2002: Amateur - Golfweek to debut men’s senior rankings

Who will be the best senior male amateur golfer in 2002 and each year to follow?

Golfweek plans to determine that with the introduction of the Golfweek/Titleist Men’s Senior Amateur Rankings.

Using a system similar to that of the Golfweek/Titleist Amateur Rankings, which have been in existence for 15 years, the senior rankings are based on points earned through finishes in designated tournaments.

To be eligible, players must be 55 or older. The tournaments on the points list include 24 senior amateur events with a minimum age of 55. In addition, there are a number of special events in which players can earn bonus points. The player with the highest points total at the end of the year will be honored as Golfweek’s National Senior Amateur Player of the Year.

“I’m very enthusiastic about these rankings,” said John Harrigan, executive director of The Society of Seniors. “I’m a big supporter of a ranking system and feel this will be a very good thing. I think you’ll be amazed at the response and interest you will get.”

Added Fred Silver, tournament director for the senior division of the Porter Cup: “I think this is a wonderful endeavor, and I’m sure they will be a hot topic of discussion around the cocktail table. I applaud Golfweek for its efforts in making this come about. I’m quite confident the senior players will really get into it.”

The top senior amateur event, which awards 100 points to the champion, is the U.S. Senior Amateur. In this event, points also are awarded for runner-up down to those winning at least one match.

The next tier gives out 75 points to the winner and goes down to the final 16 (match play) or top 15 (stroke play). This tier includes the British Senior Amateur and The Dale Morey Society of Seniors Championship, set to be held Nov. 4-7 at Quail Ridge Country Club in Boynton Beach, Fla.

The other two categories award 50 and 25 points, respectively, to the winners, with top 10 finishers – or quarterfinalists in match play – also earning points.

Bonus points can be earned by high finishes and/or even qualifying for such events as the U.S. Senior Open and British Senior Open, U.S. Amateur and British Amateur, U.S. Mid-Amateur and U.S. Amateur Public Links.

“These senior rankings are something we at Golfweek have looked at and talked about for a few years,” said Golfweek publisher Jim Nugent. “I’m happy we are now getting them off the ground.

“There are a large number of talented players out there 55 and over, and there’s never really been a definitive system to rank them, especially on a week-to-week basis. Now there is. We’re very excited about these rankings and feel confident they will generate a great deal of interest and, in the end, determine the best senior amateur for the year.”

As it does with its amateur rankings, Golfweek annually will evaluate the points breakdown and make changes if needed, whether it be moving tournaments up or down or adding events to the list. Tournament tradition, operation, course and strength of field are the main considerations, with strength of field carrying the most weight.

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