PGA Tour Power Ranking: Top 25 Golfers Post-Masters Edition
The 2013 Masters Tournament ended with a dramatic playoff for the second straight year.
Now we are left with a number of questions (Fortunately, "Was Augusta National's competition committee correct in not disqualifying Tiger Woods?" isn't one of them):
Did Adam Scott's victory at Augusta—a first for an Australian in the tournament—nudge him into the rankings?
What effect did Tiger Woods's fourth-place finish have on his top position?
Where will Phil Mickelson move after his miserable play? And Hunter Mahan after his...well, worse than miserable performance?
Has Rory McIlroy earned himself a move up or down after his week at Augusta?
The answers to these questions and more in this week's edition of the power rankings!
25. Webb Simpson
Pre-Masters Rank: 19. Top 10s moved him ahead of Bubba Watson on the previous edition of this list. Simpson entered the Masters lacking momentum with a missed cut in his previous start.
Why He’s Here: Webb missed the cut at the Masters with rounds of 73 and 76, which isn't surprising given his play prior to the tournament. He had 11 bogeys over the first two rounds and seems to be heading in the wrong direction now with two missed cuts in a row.
What's Next: He will want to string together a few good finishes heading into his U.S. Open defense at Merion in a couple of months. He'll also hope that the Junglebird doesn't fly in to wreak havoc this year.
24. Graeme McDowell
Pre-Masters Rank: 18. Top-10 finishes at the WGC-Cadillac Championship, the Honda Classic and the WGC-Accenture Match Play put McDowell within the top 20 of the last edition of this list and he looked to be in good shape (his game, that is) for the Masters.
Why He's Here: GMac missed the cut at the Masters after entering the tournament with quality odds to win. However, McDowell put together two unimpressive rounds, shooting 73, 76.
What's Next: The Northern Ireland native will be in the field this week at the RBC Heritage, an event he hasn't played since 2001 when he finished tied for 61st.
23. Bubba Watson
Pre-Masters Rank: 20. Watson carded top-10 finishes at the WGC-Accenture Match Play and Hyundai Tournament of Champions prior to the Masters. He finished tied for 14th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational too—his last tuneup before heading to Augusta. He appeared to be building momentum prior to the season's first major.
Why He’s Here: The defending Masters champion never looked comfortable at Augusta this year. Maybe it was the pressure, or maybe it was a lack of momentum entering the tournament. Either way, it was an off week for Mr. Watson in his title defense. He ended the tournament with a final-round 77 to finish tied for 50th.
What's Next: Watson will not be in the field at the RBC Heritage next week. Last year, he didn't play until the end of April at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, where he finished tied for 18th. Assuming he does the same this year, he'll be hoping for a similar finish, given his flat play at Augusta.
22. Lee Westwood
Pre-Masters Rank: N/A
Why He’s Here: Westwood put together four solid rounds at Augusta National, finishing in a tie for eighth place. The No. 11 player in the world has been somewhat stagnant so far in 2013. Perhaps this could be the spark he needs.
What's Next: Now that Adam Scott has a major title, Westwood moves up the list of best non-American golfers without a major, and we'll see how this motivates him heading into the U.S. Open in June. He won't be competing in the RBC Heritage this week, so we'll have to defer judgment.
21. Jim Furyk
Pre-Masters Rank: 24. Furyk had three top-25 finishes heading into the Masters. He continues to rebound from a disappointing 2012 season. His best finish so far is third at the Valero Texas Open and he has made the cut in all of his PGA Tour starts this year
Why He’s Here: He moves up a few spots in the rankings after finishing in a tie for 25th place at the Masters. Were it not for weekend rounds of 74 and 76, Furyk could have been a contender for the green jacket and he'll be disappointed to have run out of steam too soon in a major again.
What's Next: Furyk heads immediately to the RBC Heritage in Hilton Head. This is a good move for him, as he can concentrate on a tournament this week, rather than dissect his poor weekend play at the Masters.
20. Luke Donald
Pre-Masters Rank: 23. Prior to entering the Masters, Donald just hadn't played a lot of golf. Although he had made the cut in all four of his PGA Tour starts, there just wasn't enough data to draw conclusions about the quality of his game. A fourth-place finish at the Tampa Bay Championship was a good sign, however.
Why He’s Here: Luke only broke par once at Augusta this year, but closed with a respectable even-par 72 to finish tied for 25th in the tournament. This bumps him ahead of those who missed the cut or performed atrociously in the tournament.
What's Next: Donald heads to the RBC Heritage this week, where he finished tied for 37th last year. The fact that another player has found his way off the "best player without a major victory" list will likely weigh on him, as will Adam Scott's younger age.
19. Bill Haas
Pre-Masters Rank:15. The Charlotte, N.C. native made eight-of-nine cuts on tour this year and notched a third-place finish at the Northern Trust Open prior to teeing it up at Augusta.
Why He’s Here: Although Haas played well at Augusta (finishing tied for 20th), he moves down a couple notches in the rankings as a few players have leapfrogged him (Spoiler alert: Adam Scott is one of them).
What's Next: Next on the docket for Mr. Haas is the RBC Heritage this week. His brother, Hunter Haas, will be competing for the plaid jacket (yes, that's what they give out at the Heritage) as well. It will be interesting to see if that fact compels Haas to make the cut in Hilton Head; something he couldn't manage to do there last year.
18. Hunter Mahan
Pre-Masters Rank: 9. Mahan entered the Masters looking good. He had finished better than 26th place in every tournament this year and notched a runner-up finish at the Accenture Match Play.
Why He’s Here: Heading into the Masters, Mahan's missed cut at the Valero Texas Open was rightfully a cause for concern. His play at Augusta this year was beyond awful as he shot rounds of 76 and 82. Only four players shot higher scores than Mahan at Augusta. If one week's play were enough to move a player from ninth to off the list, Hunter would have achieved the feat.
What's Next: Forget what tournament he's playing next. Hunter Mahan needs to rent a cabin in the woods and do some serious soul searching.
17. Thorbjørn Olesen
Pre-Masters Rank: 22. Before the Masters this year, Olesen played well on both the PGA and European Tours. He finished seventh at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, however poor performances heading into the Masters raised doubts about how he would fare in his maiden voyage at the tournament.
Why He’s Here: Golf fans who hadn't heard of Olesen prior to the Masters surely have now, following his T-6 finish. He managed to rebound from an opening-round 78 to play the next three rounds of the tournament at 10-under. The performance was an impressive display of both resolve and scoring ability.
What's Next: Olesen will likely resume his jet-setting ways and continue splitting his time between tours as he seeks a full-time exemption on the PGA Tour, which he seems inevitably headed for. Watch out for this golfer.
16. Frederik Jacobson
Pre-Masters Rank: 17. Entering Augusta, the Swede had only missed one cut and has three top-10 finishes. He'd only finished outside the top 20 once in his six starts prior to the Masters and maintained a sub-70 scoring average.
Why He's Here: Jacobson played reasonably well at Augusta this year, following up last year's tie for 19th with a tie for 25th place. He moves up the rankings a spot as other players have fallen back.
What's Next: In the past two years, Jacobson has moved from 111th in the OWGR to 46th as his form has clearly been improving. However, he's 38 years old and it will be interesting to see what approach the Swedish journeyman takes heading into the final leg of his career.
15. Rickie Fowler
Pre-Masters Rank: 14. Fowler finished third at the Arnold Palmer Invitational after a Sunday showdown with Tiger Woods. He'd been been consistently very good this year ahead of the Masters with three top 10s. Additionally, not shooting 80 when paired with Tiger on Sunday was a strong indication he'd improved since his showdown with Woods in 2012.
Why He’s Here: The Oklahoma State alum finished tied for 38th at the Masters, which doesn't sound terrible. However, he closed with a final-round 78, which wasn't at all impressive. Fowler moves down the list a spot this week.
What's Next: Fowler played the RBC Heritage last year and missed the cut. He's not giving it another go this year and will likely next tee it up at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans in two weeks. Rickie is only 24 and seems to be heading in the right direction, but he'll want a win sometime this year to leave no doubts about that fact.
14. Jason Day
Pre-Masters Rank: 16. Prior to the Masters, Jason Day had made the cut in all of his starts on tour this year. Additionally, he finished third at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and was looking to build on a second place finish at Augusta in 2011.
Why He’s Here: For a while, it looked like Jason Day was going to be the first Australian to wear the green jacket. However, it wasn't to be. Day bogeyed two out of the final three holes at Augusta to finish in third place, although the performance did move him up in these rankings.
What's Next: Day was once again in contention on the final day at Augusta; he has to take some encouragement from this fact. However, the poor finish will stick in his craw. He's playing at the RBC Heritage this week and it's likely he'll be motivated to rebound from his poor close to the season's first major.
13. Louis Oosthuizen
Pre-Masters Rank: 13. This year, Oooshuizen won the Volvo Golf Champions on the European Tour. On American soil, the South African finished 10th at the Shell Houston Open. Although he had missed a couple cuts on the tour this year heading into the Masters, there seemed to be little cause for concern.
Why He’s Here: However, Oosthuizen narrowly missed the cut at the Masters this year. While disappointing, it's not a great cause for concern at the moment given his strong play otherwise. The missed cut will be treated as an anomaly...for the moment.
What's Next: Last year, Louis didn't play another PGA Tour event after the Masters until the Players Championship, where he missed the cut. Assuming he does the same this year, there will be a cause for concern.
12. Charl Schwartzel
Pre-Masters Rank: 12. Before heading to Augusta this year, Schwartzel made the cut in all of his PGA Tour starts and finished in the Top 10 in his three European Tour events.
Why He’s Here: The 2011 Masters champion wasn't overly impressive in his 2013 campaign for the green jacket. However, his two-over score and tie for 25th keep him in the same spot on this ranking.
What's Next: It's unclear when the South African will tee it up again this season on the PGA Tour. He's clearly a motivated and consistent player, but it remains to be seen whether he'll take the next step and win with regularity.
11. Keegan Bradley
Pre-Masters Rank: 10. Before heading to Augusta, Bradley had made nine-of-10 cuts this year, with five Top-10 finishes. Additionally, he had finished no worse than 10th in the four tournaments he competed in before the Masters.
Why He’s Here: A third-round 82 was one of the worst performances we've seen from Mr. Bradley in his career thus far. However, he rebounded with a final-round 69. Given these extremes, he stays in roughly the same spot in the rankings.
What's Next: Keegan will have a few tournaments to regain some consistency before heading to the U.S. Open where he will surely be amongst the favorites.
10. Phil Mickelson
Pre-Masters Rank: 6. Mickelson won the Waste Management Phoenix Open and has made seven out of eight cuts in 2013, prior to the Masters. He finished third at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and seemed to be heading in the proper direction en route to Augusta.
Why He’s Here: Phil falls a couple spots down the rankings after firing 77, 73 on the weekend. He was a pre-tournament favorite for the Masters. Instead Phil and his Phrankenwood laid an egg at Augusta.
What's Next: Mickelson will take the week off and likely contemplate further equipment adjustments.
9. Dustin Johnson
Pre-Masters Rank: 7. Entering Augusta, Johnson had already won the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions this year. Also, he'd made the cut in five of the seven tournaments since. Only a handful of players have accumulated more OWGR points before the Masters than DJ this year.
Why He's Here: Johnson played pretty well at the Masters, ultimately finishing tied for 13th. However, he wasn't able to follow up an opening-round 67 and shot 76, 74 through the middle rounds of the tournament leaving doubts about whether he has what it takes to win a major at this point in his career. Accordingly, he's been usurped by a couple of players who stepped up.
What's Next: Johnson is another player who isn't playing at the RBC Heritage, which is strange and somewhat disappointing as he is an uber-Carolinian.
8. Steve Stricker
Pre-Masters Rank: 8. Stricker had three Top Fives in his four PGA Tour starts, including a second-place finish at the WGC-Cadillac Championship heading into the Masters.
Why He’s Here: Stricker remains in the same spot. A tie for 20th at the Masters with little preparation is a great indication of the quality of his game right now.
What's Next: He'll likely continue playing a reduced schedule...and continue contending in majors. What Steve Stricker is doing in 2013 is (perhaps inexplicably) working.
7. Rory McIlroy
Pre-Masters Rank: 4. Before the Masters, McIlroy closed with a 65 at the WGC-Cadillac to finish in eighth place and has made the cut in four of his five PGA Tour starts.
Why He’s Here: Rory falls a few spots in the rankings more because of the quality play of other golfers and less because of the weakness of his play. He made the cut at Augusta, flew largely under the radar and cobbled together a respectable performance. Although he fell in the rankings, Rory's Augusta performance was a net positive.
What's Next: The Ulsterman has rounded the bend in his return to form. By the end of the year, he'll likely be a favorite for the tournament he won so handily in 2012—The PGA Championship.
6. Sergio Garcia
Pre-Masters Rank: 11. Before the Masters, the most notable thing Sergio Garcia did in 2013 was hit a golf ball out of a tree.
Why He’s Here: Sergio fired his customary major-opening-round 66. He followed this with his customary major-second-round 76 but righted the ship to finish inside the top-10 for the competition. This bit of mettle propels him forward in the rankings.
What's Next: What's next for Sergio needs to be a trip to a sports psychologist to figure out how to play more consistently in majors. His opening-round was yet another in a long line of teases from the Spaniard.
5.. Justin Rose
Pre-Masters Rank: 3. Before the Masters, Rose finished second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, sneaking in behind Tiger Woods, and had made the cut in all four of his PGA Tour starts. Between his European and PGA Tour stroke-play starts in 2013 Rose has finished outside of the Top 10 only once prior to this week.
Why He's Here: Rose didn't play terribly at Augusta, ultimately finishing tied for 25th. However, as a pre-tournament favorite, he was expected to play better. He falls behind Snedeker and Scott accordingly.
What's Next: He's not playing in the RBC Heritage this week. Going forward, there's no need to circle the wagons in the Rose camp. He's still one of the best golfers on the planet right now and will likely gather momentum again heading into the season's next major.
4. Adam Scott
Pre-Masters Rank: N/A
Why He’s Here: In short, he won the Masters.
What's Next: Scott has jumpstarted both his season and his career with his first major victory. He's only in his early 30s and is remarkably fit. With the major monkey off his back, we are likely heading into the golden age of Adam Scott.
3. Brandt Snedeker
Pre-Masters Rank: 5. Before competing in the Masters, Snedeker won the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and finished second at the Waste Management Phoenix Open in 2013. He was on fire prior to his rib injury. However, he had missed the cut in his two starts since his return from that injury, which raised doubts about how he'd perform at the Masters.
Why He’s Here: There was no need for doubt as the Vanderbilt alum played fine golf at Augusta National until a final-round 75 derailed his bid for a green jacket. Even so, a top-10 finish at the Masters must move him up the list.
What's Next: He must truly be feeling better. Snedeker is competing in the RBC Heritage this week and will continue to try and pick up where he left off prior to his rib injury.
2. Matt Kuchar
Pre-Masters Rank: 2. Kuchar won at the WGC-Accenture Match Play earlier this year. In addition, prior to the Masters, he'd made the cut in all eight starts with three Top-10 finishes and tied for fifth at the Sony Open in Hawaii
Why He’s Here: He followed up a top-five finish at Augusta last year with a top-10 this year. There's no reason to drop him down this list based upon his play at the Masters.
What's Next: Kuchar is in the field for the RBC Heritage and will likely continue his run of quality play. This isn't a prediction, but a top-25 finish seems likely.
1. Tiger Woods
Pre-Masters Rank: 1. Entering Augusta, Woods was a 3/1 favorite to win the tournament. Ultimately, he would have had a great shot at his fifth green jacket had it not been for the events at the 15th hole during his second round.
Why He’s Here: Tiger still has earned more OWGR ranking points than any other player this season. He is still the top-ranked player in the world. Further, his performance this year at Augusta did much to erase the memories of his poor play at the Masters last year. Woods doesn't look any less likely to win a major in 2013 after Augusta.
What's Next: Tiger will presumably do what he usually does after the Masters: Take some time off and tee it up again at the beginning of May at the Wells Fargo Championship in Charlotte, N.C. In addition, he'll start preparing for the U.S. Open at Merion...immediately.