Monday, January 20, 2014

The Best in LPGA Majors Since 2000, January 2014 Edition

As part of my 2014 preview series, I've been preparing an update of my June 2013 predictions on who was most likely to break through for their 1st LPGA major last season.  I'll post a rather modified version of that update tomorrow, but along the way I got interested in developing a formula to get a rough sense of who's performed best in LPGA majors since the Women's British Open became the tour's 4th major in 2001--and I thought I'd share the spreadsheet based on it with everyone today.  It's basically a modification of my career ranking system of the LPGA's rookie classes from 2005 to 2013.  Its core idea is to reward both consistency and peak performances, with a special bonus for being able to win more than one major.

Here's how my major ranking formula works.  As in my career ranking formula, I determine how often players win, finish in the top 3, top 10, and top 20, and avoid WDs, DQs, and MCs in LPGA majors, and I turn those rates into points as follows:  each percentage point in winning rate is worth 32 points, each in top-3 rate is worth 16, each in top-10 rate is worth 8, each in top-20 rate is worth 4, and each in finish rate is worth 1.  Instead of keeping track of career winnings and winnings per start and finish, however, I instead assign points to career best finishes in each of the LPGA's 5 majors:  whereas a player earns 100 points each time she wins a major, the maximum points she can earn for non-winning high water marks are 50 for a silver medal, 40 for a bronze, 30 for 4th place, 25 for 5th place, 20 for 6th- through 10th-place finishes, and 10 for 11th- through 20th-place finishes.  The other big difference from my career ranking formula is that players can earn points in this one for every LPGA major they competed in, whether or not they were members of the LPGA at the time (only non-member wins are counted in my other system, which, after all, focuses on LPGA careers).

This results in the following ranking:

Simply the Best

1. Ya Ni Tseng (2201)
2. Inbee Park (1922)

The Contenders

3. Lorena Ochoa (1569)
4. So Yeon Ryu (1530)
5. Stacy Lewis (1502)
6. Ji-Yai Shin (1490)

The Next Best

7. Suzann Pettersen (1367)
8. Na Yeon Choi (1213)
9. Paula Creamer (1169)
10. In-Kyung Kim (1047)
11. Morgan Pressel (1019)

Quantum Leap Candidates

12. Grace Park (795)
13. Eun-Hee Ji (788)
14. Anna Nordqvist (772)
15. Amy Yang (731)
16. Michelle Wie (728)
17. Ai Miyazato (723)
18. Brittany Lincicome (703)

The Best of the Rest

19. Lydia Ko (684)
20. Angela Park (664)
21. Song-Hee Kim (621)
22. Angela Stanford (585)
23. Shanshan Feng (573)
24. Hee Kyung Seo (546)
25. Brittany Lang (542)
26. Jeong Jang (533)
27. Sun Young Yoo (518)
28. Natalie Gulbis (502)
29. Candie Kung (496)
30. Mika Miyazato (488)
31. Hee Young Park (473)
32. Lexi Thompson (446)
33. Kristy McPherson (427)
34. Jee Young Lee (421)
35. Lindsey Wright (388)
36. Christina Kim (370)
37. Chella Choi (366)
38. Lizette Salas (360)
39. Hee-Won Han (357)
40. Caroline Masson (334)
41. Caroline Hedwall (329)
42. Katherine Hull-Kirk (304)
43. Jodi Ewart Shadoff (303)
44. Azahara Munoz (297)
45. Meaghan Francella (296)
46. Sandra Gal (295)
T47. Ayako Uehara, Julieta Granada (280)
49. Katie Futcher (262)
50. Chie Arimura (253)

It's interesting to see who performs better in majors than regular events and vice versa.  More in this vein tomorrow, with a focus on those who haven't yet won a LPGA major!

No comments: