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I prefer to be leading…


This Sunday, three players from their respective tours were leading coming into Sunday: Pablo Larrazabal (European Tour), Patrick Reed (PGA Tour) and Michelle Wie (LPGA Tour). Yet none won. The curse of being the leader.

The leader does not always win is something so obvious that it´s not even worth mentioning. Many say it is better to come from behind as there is less pressure, and you have a clearer strategy …which is to attack. But is this true? Surely it depends on the player. Some prefer to be leaders, while others may prefer to attack from second or third position. But let’s look at the data.

We focus on the European Tour 2013/2014 for the simple fact that it is easier to check the data.

They have played 29 tournaments so far this season (counting the five tournaments that took place between November and December 2013). The analysis is as follows: we look at who was leading going in to Sunday´s play and who ended up winning the tournament. Of the 29 tournaments, we discounted the Accenture matchplay and EurAsia Cup team competition. Thus, 27 tournaments so far this season. The results are:

– Sunday leader won on 10 occasions (37.03%)

– Second position won six times (22.22%)

– Third position has won once (3.70%)

– Fourth position has won four times (14.81%)

– Fifth position has won once (3.70%)

– Sixth position has won once (3.70%)

– Seventh position has won twice (7.40)

– Eleventh position has won once (3.70%)

– Nineteenth position has won once (3.70%)

Nearly 60% of the time, the tournament winner is either leading or second coming into Sunday play. However, occasionally there is a Fabrizio Zanotti who goes from 19th place to winning on the Sunday. So, just in case you ask, I prefer to be leading. 

Traducción por Jonathan Ballantine English & Golf