You can't win during the opening round, but you do have stay close
August 31, 2023 by Darren LeMay in Analysis with 0 comments
Over the last 14 MPO World Championships (2008-2022), the eventual winner has always been within four strokes of the lead after round one1. This holds true even with the split groups playing separate courses in recent years. After yesterday’s opening round, which was completed this morning, the top 20 all sat within four strokes and look to remain alive for the win. If we remove the players from group B that played the seemingly easier course (Fox Run Meadows), we have only 16 players left with a chance at a world title.
Obviously all players will still fight for the win and it’s still anyone’s game. Like they say…..literally everyone…“there’s a lot of golf left.”
With 72 holes remaining, the old adage is obviously true. That said, history is in the side of these 16 gentlemen:
Chris Clemons (-12)
James Proctor (-10)
Anthony Barela (-10)
Isaac Robinson (-9)
Jesse Nieminen (-9)
Zach Arlinghaus (-9)
Cole Redalen (-9)
Gavin Babcock (-9)
Alden Harris (-9)
Jakub Semerád (-8)
Matt Orum (-8)
Nathan Queen (-8)
Joel Freeman (-8)
Clint Calvin (-8)
Joseph Anderson (-8)
Paul Krans (-8)
The players from Group B:
Nick Hanson (-10)
Raven Newsom (-9)
Jaden Rye (-9)
Randon Latta (-8)
Matthew Thompson (-8)
These names almost ensure us a first time World Champion and a “non-favorite” winner of the 2023 World Championship.
Isaac Robinson would likely be the favorite of the list, as the only player with a victory at a Major (2023 PDGA Champions Cup).
Bonus fact: Only two of the last 12 champions were actually leading after round one (Paul McBeth 2013 and Ricky Wysocki 2016).
What needs to happen in round 2 for one of the contenders to be on the right side of history?
With having to wait for completion of round one, there is a good chance you are reading this after round two is complete.
After two rounds in each of the last seven world championships, the eventual winner was in the top four and on the lead card for the third round! So, history tells us that after round two, the pool of potential winners is whittled down to only four names.
Furthermore, in three of the last five years, the eventual winner shot the hot round in the entire field for round two.
Bonus fact: In 2016, Ricky Wysocki shot consecutive hot rounds in each of the first two rounds, becoming the only player to do that in the last 20 years. He then did it again in round three!
in 2007, eventual winner Nate Doss was five shots back after the first round ↩