Australians at the Majors

Was 2008 the worst in Australian sporting history? Does that mean it was the worst in Australian golfing history?

As the calendar went from 2008 to 2009 the lists begun. Best songs of 2008, best movies of 2008, best sporting moments and so on. Best sporting moments of 2008, best golf moments of 2008, golf predictions for 2009 and so on. It almost got a little too much but I read this article in the Sydney Morning Herald by Jacquelin Magnay where she questioned whether 2008 was the worst year in Australian sporting history.

In arguably the most sports crazy nation on earth, this is cause for grave concern. Nevermind the financial crisis, there should be handout’s to every sporting body in the great south land immediately! And she has a makes a good argument. The Rugby World Cup and International Rules Series losses were more of a debacle than the concepts themselves, the Wallabies lost the important games, the netballers lost to NZ a few times and we ended up south of Great Britain on the Olympic Medal tally. Apparently our squash players lost to Egypt for the first time in 30 years, the cricket team had a year to forget and let’s not mention the tennis.

The Socceroos floated along without any problems but in my opinion it was two second place getters which were highlights of the year, Cadel Evans and the walking second place getter, Greg Norman. When Australian sport has a year when two second place getters were highlights, well, it highlights a problem.

Jacquelin wrote:

“Best forgotten are the Australian efforts in the tennis grand slams and Federation and Davis cups. Ditto the golf majors.”

So Greg Norman’s British Open performance was great but were we really that bad in the majors last year? It got me thinking, can we measure the Australian’s performances at last years majors and compare them against other years?

Aussie Golfer decided to give it a go.

Here’s my method. I assigned points to players finishing in the Top 30 of a major back to 2000.

1st = 20 points
2nd – 5th = 10
6th – 10th = 5
11th – 15th = 4
16th – 20th = 3
21st – 25th = 2
26th – 30th = 1

The system is debatable. Is winning a major twice as good as finishing 2nd? Is finishing Top 5 twice as good as finishing Top 10? Maybe you should get something for making the cut? Lastly, I’m not considering the amount of Australian golfers managing to qualify for the tournaments which is definitely increasing. All I’m interested in here is whether we can determine if 2008 was bad and perhaps whether watching the majors today is as good as anytime to see Australian success?

Anyway, that was my method. The results? I’ll tell you tomorrow.

Related Stories
Australians at the Majors: An Introduction
Australians at the Majors: The Analysis
Australians at the Majors: The Tournaments
Australians at the Majors: The Best Players

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