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Opinion & Analysis

The Real Top 10: PGA Tour Power Rankings

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By Nick DeConti

GolfWRX Contributor

AT&T National at Congressional consisted of stories of the normal and abnormal flavors. While the course was torn up with century-old trees crashing down, and for the first time I can remember, spectators weren’t allowed on the course, we witnessed an outcome that can give us “normal” feelings from the past. Tiger Woods has now won three tournaments this year, and two this month. With this win, he has surpassed Jack Nicklaus for second all-time in career wins with 74. He only trails Sam Snead now, who has 82 career wins, a milestone Tiger certainly has in his sights. That’s not the only one though.

Of course Tiger will want to hold the record for most majors won in a career, which he may or may not do, but the one that is closer to being achieved, and could be done this week at the Greenbrier, is hitting the mark of $100 million in career earnings on tour. This is a tremendous milestone that I’m sure nobody even thinks of achieving when they step out on the PGA Tour for their first tournament. Except for Tiger, maybe.

The Greenbrier Classic will showcase a solid field that has five of my top-10 in the power rankings playing this week. Speaking of power rankings, here they are!

1.     Tiger Woods (last week: 7)

(See above).  The only player with three wins this season, with two in the last month, deserves no other spot on this list than the summit. The world will be excited to see how he finishes in his first start at The Old White, good or bad. There’s a possible Comeback POTY award in his future.

2.     Jason Dufner (LW: 1)

Dufner is still the most consistent player on tour, but he hasn’t played in a tournament since the Crowne Plaza (2nd) in late May. Maybe he’s gearing up for Lytham, but he needs some competitive golf under his belt before then. Hopefully the lack of competition doesn’t break up the tremendous season he’s had so far. Dufner is inactive again this week.

3.     Webb Simpson (LW: 2)

The U.S. Open champion will be in the field at the Greenbrier this week, a tournament that he co-led going into the weekend last year, and playing better golf now than he did last year. He could certainly be a contender to win this week in Sulphur Springs.

4.     Hunter Mahan (LW: 6)

Hunter picked up his fourth top-10 finish this season at Congressional, and has been playing solid golf over the past month with an average finish of 19th. You can always find Hunter near or at the top of the leaderboard every weekend.

5.     Matt Kuchar (LW: 3)

Mr. Consistent didn’t play at Congressional last week, but with a tie for 8th at the Travelers, he still finds himself on this list. He won’t be at The Greenbrier this week, and will continue to drop in the rankings if he doesn’t play, though he definitely deserves to be here.

6.     Marc Leishman (LW: 8 )

The 2009 Rookie of the Year winner moved up this week in the rankings without playing, due to the inactivity of the rest of the leaderboard, and riding his recent win. He is in the field this week at The Greenbrier, and will most likely need a good finish to stay here.

7.     Jim Furyk (LW: 4)

Jim had a T34 finish at AT&T National last week, but has been playing very solid golf lately. He should do well this week, and a good finish for him could keep his recently gained momentum moving in the right direction.

8.     Bo Van Pelt (LW: NR)

BVP found his way into the Top 10 this week by having a good week at Congressional, getting into a boxing match with Tiger Woods where he slipped up late and settled for a second-place finish. He has six top-10s this year and has been in the to-25 in five of his last six tournaments.

9.     Rickie Fowler (LW: 5)

There’s no doubt that Rickie has the talent to be on this list, and he really found his form in May. His last two tournaments have been less than stellar, and he will not be in the field this week. Although he will most likely find himself off of this list next week, he can easily make his way back on.

10.  Seung-Yul Noh (LW: NR)

This 21-year-old has been playing outstanding golf lately and by picking up two top-10s in three weeks with a career-best T4 at Congressional. The momentum that he’s been carrying over these last few weeks can certainly give him an opportunity for a repeat of his finish at the AT&T National.

Click here for more discussion in the “Tour talk” forum.

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GolfWRX is the world's largest and best online golf community. Expert editorial reviews, breaking golf tour and industry news, what to play, how to play and where to play. GolfWRX surrounds consumers throughout the buying, learning and enrichment process from original photographic and video content, to peer to peer advice and camaraderie, to technical how-tos, and more. As the largest online golf community we continue to protect the purity of our members opinions and the platform to voice them. We want to protect the interests of golfers by providing an unbiased platform to feel proud to contribute to for years to come. You can follow GolfWRX on Twitter @GolfWRX and on Facebook.

2 Comments

2 Comments

  1. Dufner

    Jul 7, 2012 at 3:37 am

    So I assume my tie for 4th at the US Open dosen’t count in the power rankings a I have not played since May? Pretty sure the Open was in June.

    Jason–

  2. WoodKarina

    Jul 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm

    as Lee answered I am startled that any one can get paid $7936 in four weeks on the computer. did you see this page(Click on menu Home more information) http://goo.gl/I8ExJ

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Opinion & Analysis

Fantasy Preview: 2018 Zurich Classic of New Orleans

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Just as in 2017, the Zurich Classic of New Orleans will once again provide a change in format for the players this week. Players will team up once more at TPC Louisiana for a combination of Best Ball (Rounds 1 and 3) and Alternate Shot (Rounds 2 and 4). Unfortunately, the change in format means that there is no DraftKings this week.

The course is long at over 7,400 yards, but it’s also very generous off the tee. TPC Louisiana offers the opportunity to go low, and players took advantage last year despite the inclement weather conditions. It took a Monday playoff to separate them, but eventually Cameron Smith and Jonas Blixt pipped Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown by making birdie on the fourth playoff hole to take the title after both teams had posted 27-under par in regulation.

Selected Tournament Odds (via Bet365)

  • Justin Rose/Henrik Stenson 7/1
  • Patrick Reed/Patrick Cantlay 12/1
  • Justin Thomas/Bud Cauley 14/1
  • Bubba Watson/Matt Kuchar 14/1
  • Jordan Spieth/Ryan Palmer 14/1
  • Jon Rahm/Wesley Bryan 16/1
  • Rafa Cabrera Bello/Sergio Garcia 22/1

For the first time, Bubba Watson and Matt Kuchar (14/1) will team up for this event. Last year, Watson played alongside J.B Holmes. The two performed well, finishing in a tie for fifth place. TPC Louisiana has been a course that has suited Watson’s game over the years, his prodigious length being a significant factor. Along with his T-5 in 2017, Watson has a victory and three other top-20 finishes at the course when the event was an individual stroke-play tournament.

While Watson can be feast or famine at times, Kuchar is Mr. Consistent. He hasn’t missed a cut in over a year, and he has been a top-10 machine over the past few years on the PGA Tour. Despite this, Kuchar hasn’t been able to convert many of his top-10 finishes into wins, but playing alongside Watson this week — who has already notched two victories in 2018 — may help his cause. Over their last 24 rounds, Watson ranks third for Strokes Gained-Off the Tee and eighth in Strokes Gained Total. Over the same period, Kuchar has been predictably consistent, ranking in the top third in the field in every major Strokes Gained category. It’s an intriguing partnership, with Watson’s explosiveness combined with Kuchar’s consistency, and it’s a cocktail that should prove to be a formidable force at TPC Louisiana.

Two men with the hot hand coming into this event are fellow Americans, Jimmy Walker and Sean O’Hair (25/1). Last week at the Valero Texas Open both men excelled, posting the highest finishes of their year thus far. Walker finished solo 4th, while O’Hair grabbed a T-2. It’s the pairs first time playing TPC Louisiana together, but Walker has some good course form to lean on. Back in 2012 and 2013, he posted back-to-back top-20 finishes, which shows that TPC Louisiana is a course that fits his game. Accuracy off the tee has never been Walker’s strength, but the generous fairways may be one of the reasons that he has performed well at this course.

O’Hair has been in good form as of late. The Texan has three top-15 finishes in his last six events, and last week he recorded his highest Strokes Gained Total at an event in years. Walker also seems to have turned a corner with his game. Along with his excellent performance last week, he managed a top-20 finish at the Masters, and his Strokes Gained-Total at the Valero was his highest since his 2016 PGA Championship victory. With both men coming off their best performances in a long time, they should be confident. The duo looks to be a decent value to mount a challenge this week.

Last year’s runners-up Kevin Kisner and Scott Brown (40/1) are hard to ignore at their price this week. Brown has struggled mightily for form in 2018, missing six cuts out of 11 events played so far this year, but the prospect of playing alongside Kisner may be the boost that Brown’s 2018 is needing.

Kisner’s form has been strong as of late. He backed up his runner-up finish at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play with a T-28 at Augusta before grabbing a T-7 at the RBC Heritage. At Harbour Town, Kisner’s iron play was especially sharp, with his Strokes Gained-Approaching the Greens total being the highest since the Memorial last year. Despite Brown’s slump, in a highly tricky format to predict, the pair showed enough chemistry last year and an ability to excel in the format, which is enough for me to consider their price a little undervalued this week.

Recommended Plays

  • Bubba Watson/Matt Kuchar 14/1
  • Jimmy Walker/Sean O’Hair 25/1
  • Kevin Kisner/Scott Brown 40/1
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Podcasts

Gear Dive: Legendary club builder Larry Bobka speaks on Tiger’s old Titleist irons

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Legendary club builder Larry Bobka joins us in the first episode of our new podcast called “Gear Dive,” hosted by Johnny Wunder, GolfWRX’s Director of Original Content. Gear Dive is a deep look into the world of golf equipment, and Wunder will be interviewing the craftsman, the reps and the players behind the tools that make up the bags of the best golfers in the world.

Bobka, our first guest, is a former Tour rep and club builder involved in some of the most important clubs of the past 25 years. From his days at Wilson Golf working with legends such as Payne Stewart, Hale Irwin and Bernhard Langer, he transitioned into the Golden Age of Titleist/Acushnet building clubs for Tiger Woods, Davis Love, David Duval and Brad Faxon. He currently runs Argolf where he builds and fits handmade putters for Tour players and amateurs alike. He’s one of the Godfather’s of modern golf equipment.

Skip to 45:30 for the discussion about Tiger’s Titleist irons.

Check out our podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

What do you think of the new podcast? Leave your feedback in the comments below!

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Podcasts

Gary Player joins our 19th Hole podcast, talks past and future of golf

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Hall-of-Famer and career Grand Slam winner Gary Player joins host Michael Williams for an exclusive one-on-one interview at the Bass Pro Shops Legends of Golf tournament and Big Cedar Lodge in Branson, Missouri. Player talks about the past and future of the game, including his take on everything from reigning in the golf ball and golf courses, to advocating for more testing for performance enhancing drugs on the Tour. Steve Friedlander of Big Cedar Lodge also appears.

Listen to the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes!

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