Sunday, 20 May 2018

Living on a prayer

As mentioned in the previous post, we're half way through with the Players Championship season, with the second half kicking off just a few minutes from now. Burton posted up the current rankings on Twitter yesterday, so what I've done is gone through my list of points per turn across the whole season (this is also including all the UK Open stuff and the European Tour), to see who's averaging in the top 64 but isn't in the top 64 of the Players Championship rankings, and conversely, who's been putting money on the board that isn't averaging that highly.

Will state now that I've excluded European Tour only players that have no tour card and haven't played anything else (although Labanauskas is the only real name that is up anywhere near the top, other than that guy that Bunting whitewashed who averaged 92), and I'm also going to exclude those players who have played quite a bit of the tour (European Tour, UK Open qualifiers) but don't have a tour card and hence can't get into the Players Championship events, or only do so infrequently - Ratajski, Harris (although he's just there now on countback, but as he's only played yesterday I'll omit him), Hughes, Boulton, Prins and Nentjes would all have been in the top 64, so I've expanded to 70 to omit them. So who's not in the top 64 but is averaging well, and why:

Raymond van Barneveld (10th on averages, 103 on rankings) - understandable as he only ever plays a limited schedule.

Jason Lowe (26th, 72nd) - he's been up high enough on the Challenge Tour rankings that he's played three and got to a semi final already, you would think he'll get more shots, especially for the last four if he can put some more bank together in the next Challenge Tour weekend (sadly it's not until September).

Joe Cullen (35th, 68th) - this is just a weird one, he's been killing it in Europe but has bricked seven out of the first eleven events. He's only won his board once, but you think that'll change soon.

Martin Schindler (38th, 78th) - he's made that one quarter final, but has too many first round defeats. He's not that far off the top 64 and you think he'll put enough runs together to get there. Maybe his travel set up isn't ideal? Unsure, he did well in the UK Open qualifiers but there's three of those in a weekend so it's slightly different.

Steve Lennon (41st, 70th) - I talked a bit about Lennon in the previous post when looking at the Matchplay race and I think the same will apply here, now he's seeded he should push on.

Luke Humphries (45th, 104th) - it's his first full season, he's probably still getting used to the senior match game. I'd expect him to rise as he gains more experience, it's not like he hasn't been qualifying for Europe.

Vincent van der Voort (49th, 81st) - think this is mostly just a bit of bad luck, as mentioned in the last post his average when losing is really close to that when winning, could perhaps use getting some explosiveness back, if he does that he could slot in a board win or a quarter final and be fine.

Ross Smith (53rd, 69th) - it's not like he's hugely outside, it's only by 500 quid. He's been around for a while and this season has had a lot of one win and done results - could easily be beating a random then losing to a seed, if he gets a shot where the draw opens up he could put together a bit more money in one go.

Paul Nicholson (54th, 80th) - started showing a bit more form yesterday, after a string of five straight defeats. He's always seemed to be a confidence player so should climb the rankings a bit going forward. As I say that, he's drawn Jason Lowe today and is on the #1 seed board...

John Goldie (56th, something really low) - completely gone off the boil after the last UK Open qualifier where he made a quarter final, only winning two games against James Richardson and Prakash Jiwa. Could he simply have been running really hot early?

Matt Edgar (57th, 65th) - only outside on countback so nothing to be concerned about I don't think.

Ritchie Edhouse (58th, 74th) - has won a board already and wins his first round game more often than not, so should keep chipping away you'd think.

Willie O'Connor (60th, 79th) - he's always had peaks and troughs, a quarter final being offset by six first round defeats.

Andrew Gilding (67th, 84th) - he's missed a couple of events which doesn't help, play those and pick up just a win in each and he's more or less where the rankings would suggest.

Dirk van Duijvenbode (69th, even lower than Goldie) - just having a horrible run. 1-11 this season. It's not like it's always good players - he's drawn Rowley, Newell, Klaasen, Green, Price, Jacques, Darren Webster (twice), Lennon and Payne. It must be a confidence or getting over the line thing.

Terry Jenkins (70th, 86th) - missed one weekend and probably still readjusting to playing the Pro Tour week in week out.

So those are the players that are outside who should be in - what about those who are in that shouldn't be? Jenkins was the last on the list that should be in with an 88.38 average, I'll list everyone's average for comparison:

Mickey Mansell (10th on PC rankings, 88.20) - not out by much at all, clearly binking one will help but he'd still be in if he didn't.

Alan Tabern (35th, 87.84) - a little purple patch as he had in March with back to back board wins will always help push you over, much as those who are averaging just over the cutoff but are out, on the other side of the coin a lot of the people who are in are just on the right side of variance at this stage and it could iron out.

Scott Taylor (36th, 85.78) - if it wasn't for that miracle final, he'd be well outside, his average isn't too great so you think he needs a bit of help or improvement to keep things going and make the final 64.

Robert Thornton (37th, 87.74) - has a bit of a discrepancy between winning and losing average, clearly a swingy player, his good stuff is just about good enough to get enough wins for now.

Jelle Klaasen (40th, 87.56) - same analysis for Thornton except it's much, much worse of a gap - he's averaging over 91 when winning, which is fine, but only 83 when losing! That's a big chunk.

Jeffrey de Graaf (43rd, 88.16) - not outside by much on the averages. Again, one where when he's playing OK it's just about good enough but seemingly turns off in a few legs, probably not making a difference in some early rounds.

Benito van de Pas (45th, 82.75) - this is the lowest average of anyone in the top 64, has crept to a couple of board finals in last leg deciders and beating up on those making up the numbers in the tour cards.

Mark Webster (49th, 85.58) - could be uptrending. The UK Open qualifiers where he only won £750 and the first seven Players Championship events where he only won a grand may be overshadowed by PC 8-10 where he went quarter final - board final - win board.

Luke Woodhouse (50th, 87.34) - a couple of good runs where you win your board really help to push you up the charts, he's got a bit of a winning-losing differential but has just about enough game to nick the wins to get in the top 64 for now.

Richie Burnett (54th, 86.87) - just doing enough to get by. We've seen recently that the game is there in pockets, combine that with a favourable draw here and there and it helps.

Alan Norris (55th, 87.28) - Norris hasn't been playing well for quite some time, he's always been a bit better on the stage but has the class to be able to win these, just creeping up to the board final enough times will not be ideal but it's got him into the top 64 at this stage.

Tytus Kanik (58th, 87.26) - has been fairly solid in terms of not losing in the opening round - with some good draws you don't necessarily need a great average to do that, and those 500 quids add up pretty rapidly.

Rowby John Rodriguez (59th, 88.06) - not going to be a big difference between his ranking in averages and ranking in money, scoring over 90 when winning will get you enough matches won. Probably.

Antonio Alcinas (62nd, 88.26) - only outside on the averages by 0.12 so nothing to see here.

Jamie Caven (63rd, 86.76) - mostly here on one good quarter final run where he got a dream draw right up until the point where he ran into Adrian Lewis. Should slip off from here I think.

Adam Hunt (64th, 87.64) - nothing really wrong here. Average isn't that far off, had a good run yesterday where he threw well, in some ways it's better to be streaky if you can hit the good stuff when the money really starts to count.

Attention back to PC12 for me now. Cullen's out first round yet again. What's going on there.

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