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World #1 at the end of 2012?


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  1. 1. Who do you think will be #1 in 12 months?

    • Luke Donald
      21
    • Rory McIlroy
      17
    • Lee Westwood
      4
    • Martin Kaymer
      0
    • Adam Scott
      0
    • Tiger Woods
      15
    • Other
      1


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Originally Posted by Quinn07

I really like Luke Donald, he has been one of my favorite players for a while and it's nice to see him finally winning.  However I picked Tiger, for the reason that he looked really good at the Chevron and he has had some more time to tinker with his game.  I think / hope that the PGA Tour is in for a bit of an awakening in 2012.  I predict Tiger get's one major if not two this coming year and at least two other wins and is vaulted back to the top and if not really close.



The other thing we need to keep in mind is that Luke has been around for a long time and no one saw this past year coming.  He has been a very solid but unspectacular player up to this past year.  So it is open to question whether he will be able to maintain this pace for another year.  Golf history has many examples of guys having career years they never approach before or after.  Anyone remember when Frank Beard won the money title?

And as good as Luke's past year was, the reality is that Tiger has had ELEVEN seasons that were clearly better than Luke's past year.  A big deal has rightly been made about Luke's historic achievement of winning the PGA money title and the Euro Order of Merit.  But the reality is that Tiger was the leading money winner on both tours more than once but was not awarded the Order of Merit because he was not a member of the Eurotour and did not play the minimum number of events (IOW he played fewer events than the other guys but still won more money).

Tiger's BAD years when he is healthy and not making a swing change have been at least 4 wins including a major.  His average years under those circumstances have been about 6 wins including a major.  His good years have been off the chart: 7+ wins plus 2 (or more) majors).  If he has an average (for him) year he will end 2012 at #1 or #2.  If he has a good year (for him) he will not only be #1 he will have created some separation from whoever is #2..

So it comes down to which is more likely, that Luke will come close to duplicating his career year or that Tiger will return to a level of performance that he has achieved over and over again and which he has given at least signs of regaining at the end of 2011.  Or that someone else will jump up with a career year.  But given that he will be losing very few points from 2010, and even his 2011 points are skewed towards the end of the year and will decrease less than guys with more evenly spread points, my money is on Tiger.

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Awards, Achievements, and Accolades

When I put on my prognosticator hat, I see Lee, Luke, and Tiger each winning 3-4 times worldwide in 2012, including a major for each. Donald and Westwood will trade the number one ranking back and forth next year, and Tiger settling in at number three behind them. McIlroy won't have a bad year, but he won't be on the same level as the top three.

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I voted Luke Donald. He had such an amazing year last year I think he's earned favourtism.

I don't think Tiger will be able to get close enough. Yeah if he won like 8 tournaments he might go close, but Luke will be winning as well...

The most likely to knock Luke off #1 for mine is Rory.

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Originally Posted by Lofty Lefty

I don't think Tiger will be able to get close enough. Yeah if he won like 8 tournaments he might go close, but Luke will be winning as well...


That's why I can't agree with the 25% of people who have voted for Tiger on this poll. The scenario that is need for that to happen likely requires him to win five or more tournaments in 2012, while Donald, Westwood, McIlroy, and Kaymer all have considerably worse seasons than the ones each of them just had. Getting back into the top five won't be that hard for a healthy, in-form Tiger: winning one of the early WGC events and then his customary top-five finish at the Masters would put him there by April. But to surpass all of those names at the top of the rankings seems improbable to me; I think the pack has finally caught up to him.

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Where would a person with five wins and fifteen missed cuts (obviously an unlikely scenario) sit relative to a player with no wins and twenty top tens, maybe even two or three runner up finishes?!?

They would end up pretty close. The rankings put a high premium on wins, but top tens add up, too. Since we're talking about good players here, we'll assume that they play mostly first tier events --- majors, WGC's, Quail Hollow, Memorial, FedEx Playoffs, etc. Kind of like Tiger's schedule. Those events will award between 60 (Memorial) and 100 (a major) points to the winner. Solo second gets 60% of what the winner gets, i.e. 36-60 points. Fifth place gets 24%, and 10th gets 14%. Assuming everybody is playing the same events (so their depreciation is the same, and everybody has the same minimum divisor of 40), if you want to rank higher than a guy who wins five events and MCs everything else, you need to finish 10th 36 times, or 5th 21 times, or solo second 9 times --- assuming you MC the other 11 events. So a guy who plays 20 times, doesn't win, has a couple runner-ups, and is seldom below 5th or 6th will probably come out a bit ahead of the guy who wins five times and does nothing else. It will depend on which events they do well in --- if the guy who won five times MC'd in the majors, while the other guy got top fives in the majors, then the second guy would come out on top for sure. If the second guy got his highest finishes in the weaker events, then the five wins guy would come out first.

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Several people have asked what Tiger would need to do to become #1. Assuming the other players hold steady in the rankings, the answer is easy --- he has to do what he did in 2008. In 2008, Tiger played seven events in six months --- six PGA events, plus the Dubai. He won the Buick, the Dubai, the WGC Match Play, Bay Hill, and the US Open. He finished second in the Masters, and fifth in the WGC/CA. That gave him a total of 427 WGR points for those seven events. Divided by the minimum divisor of 40, and ignoring depreciation (as I have ignored the fact that he's not starting from zero), that would give him an average of 10.675, which is comfortably above Luke Donald's current average of 10.03. Tiger is actually starting with about 140 points this year, so allowing for depreciation, he probably needs about 300 points to give Luke a run for #1 in the spring (he'll need more points if it takes longer). A win at the Match Play, Bay Hill, and the Masters, and high finishes in his other early events, would do it.
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Originally Posted by brocks

Several people have asked what Tiger would need to do to become #1. Assuming the other players hold steady in the rankings, the answer is easy --- he has to do what he did in 2008.

In 2008, Tiger played seven events in six months --- six PGA events, plus the Dubai. He won the Buick, the Dubai, the WGC Match Play, Bay Hill, and the US Open. He finished second in the Masters, and fifth in the WGC/CA. That gave him a total of 427 WGR points for those seven events. Divided by the minimum divisor of 40, and ignoring depreciation (as I have ignored the fact that he's not starting from zero), that would give him an average of 10.675, which is comfortably above Luke Donald's current average of 10.03.

Tiger is actually starting with about 140 points this year, so allowing for depreciation, he probably needs about 300 points to give Luke a run for #1 in the spring (he'll need more points if it takes longer). A win at the Match Play, Bay Hill, and the Masters, and high finishes in his other early events, would do it.


Simply put, he's not going to do what he did in 2008. The primary consequence of his multiple layoffs since then has been the rusting of his once-automatic putting stroke, which he relied heavily on during those few months.

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Simply put, he's not going to do what he did in 2008. The primary consequence of his multiple layoffs since then has been the rusting of his once-automatic putting stroke, which he relied heavily on during those few months.

2008 was an exceptional year, or half-year, even for Tiger. But even with his crappy last two years, and his other slump in 2004, and his other slump in 1998, he's averaged about five wins per year, and one major per year, over his entire career. If he could do that, and everybody else plays the way they've been playing, he should still be #1 by the end of 2012. Predicting he won't win five times is about as hard as predicting Rory won't win the 2012 US Open by eight shots. But the point is he doesn't need a super duper year with 8 or 9 wins to regain #1, like some people in this thread speculated. He just needs an average year. And he doesn't need Rory or Luke to play poorly. I don't understand why, but everybody thinks that golfers have gotten a lot better in the last two years. They haven't. The names have changed, but the results are about the same. The World #1 has a 10 point WGR average, and #2 has about an 8. That's about the same as #2 and #3 had for most of the last 15 years. It's just that Tiger made them look like dog meat, because his average was often 20 or more. Nobody cared much when #3 knocked off #2, because they were both a mile behind Tiger. Now, with Tiger out of the picture, the same two players with the same two records will be #2 knocking off #1, and all the idiot writers and commentators talk about how the field has caught up to Tiger, but that's crap. They didn't catch up to Tiger; he fell down to them. If he gets his game back, they'll go back to fighting for second. The only question is, will he get his game back? He looked pretty good at the President's Cup and the Chevron, but he looked pretty good at the 2010 Ryder Cup and Chevron, too. If I had to bet, I'd say he needs another year to get completely comfortable with his new swing, but I'd be very surprised if he goes winless again. And I really like his chances at Augusta.

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