A couple of months ago, I wrote this, lamenting that the PGA refused to implement the one thing LIV got right,
a complete distain for human rights team golf, but arguing that you could piece one together using, basically, sponsors.
My fear for this idea was that it might seem arbitrary, but since then Sports Illustrated gave the world the completely pointless SI World Golf Rankings (a true “Nobody: Nothing, Sports Illustrated: Here you go!” situation) and while OVS is SI’s equal in that we are both beacons of sports journalism, I’ve never released a swimsuit addition (yet) so I’ll give them the slight edge in prestige and say that if they aren’t above a pointless and unasked for ranking of professional golfers, neither am I.
After a bit of reflection, I have a few follow up notes to the introduction:
- I would have liked something more sophisticated, but I’m going with FedEx Cup Points (from designated events only). SG, finishing position etc doesn’t properly reflect the binary nature of a missed cut, and while you could use money, cup points are just simpler.
- While guys aren’t going to play in each designated event, that’s okay. Over the long term, skips should just about even out, and if guys can’t get in (lots of players weren’t in the Sentry, for instance), play better. No different than an MC from a tournament participant.
- Insofar as this has a practical implication, it’s probably as a fantasy league. Find a group of 4 or 8 (if you don’t have 3 friends, make more friends) and everyone take a team or two.
With that out of the way, we are now 4 events into the Designated Event era, let’s check in on how the teams are doing:
First up we have Nike.
After a slow start (Rory and J-Day didn’t play Kapa), Nike got a win from Scottie at the Waste Management, and a T2 at Bay Hill (which is neither on a bay nor contains any hills – it’s in Florida) from Rory (along with steadiness from Jason Day) for a total of 1556.606, a little less than 100 points per potential start, which seems good, but maybe isn’t because like any sane golf fan and/or person, I’ve never given one moment’s thought to how many FedEx Cup points per potential start is good. I guess we’ll find out.
Next up we have Team Callaway. They have Jon Rahm, who might be on the best run, non-Tiger division, that any of us can remember, who checked in with wins at the Sentry and Genesis, and a strong showing at WM. That’s great. Unfortunately for the Calabasas based squad, Kevin Kisner has made the same number of Designated Event cuts as I have, and they’ve gotten middle of the road showings from X and Burns, leaving them slightly below team Nike in the constructors championship, even with Rahm-god in their corner.
Okay at this point we can definitively say that the Nike number was quite good. Titleist is the third of the real power players here (Assign Merc, Ferari and Red Bull as you like – Callaway included only because Rahm is a nuclear weapon), and Nike is on top. Titleist was always going to be a power player, and that’s before Max Homa went from likable guy who goes on your favorite podcast to one of the best players in the world. Zalatoris missed the WM, and Cam Young got a number of FedEx Cup points I didn’t realize was possible while making the cut, though, so Titleist finds themselves in third thus far (okay I thought about it they’re definitely Merc.
Next up, Team Ping. Ping’s a great brand, I play a lot of Ping stuff and their clubs are prominent on tour. Unfortunately a lot of those Ping players have a different primary sponsor, and they lag well behind the top clubs. Hatton has gotten off to a pretty good start, but Hovland has struggled, and frankly they need big things from the Norwegian in order to compete.
It’s been a tough scene for Srixon. Hideki and Shane are the hitters that they need to perform to have any chance to compete, and neither has gotten off to a great start. Sepp missing a couple cuts hasn’t helped, and the Putnam/Knox/NeSmith rota hasn’t done much (Putnam’s score was the one who was the most helpful).
|Team Taylor Made|
The last of the equipment brands: Taylor Made, has had a strong midfield showing thus far, lagging a little bit behind the big 3 thanks to Morikawa’s very hot/very cold start, and the ringer they were allowed to take in Spieth. Richard Fowler has also gotten off to a promising start. If Fleetwood can find his game and Morikawa can find consistency, Team TM can compete.
Moving away from the manufacturer’s teams and into the silly portion, team MegaCorp has a strong roster that has struggled to find form. Fitzpatrick has been okay, but not quite playing up to what you would like from one of the top players in the world and Patrick Cantlay has actually been quite good, but Billy Ho has been lamenting a weak showing from both the Florida Gators and West Ham, and has possibly let that seep into his golf. Adam Scott was good in Severance but hasn’t really contributed a ton in designated events.
|Team Korean MegaCorp|
|Si Woo Kim||0||34||0||13||47|
Lastly, we have Team CJ – AKA Korean MegaCorp. Well they’re actually not in last thanks to Srixon and I probably should have done this in order but I literally did the write up at the same time as the calculations and this is free so you get what you get. Tom Kim was the hottest golfer in the world last fall. He will need to get some of that back for the Koreans. Otherwise just a lot of mid.
So all in all, Nike and team Rahm have a healthy lead, with Titleist in striking distance and Taylor Made lurking at the top of the midfield. Srixon is gonna have to do a lot of digging not to get relegated (if there is relegation idk).
And if you’re interested, the players:
|Si Woo Kim||47||29|