With an albeit slight measure of debate toward the back end of the list, the identity of the golfers included among our current top 25 is a relatively clear picture as we head into a new year and a restart of sorts on the PGA Tour, which somehow already began its 2014 season a couple months ago.
The larger and more interesting question, however, is where we place those stars along the pecking order of the best of the best.
By looking back in order to judge the present, we analyze players' major performances, strength of game and their quality of victories. Likewise, we look ahead to determine each golfer’s potential to hold steady, move forward or regrettably slide backward as the 2014 season plays out.
In shaping the list we've identified five tiers that naturally group golfers based on their standing, talents, challenges and even their origins.
Bottom line, there’s no science to this latest list of the 25 best or how they are grouped. It's just opinion fueled by evaluation, observation and an appropriate measure of anticipation.
That said, here are those top 25 golfers as we reignite what should be a compelling and entertaining 2014 PGA Tour season.