2019 in review: More countries, more tournaments, more players, more Speedgolf data than we've ever crunched!
Speedgolfers, the results have been complied, the votes have been cast, now it's time to present our 6th release of the SGPR. Before we do, let's revisit the Purpose, Process, and Potential of the Speedgolf Power Rankings.
To be considered active for ranking, a player must have competed in at least two officially-sanctioned Speedgolf events from 2017 to 2019.*
A select group of Speedgolf insiders are invited to vote on a list of the top active professional and amateur Speedgolfers. These insiders include National Speedgolf Organization (NSGO) directors, players, ambassadors, informed media, and proven fans of the sport.
Beginning in 2018, the POC adopted a pod-based voting system. This enabled performance data to take a larger role in determining the rankings, rather than voter sentiment (informed or uninformed) or pure finishing position. The metrics used to determine pod assignments include, but are not limited to:
The final rankings represent the consensus vote compiled from all ballots submitted by the deadline.
*players with only 1 event are included if they finished winner or runner-up in a national or world championship
The Speedgolf Power Rankings are NOT an Official Ranking like the Official World Golf Ranking on the men’s professional golf tours (PGA Tour, European PGA Tour, Asian Tour, etc). However, as Speedgolf activity increases worldwide, subsequent rankings will continue to evolve to become more similar to the official-style of performance rankings. For now, a data-driven, voter-backed process as described above best captures the subtleties of ranking top players that may be missed in a purely mathematical formula.
Men's Rankings 21-25
#25 | Garrett Holt (USA)
Notes: A couple 2nd place finishes in 2018 - in Missouri behind Wes Cupp and in Kentucky behind the Hawk, vaulted Holt onto the rankings last year. Solid Speedgolf showings in 2019 kept him on the expanded list this year. All eyes on a healthy Holt in 2020.
#24 | Steven Holloway (NZ)
Notes: Holloway sustained a sidelining injury that kept him out of Speedgolf competition for most of 2018 and all of 2019. But this NZ national champion is ready to get back into the action in 2020.
#23 | Lars Cederqvist (SWE)
Notes: The 2017 Swedish national champion flew all the way to the midwest in 2019 to play in the Ohio Speedgolf Invitational, (and attend the Memorial tournament with the SG crew), notching a top-4 behind some big names like Jamie Young and Wes Cupp.
#22 | Henrik Honkalehto (FIN)
Notes: Honkalehto finished atop the field, (which included the eventual 2018 world champion, Mikko Rantanen) in the 2018 Finnish national championship. Tons of game and plenty of speed to finish top-5 whenever he laces it up in Speedgolf competition.
#21 | Mark LeCompte (NZ)
Notes: Always in contention at the NZ Speedgolf Championships, LeCompte has two top-5 finishes to his name. Look for continued improvement in 2020 from Mark.
#20 | Ronnie Zimmerman (CHE)
Notes: A newcomer in 2019, Zimmerman has started his Speedgolf career off with a bang. Ronnie played in 2 Euro events, finishing 4th at the French Championships, and winning the inaugural Swiss National Championships in October.
#19 | Lee McCullagh (AUS)
Notes: A two-handicapper from Victoria with a 5km PB of 16 minutes, shot 80 in 47 minutes and 26 seconds in his first Speedgolf event, becoming the 2018 Aussie national champion.
#18 | Jari Pitkala (FIN)
Notes: I was only a matter of time before Pitkala hoisted a Speedgolf trophy. After a podium finish at the 2019 Finnish National Championship, Jari took home the top prize (over defending world champion Mikko Rantanen) at the season ending Tour Championship.
#17 | Andreas Finn (SWE)
Notes: Another newcomer to Speedgolf, it took no time at all for Andreas Finn to capture his first title, the 2019 Swedish Speedgolf Championships, vaulting him onto the SGPR at #17.
#16 | Eri Crum (USA)
Notes: The 2014 World Champion was absent from competition in 2019, but the strength of his past performances easily keep him inside the world's top 25. Look out for more of Crum in 2020.
#15 | Jamie Young (USA)
Notes: 2016 World Champion had 2 wins in 2017 and two 3rd place finishes. In 2018, Young performed 8 strokes better than the rest of the field, shooting 73 in one of the most impressive golf rounds in Speedgolf history at the inaugural Vegas Extreme Speedgolf Challenge at Cascata Golf Club. Always near par, a fully healthy Young is a threat to any competitive field in 2020.
#14 | Steve Vancil (USA)
Notes: Vancil loves to compete, anytime, anywhere. He won on the big stage in 2018 at the Team World Cup. Back-to-back runner ups at the '18-'19 Vegas Extreme Speedgolf Challenge, and a 3rd at the season ending 2019 Sacramento Open.
#13 | George Boxall (UK)
Notes: Runner up at the 2017 British and US national championships, and a 3rd place in the 2018 UK national championship. One of the fastest Speedgolfers on the SGPR.
#12 | Mitch Williamson (AUS)
Notes: World record holder (77 in 31) 108 in August of 2016, Mitch was back on the scene in 2019. Edged current world #1 Jamie Reid at the 2019 NSW Speedgolf Open.
#11 | Rob Hogan (IRL)
Notes: A Speedgolf legend, the only 2-time world champion, Hogan made his first appearance in 3 years at the 2019 Japan Speedgolf national championships. Rob dusted the rust off with a solid runner-up, trailing behind 6-time repeat champion Joe Matsui and ahead of former world #1 Wes Cupp.
#10 | Josh Longney (NZ)
Notes: 21 seconds (and current world #1 Jamie Reid) is all that stood between Longney and the 2018 New Zealand national championship title. With world #1 absent from the NZ field in 2019, Josh capitalized and stormed the field with a 6 shot margin of victory.
#9 | James McMaster (AUS)
Notes: After a slew of top 5 finishes, including a runner-up at the 2018 British, McMaster broke through and captured his first Speedgolf title at the inaugural ACT Speedgolf Open in 2019.
#8 | Scott Dawley (USA)
Notes: A strong finish to the 2019 season pushes Dawley back into the top 10. Runner-up at the 2019 US Champs (15 seconds behind The Hawk), Scott won the inaugural Sacramento Speedgolf Open by posted his career low Speedgolf round (73 in 45) 118.
#7 | Joe Matsui (JPN)
Notes: Matsui conquered the toughest field yet at the 2019 Japan Nationals, including Wes Cupp, James McMaster, and 2-time world champion Rob Hogan. An incredible 6-time repeat national champion, Joe prepared himself for victory with the lowest Day 2 score at the 2019 US Champs, jumping from 5th to 3rd.
#6 | Mack McLain (USA)
Notes: Former world #1, prolonged injury kept McLain from competition for most of 2018 and 2019. He eased back into competition with a top 5 at the 2019 US Champs, but it's hard to forget his dominance over the sport in 2017 and early 2018 at full health.
#5 | Wes Cupp (USA)
Notes: Former world #1, twice a champion in 2018, Cupp notched three runner-ups and placed no worse than 4th in 2020.
#4 | Jason Hawkins (USA)
Notes: A breakout year for The Hawk. 3 wins in 4 starts including the 2019 US National Championships.
#3 | Chris Benians (UK)
Notes: 2-time British National Champion, Benians finished runner up to world #1 in his only event of the 2019 season. The only active player to shoot in the 60's in official competition.
#2 | Mikko Rantanen (FIN)
Notes: The reigning Speedgolf World Champion chalked up more wins this year, finishing no worse than 3rd in 2019.
#1 | Jamie Reid (NZ)
Notes: Defended his world #1 title in 2019 with 2 wins at the British Nationals and New South Wales Open. Reid has yet to finish outside the top 2 in official competition, including 2018 Worlds where he finished runner up to Mikko Rantanen by the slimmest of margins: 1 second.
Congratulations on your top 25 world ranking!
Next up: Women's Rankings 1-10
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