LOOKING BACK AT PAST YEARS

I’ve been slowly inputting some past years(before 2008) into my rankings to add some historical perspective. So far, I have 2002 and 2003, for the PGA Tour only and 2004,2008-10 across NW, EPGA and PGA tours.

The results from the NW and EPGA Tours prior to 2004 are going to be too big a pain in the ass to track down and input so I doubt they’ll ever make it into my numbers, but I plan on extending my PGA Tour rankings back to at least Tiger’s first year(it will take awhile).

Anyway, here’s the top-15 players by year:

2002-pga only

1 Tiger Woods -1.11 68 0.951
2 Retief Goosen -0.73 54 0.836
3 Vijay Singh -0.70 96 0.835
4 Phil Mickelson -0.69 98 0.938
5 David Toms -0.67 102 0.866
6 Padraig Harrington -0.65 32 0.737
7 Ernie Els -0.64 66 0.918
8 Nick Price -0.63 70 0.847
9 Justin Leonard -0.60 97 0.831
10 Davis Love III -0.50 91 0.855
11 Chris DiMarco -0.50 105 0.830
12 Jim Furyk -0.50 88 0.826
13 Fred Funk -0.49 110 0.787
14 Sergio Garcia -0.49 76 0.920
15 Charles Howell III -0.49 115 0.935

2003-pga only

1 Tiger Woods -1.02 68 0.880
2 Vijay Singh -0.92 102 0.794
3 Mike Weir -0.79 75 0.795
4 Jim Furyk -0.79 101 0.758
5 Ernie Els -0.78 60 0.748
6 Retief Goosen -0.75 64 0.857
7 Davis Love III -0.70 79 0.823
8 Padraig Harrington -0.59 36 0.688
9 Kenny Perry -0.58 97 0.912
10 Chad Campbell -0.57 102 0.884
11 Fred Couples -0.54 67 0.886
12 Scott Verplank -0.50 96 0.937
13 Jay Haas -0.48 83 0.928
14 David Toms -0.48 81 0.980
15 Justin Leonard -0.48 75 0.894
42 Phil Mickelson -0.31 80 0.951

2004

1 Tiger Woods -0.95 76 0.804
2 Vijay Singh -0.92 118 0.887
3 Ernie Els -0.90 90 0.867
4 Phil Mickelson -0.77 80 0.942
5 Retief Goosen -0.74 82 0.857
6 Sergio Garcia -0.68 80 0.789
7 Stewart Cink -0.65 96 0.830
8 Stephen Ames -0.59 94 0.925
9 Scott Verplank -0.58 90 0.938
10 Jay Haas -0.57 78 0.813
11 Luke Donald -0.56 96 0.866
12 Adam Scott -0.56 74 0.988
13 Davis Love III -0.55 75 0.948
14 Angel Cabrera -0.53 63 0.892
15 David Toms -0.53 74 0.833

2008

1 Tiger Woods -1.310 24 0.901
2 Phil Mickelson -0.686 90 0.819
3 Sergio Garcia -0.659 94 0.788
4 Anthony Kim -0.608 91 0.890
5 Robert Karlsson -0.602 86 0.786
6 Vijay Singh -0.577 82 0.850
7 Padraig Harrington -0.556 82 0.923
8 Lee Westwood -0.552 91 0.877
9 Jim Furyk -0.551 94 0.763
10 Camilo Villegas -0.528 90 0.868
11 Robert Allenby -0.513 119 0.841
12 Henrik Stenson -0.497 79 0.916
13 Adam Scott -0.476 69 1.123
14 Stewart Cink -0.464 82 0.793
15 Justin Leonard -0.440 95 0.858

2009

1 Tiger Woods -1.153 70 0.839
2 Steve Stricker -0.747 83 0.980
3 Jim Furyk -0.663 87 0.942
4 Zach Johnson -0.605 92 0.863
5 Paul Casey -0.581 61 0.965
6 Hunter Mahan -0.536 96 0.844
7 Kenny Perry -0.516 95 0.978
8 Nick Watney -0.507 98 0.889
9 Lee Westwood -0.507 94 1.022
10 Phil Mickelson -0.500 71 1.057
11 Retief Goosen -0.495 109 0.966
12 Padraig Harrington -0.487 97 0.852
13 Martin Kaymer -0.486 82 0.755
14 Ian Poulter -0.485 88 0.883
15 David Toms -0.482 98 0.834

2010

1 Lee Westwood -0.75 38 0.92
2 Anthony Kim -0.72 35 1.08
3 Phil Mickelson -0.70 40 0.87
4 Steve Stricker -0.69 28 0.92
5 Ernie Els -0.63 45 0.79
6 Matt Kuchar -0.62 41 0.81
7 K.J. Choi -0.60 48 0.79
8 Robert Allenby -0.58 40 0.87
9 Charl Schwartzel -0.58 38 0.95
10 Jim Furyk -0.57 34 0.97
11 Luke Donald -0.55 38 0.81
12 Retief Goosen -0.55 31 0.89
13 Louis Oosthuizen -0.53 28 0.91
14 Francesco Molinari -0.51 38 0.78
15 Tim Clark -0.51 37 0.88
19 Tiger Woods -0.49 9 1.1

I wanted to look this up so I could cool down my opinions on Phil and Tiger, but as far as I can tell I ended up more resolutely believing in them.

I still have a lot to fill in but 2002-2004, would definitely not be called great years by Tiger’s standards yet his performance remained about the same. The biggest difference could possibly be called luck.

On the other hand, Phil Mickelson seems to range from clearly not the second best golfer in the world to arguably the second best golfer in the world. I’m not familiar enough with his performance pre-2002 or from 2005-2007, but as far as I can tell he has NEVER been CLEARLY the second best golfer in the world as the media seems to widely believe. I definitely need more research, but I’m leaning towards the opinion that Phil is the most overrated player in the history of golf.

I would never make a judgment based on two players alone, but if Vijay Singh and Steve Stricker are any indication Tiger could be pushing 30 majors by the time his career is over. I find it hard to believe Vijay had any better seasons than 2002-2003, when he was well into his forties. Likewise, Stricker has most likely had his best years in his forties, too. If the same thing applies to Tiger and his motivation stays high, he is going to win A LOT more majors.

I think these historical year-by-year rankings are going to come in really handy when evaluating players outside of just my 2-year rankings. Unfortunately, it takes awhile to copy down old results, but I’ll keep posting them when I do.

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1 Comment

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One response to “LOOKING BACK AT PAST YEARS

  1. jalnichols

    Good stuff. Shoot me an email at nichols dot jacob at gmail dot com if you need some help with entering past results.

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