The 2017 World Title Showdown Is Tighter Than You Think
Thursday, October 26, 2017
With Gabriel Medina's incredible sweep of the European leg, the 2017 World Title race is now going down to the wire. The Billabong Pipe Masters will be a showdown between four very viable World Title contenders, with Jeep Leader John John Florence having a slight edge over the rest of the field heading into the event. Below is a breakdown of what happens based on Florence's performance this year at Pipe.
Who Needs What to Win
1. If John John makes the Final of the Billabong Pipe Masters he wins the 2017 World Title.
2. If John John gets 3rd or 5th place, Gabriel Medina can win the World Title with a win at the event.
3. If John John gets 9th, Medina needs at least a Finals appearance. Jordy Smith would have to win the event to clinch.
4. If John John gets 13th or 25th, Medina will need at least a 5th to clinch, Smith at least 2nd and Julian a win.
Of course, when digesting the scenarios required it helps to understand how the current crop of World Title contenders have performed at Pipe. This is where the story gets even more interesting. Behold, the breakdown.
Contenders History of Billabong Pipe Masters Results 2011 - 2016
John John Florence: 5th, 13th, 2nd, 5th, 9th, 5th
Gabriel Medina: 5th, 9th, 13th, 2nd, 2nd, 13th
Jordy Smith: 13th, 13th, INJ, 25th, 13th, 5th
Julian Wilson: 13th, 13th, 5th, 1st, 13th, 13th
Victories 2011 - 2016
Julian Wilson: 1
Final Appearances 2011 - 2016
John John Florence: 1
Julian Wilson: 1
Semifinal Appearances 2011 - 2016
Quarterfinal Appearances 2011 - 2016
As you can see, while Medina's never won the Pipeline Masters, he's no stranger to solid results in Hawaii. Surprisingly, Florence has yet to win the big one at Pipe, too. Expectations remain high for Florence, being that this is literally his backyard. Wilson, while a long shot, is the only contender who's won the event, but he'll need to do it again to have a chance at the Title. Meanwhile, Smith will clearly have to raise his game at Pipe to have a shot.
The Billabong Pipe Masters waiting period opens Dec. 8 and closes Dec. 20.