From The Inbox

World ranking should emphasize play in recent months

Make the past 3-6 months matter more than results from 2 years ago

The approach to calculating the world ranking generally is OK. However, some adjustments could make it better (“Hawk & Rude Episode 84: Rating the world ranking,” Nov. 12).

First, the point decay over two years seems too gradual. Too much weight is given to past performance versus recent performance. I would steepen the decay factor to make the most recent 3-6 months matter much more. This would cause the ranking to be more volatile but also would more accurately match fan perception.

As an example, Tiger Woods earned 100 points for winning the Masters. He still gets credit for 80 of those points seven months later. If, instead, the points decayed to 50 after six months and similarly his victory at the Tour Championship were worth 15 points rather than 30 points now, then he probably would fall outside of the top 10.

Intuitively, that seems right to me. This would have to be applied to everyone, of course, so it’s hard to say where he would end up, but clearly recent performance would drive the ranking.

Second, I would consider giving greater relative value to wins versus other high finishes. This would reduce the “Webb Simpson effect.” Great, consistent play still should matter a lot, but wins are special and should receive more relative value.

Again, I think this would better align the ranking with fan perception.

I enjoy listening to the Hawk & Rude podcasts and always learn something new. Keep up the good work.

Eric Wentzel
Hoboken, N.J.

Flagstick rule increases confusion, slows game
This new Rule 13.2a actually is slowing down the game (“Flagstick in or out? Hawk & Rude jostle for pole position,” Nov. 14).

One or two guys in your foursome want it in, and the others want it out, so you end up having to replace the flag between putts. Ugh! The flag should be allowed in the hole only on long putts of 20 feet or more.

Neither John Hawkins nor Jeff Rude discussed this aspect.

Do you play? C’mon, help get the word out.

Bryan Orr
Arlington, Va.

Turn off the Tiger talk
The closer that we get to the Presidents Cup, the more I hear that golfers aren't going to watch. Some even said that they will root against the U.S. because Tiger Woods is playing and they hope that he gets crushed when he plays.

No one is blind to his exploits, but it’s the constant Tiger talk that people are tired of.

Alan Pollack
Maplewood, N.J.

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