack up against the best ever in the LPGA, it's hard to overvalue majors.

The LPGA's formulae you mention are for season-long races, so of course they're not going to give too much credit to a player who may have just had a fluke victory (Lunke, Birdie Kim, etc.) at the right time. They want the races to be close.

My model was Yahtzee. The way to really rack up the points is to roll multiple Yahtzees in the same game. So the more majors you get, the more big numbers you rack up. It's hard to win 2 majors! Just ask Lorena!

Finally, my formula's not regular wins or majors; it's both. Intuitively, you'd say someone with more of both has had a better career than someone with less. Plus, it's good finishes and $/start and $/finish, so consistency gets rewarded, too.

I think what I need to do to test it out is add Suzann, Lorena Karrie, and Annika's stats into it and see how they stack up. But that's a lot of digging and counting I don't have time for till the summer....