PGA Tour's Hottest and Coldest Golfers Heading into Week of March 19
Despite a host of the world's top golfers skipping last week's Tampa Bay Championship, we still had plenty of notable players reinforcing a hot or cold streak.
The Innisbrook course was offering up a stiff challenge to the pros, and that certainly helped us separate some of the golfers whose game is flowing confidently from those who are just patching it together.
With the Masters now less than a month away, it is the perfect time to tune into these kinds of streaks, as all these guys get their best game ready for the year's first major.
Cold No. 3: Ryan Moore
After joining the PGA Tour in 2005 following one of the best amateur careers we have ever seen, Ryan Moore carried big expectations.
While his two career wins and 36 top-tens are nothing to sneeze at, it hasn't exactly been the kind of career most have envisioned for Moore.
During his career, he has often given the sense that he is on the verge of putting it all together. However, that is far from the case now, as he is moving in the wrong direction completely.
In Tampa, Moore missed the cut while finishing 144th at 10-over with rounds of 78 and 74. This was not just a bad week for Moore—it was the continuation of a trend.
The missed cut was his second of the year, and it came on the heels of a 53rd-place finish the week before in the Cadillac Championship.
So in the last two weeks, not counting the two players whom withdrew from the events, Moore has only finished ahead of a combined 14 golfers.
Hot No. 3: Boo Weekley
Boo Weekley stormed up the Tampa Bay leaderboard with a spectacular 63 on Sunday. The way the Innisbrook course was playing, it didn't even seem like a 63 was possible.
That round propelled him to a second-place finish, which is his highest finish in a Tour event since 2008.
While his stunning low round couldn't have been expected, his success could have been. Weekley already has two top-ten finishes this season, which is only one less than he had all of last season.
His other top-ten finish came the week before, when he tied for eighth in the Puerto Rico Open, and that followed a solid 25th-place finish the previous week at the Honda.
At the heart of Weekley's resurgence is great iron play.
He has been solid off the tee (40th in driving accuracy) which has really allowed him to let his irons shine. He has hit an impressive 72 percent of his greens in regulation, which is the seventh-best mark on the Tour.
Weekley looks comfortable and confident. He could be in the midst of a career-defining year.
Cold No. 2: Martin Kaymer
There has never been a person to pick up a golf club who is immune to slumps.
However, this kind of slump for former world-No. 1 Martin Kaymer didn't seem possible when he captured that top ranking as a 26-year-old in 2011.
Kaymer was awful this past week while missing the cut and finishing in 132nd place after rounds of 74 and 76. That followed his 49th-place finish at Doral, where three of his rounds were a 73 or worse.
The missed cut in Tampa was his second in his last five events.
At the root of the problem for Kaymer is a lack of control...with everything. He is 160th in driving accuracy, 166th in greens-in-regulation percentage and 141st in strokes gained putting.
Kaymer has a lot of work to do just to come close to resembling the player who once dominated.
Hot No. 2: Jordan Spieth
It has been a whirlwind two weeks for 19-year-old Jordan Spieth.
He finished in second at the Puerto Rico Open and followed that up by tying for seventh last week in Tampa.
This was good enough to earn Spieth special temporary status for the season, which means he can receive unlimited sponsor exemptions.
While it would have been foolish to expect this kind of instant success for the youngster, it hasn't exactly come out of nowhere. Other than Tiger Woods, Spieth is the only multiple winner of the US Junior Amateur.
He also made the cut in his first PGA event, the 2010 Byron Nelson Championship, and that made him the sixth-youngest golfer to make a cut in a PGA event.
Expectations are quickly climbing through the roof for this talented youngster.
Cold No. 1: Zach Johnson
With his performance this past week in Tampa, Zach Johnson is on the verge of moving off of the cold list—but not for any positive reasons.
This nine-time Tour winner has been so bad this year, things are about to transition from a cold streak to just a permanent state of golf disarray.
Johnson fired a 153 with rounds of 77 and 76 this past week in Tampa, missing the cut, and only finished ahead of three golfers who completed at least two rounds.
That means Johnson has now missed the cut in three of his six PGA stroke-play events.
His highest finish this season was an 18th-place showing in his first tournament of the year. Since, it has been all downhill, and he is offering nothing to show that he can reverse this trend.
Hot No. 1: Tiger Woods
Tiger Woods was idle this past weekend, but nothing transpired to suggest he isn't still the Tour's hottest hand.
Tiger has won two of the three PGA stroke-play events he's played in this year.
This isn't to suggest it has been all roses for Tiger. He has struggled with his driving accuracy. He is just 127th on the Tour with a driving accuracy of 56.6 percent.
This largely led to his disappointing 37th-place finish at the Honda Classic. In that tournament, the tight fairways were made even more hazardous by swirling winds.
However, Tiger is making up for this with great iron play, spectacular distance control and excellent work with the putter.
Leading up to the Masters, Tiger will play at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the two-day Tavistock Cup.
So he should be able to keep his game rolling, and if he manages to straighten out his drives a bit, we may as well just hand him the 2013 Green Jacket.
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