A data perspective on the 2023 AIG Women's British Open

Words by
Dan Davies
A data perspective on the 2023 AIG Women's British Open

Since 2017, the 29 women’s major championships that have been contested have produced 26 different winners. If ever a statistic underlined the current strength in depth of the women’s game, this is surely it.

Having such a wealth of talent to pick from makes it difficult to select a likely winner at the final major of the season, the AIG Women’s British Open at Walton Heath. However, we have run a Clippd data experiment to see if we can identify some likely candidates

Using Clippd’s Importance to Scoring methodology, we have been able to establish which areas of the game have the greatest impact on result. For example, in the 2022 AIG Women’s Open at Muirfield, a player’s putting performance during the tournament was more important in impacting their final score than at a standard LPGA event. It was considerably more important than the average for women’s majors.

We’ve also looked at a player’s profile, in other words the profile of their game coming into a tournament, to see how important it is to their final scoring. We could see, for example, that a player’s Off The Tee skill level coming into the 2022 AIG Women’s British Open had little impact on how they performed, whereas putting was a much more significant indicator of how well they played. In women’s majors, a player’s approach play is more important than in a regular LPGA events. 

To determine a player’s skill level, we use a 20-round moving average of Shot Quality numbers. Then, to determine the total Average Shot Quality rankings we created a weighted average based on the Importance to Scoring of different parts of the game for male players competing in the 2018 British Masters, the last professional tournament to be staged on the composite course at Walton Heath. 

These numbers are an estimate based on all the data available.

The figures above underline just how close the top-10 players are. In fact, there is a 1.4 difference in Average Shot Quality between the top player Minjee Lee and Linn Grant in 10th over the last 20 rounds.

To determine who is trending, we look at how much a player’s average Shot Quality has changed over the last eight and 12 rounds. 

Here are the 10 players in the top 40 according to our own rankings who are trending in a combination of approach and putting, the two most important categories we have identified for the AIG Women’s British Open. 

Whatever the outcome, it promises to be a superb week at Walton Heath!