On Wednesday, I profiled the winning score at every US Open ever. Now I wanted to look at average world ranking of the winner for the past 20 years.
To me the US Open is a big boy tournament. That is, I went into this little exercise thinking I wouldn't find many golfers outside the world top 25 who have won the event.
I was sort of right (the median is quite low) but also sort of wrong (the mean is higher than I thought it would be).
Here's a look at the world ranking of the past 20 US Open winners (should be noted that I took the ranking from after the most recent tournament each golfer played before the US Open):
I couldn't find an official Payne Stewart number but based on context clues I estimated him at around No. 15 in the world at the time he won in 1999.
The outliers were few but interesting to look at, nonetheless.
Graeme McDowell: No. 36 (2010)
Lucas Glover: No. 72 (2009)
Angel Cabrera: No. 39 (2007)
Michael Campbell: No. 80 (2005)
Retief Goosen: No. 44 (2001)
Lee Janzen: No. 39 (1998)
Steve Jones: No. 99 (1996)
For those of you more math-oriented, here are your figures.
Mean: No. 25.8
Median: No. 12
Mode: No. 1
Obviously Jones and Campbell are bringing that mean up quite a bit but the median is about what I expected. The best golfers in the world win the best tournaments.
Strangely, the second-most common ranking to win the US Open (behind No. 1) was No. 39. That's tremendous news for Rickie Fowler (currently ranked No. 39).