Ranking the 10 Most Impressive Performances of 2013 PGA Tour Season

Fred Altvater@@tolohgolfrContributor IISeptember 23, 2013

Ranking the 10 Most Impressive Performances of 2013 PGA Tour Season

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    The 2013 PGA Tour season came to an end with Henrik Stenson winning the Tour Championship and the FedEx Cup. 

    2013 also saw some other phenomenal performances. Tiger Woods won five titles. Adam Scott, Jason Dufner and Justin Rose won major championships.

    Phil Mickelson won a major and two other events. Steve Stricker played part-time and finished No. 3 in the FedEx Cup.

    Here is a ranking of the "10 Most Impressive" performances of 2013.

10. Matt Kuchar Completes Another Consistent Year

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    Matt Kuchar has been one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour for several years.

    He did not miss a cut in 23 starts this season and posted 15 top-25 finishes.

    He won two big events in 2013. The WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in February and the Memorial Tournament in June. 

    Kuchar was impressive winning $5.6 million and finishing No. 2 on the regular season FedEx Cup points list.  



9. Brandt Snedeker Has Another Strong Year

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    Brandt Snedeker proved winning the 2012 FedEx Cup was not a fluke and that he is one of the premier players on the PGA Tour.

    After finishing runner-up to Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines and Phil Mickelson in Phoenix, he won the AT&T National Pro-Am at Pebble Beach.

    He had a total of nine top-10 finishes and finished the regular season ranked third in the FedEx Cup rankings.

    Snedeker was forced to miss several weeks due to a rib injury, but came back to win the RBC Canadian Open in July.

    He became the first player to even qualify for the Tour Championship the year after winning the FedEx Cup.

    Snedeker continues to impress golf fans with his steady play and quick putting stroke.


8. Jason Dufner Won the PGA Championship

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    Jason Dufner had a phenomenal year in 2012 with a runner-up and two wins.

    He was having a lackluster season this year until he finished T-4 at the WGC-Bridgestone and then won the PGA Championship at Oak Hill.

    He put on an impressive ball striking clinic and led the field in proximity to the hole statistics in Rochester.

    His win at the PGA Championship was a redemption of sorts. He blew a five-shot lead in the 2011 PGA Championship that was won by Keegan Bradley.


7. Justin Rose Won the U.S. Open

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    Justin Rose has steadily risen through the ranks of the PGA Tour.

    He is No. 5 in the Official World Golf Rankings and finished the regular season at No. 7 in the FedEx Cup rankings.

    He had been a member of the "best player yet to win a major" list until his impressive win at the 2013 U.S. Open.

    Coming down the stretch in the final round on Sunday, he showed no fear and hit a nearly perfect shot to the green at the 72nd hole to guarantee par.

    He posted his 11-under par early and watched the leaders fail to catch him.

    In addition to his major triumph, Rose finished runner-up to Tiger Woods at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and had seven top-10 finishes for the year. 


6. Adam Scott Wins a Green Jacket

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    Adam Scott's win at the 2011 WGC-Bridgestone brought him back to elite status in the golf world.

    After a so-so 2012, Scott had his best year ever in 2013. 

    Two third-place finishes and two wins this year, including a major win at the 2013 Masters, has moved Scott to No. 2 in the world.

    The impressive showdown at the end of regulation play and again in the playoff with Angel Cabrera at Augusta National will go down as one of the great finishes in Masters history.

    He added another win in the FedEx Cup playoffs at The Barclays and finished with nearly $5 million in earnings.

5. Steve Stricker Finished No. 3 in the FedEx Cup Playoffs

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    Steve Stricker announced at the beginning of the year that he would play a limited schedule this season.

    Semi-retirement did not hurt Stricker's game.

    Playing in only 10 regular PGA Tour tournaments throughout the year, he had two runners-up and five top-10 finishes.

    He won nearly $2.5 million and finished the regular season No. 20 in the FedEx Cup standings.

    In just three FedEx Cup playoff events, he finished runner-up at the Deutsche Bank, tied for fourth at the BMW Championship and another runner-up to Henrik Stenson at the Tour Championship.

    He decided to cancel an elk hunting trip with his buddies, won $1.9 million in the playoffs and finished No. 3 in the FedEx Cup playoff standings.

    Only Stenson and Tiger Woods finished ahead of Stricker.

    Guess he can just buy a herd of elk.

    His results this year were truly impressive and will have more veterans revising their schedules for 2014.


4. Phil Mickelson Captures a Claret Jug

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    Phil Mickelson is 43 years old and battles a rheumatic condition that could affect his practice and playing time, but still managed to play in 21 PGA Tour events this season.

    An impressive accomplishment and deserving of an award by itself.

    Mickelson had a phenomenal record this year. In addition to winning the Open Championship at Muirfield Golf Links, he won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in February.

    Throw in two runners-up and two third-place finishes on the PGA Tour, plus a win at the European Tour's Scottish Open and it is one of his best year's ever.

    Oh, by the way, one of his runners-up came at the U.S. Open at Merion. It was his sixth career second place finish in that event. The U.S. Open is now the only major championship that Mickelson has not won.

    Golf fans witnessed a truly impressive year from Mickelson. 

3. Tiger Woods Wins 5 PGA Tour Titles

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    Tiger Woods won five tournaments in 2013, but has not won a major championship since the 2008 U.S. Open.

    He ascended to the No. 1 spot on the Official World Golf Rankings and finished the regular season No. 1 in the FedEx Cup standings.

    He was plagued throughout the year with elbow and back injuries and had some issues with rules officials.

    Throughout it all, one thing remained constant, Tiger Woods is one of the best players to ever strike a golf ball.

    His five wins came in just 12 starts during the regular season, he finished runner-up at The Barclays playing with a sore back and he will add his ninth Vardon Trophy to his collection this season. 

    Woods' year would constitute an excellent career for most professional golfers and it was very impressive even for Tiger.

2. Henrik Stenson Goes Ballistic over the Last Two Months

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    Henrik Stenson has witnessed the highs and the lows of life, as well as, professional golf.

    He lost a very large sum of money when Stanford Financial became insolvent in 2009 and he fell below No. 200 in the world a little over one year ago.

    His rapid rise back to the top of the golf world began with a win on the European Tour at the South African Open last November.

    Since finishing runner-up to Phil Mickelson at the Open Championship in July, he tied for second at the WGC-Bridgestone, finished third at the PGA Championship and won both the Deutsche Bank and the Tour Championship.

    His ball striking and overall performance were impressive, as he won an incredible $5 million over that eight week span.

    In addition to the $1.44 million that goes to the Tour Champion, he won the $10 million FedEx Cup bonus.

    Looks like the financial crisis has been solved in the Stenson household.


1. Jordan Spieth Is the Most Impressive of All

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    We expect good performances from Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson and even a veteran like Henrik Stenson.

    What Jordan Spieth has accomplished this season on the PGA Tour is beyond impressive.

    It is historic.

    Only one player in recent memory has risen to the top of the PGA Tour as rapidly as Spieth and his initials are TW.

    Spieth fresh out of the University of Texas began 2013 with no status on any professional tour.

    He finished runner-up in Puerto Rico, parlayed that into a T-7 the next week in Tampa and earned a Special Temporary PGA Tour Exemption which allowed him unlimited sponsor's exemptions for 2013.

    A T-9 at Hilton Head, T-7 at Colonial and a sixth-place finish at Congressional earned him $1.2 million and a lot of attention from the golf media.

    He broke into the winners circle at the John Deere Classic and earned his PGA Tour card plus a two-year exemption.

    His most impressive year did not stop there, however. 

    He got another runner-up at the Wyndham and entered the FedEx Cup playoffs at No. 8 in the standings.

    You can't make this stuff up and it does not only happen in the movies.

    Spieth posted a T-4 at the Deutsche Bank and was runner-up to Stenson at the Tour Championship.

    He finishes the season tied with Brandt, Snedeker and Bill Haas for the most top-10 finishes with nine. 

    He won another $2.6 million in the playoffs, finished No. 7 overall and got an invite from Fred Couples to be on the Presidents Cup team.

    Did I happen to mention, he is only 20 years old.

    This is the stuff Hollywood only dreams of. Very Impressive, indeed.