Sunday, July 30, 2017

amazing grace how sweet the round

Well, it had to happen sometime, and sure enough it eventually did on the Saturday of the Open Championship at Royal Birkdale when Branden Grace shot a round of 62, thereby expunging the long list of 63s from the history books.

In a way there's a pang of disappointment as the 31-strong list provided some nice analysable data for the stats geek, whereas a 1-item list doesn't. But the relentless march of progress sweeps on and we all have to adapt to it.

Note that just as the old list yielded a 24-7 split in favour of shooting a 63 and not winning the tournament, so the 62 list currently stands at 1-0 in favour of not winning. The old 63 list, now frozen in time for ever, can be found here. Here's the miniature table of (men's) major 62s that results from Grace's round:

Branden GraceOpen2017thirdtied 6thJordan Spieth

One of the things that Grace's round does is instantly render all future major 63s frankly meh-worthy and insignificant, just as Johnny Miller's 63 at Oakmont in 1973 did for all subsequent 64s. So poor old Li Haotong who shot 63 the very next day may as well not have bothered, frankly; well, apart from the colossal amount of prize money it will have earned him anyway.

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