Golf

Golfers Who Will Climb the Highest in the Official World Golf Rankings in 2014

Ben AlberstadtFeatured ColumnistApril 26, 2014

Golfers Who Will Climb the Highest in the Official World Golf Rankings in 2014

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    Tiger Woods is poised to lose his top position in the Official World Golf Ranking soon. But this has less to do with the quality play of the No. 2 golfer in the world, Adam Scott, and more to do with Woods sitting on his couch in Jupiter, Florida, following back surgery, instead of playing competitive golf.

    So, Adam Scott should be moving up in the OWGR. Who else will be joining him in climbing up the ranking?

    I'm defining "the highest" two ways. On the one hand, the golfer who moves from third to second in the Official World Golf Ranking has taken a quantum leap forward: It's more significant to be the second-best golfer in the world than the third.

    On the other, compare this with the golfer who moves from No. 500 to No. 139. This golfer has made a larger jump in terms of number differential, but the relative difference in terms of quality of play is greater between numbers two and three.

    Got it? I have faith you do. 

    Here are my predictions for who will be climbing up the Official World Golf Ranking this season.

Honorable Mention: Carlos Ortiz

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    Scott Halleran/Getty Images

    Official World Golf Ranking, End of 2013: 1,508

    Current Official World Golf Ranking: 193

    Why He'll Continue to Climb: Carlos Ortiz has made a monumental vault up the OWGR thanks to two victories in his first six starts on the Web.com Tour. He's also finished third once and only missed the cut once.

    Assuming he continues do anything similar to what he's done thus far this season, the young Mexican will continue to move up. 

Pat Perez

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    OWGR, End of 2013: 190

    Current OWGR: 100

    Why He'll Continue to Climb: Over the past two years (the time period the OWGR measures), Pat Perez has continued to improve. He made 14 of 22 cuts last season with four top-10s. This season, he's already racked up three top-10 finishes and only missed one cut, in addition to finishing tied for second at the Farmers Insurance Open. 

Will MacKenzie

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    OWGR, End of 2013: 317

    Current OWGR: 84

    Why He'll Continue to Climb: Will MacKenzie began last season ranked 792nd in the world. Following the Valero Texas Open this year, the North Carolina native found himself ranked 84th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

    Steadily improving play on the Web.com Tour last year and 11 of 14 cuts on the PGA Tour this year (with five top-10 finishes) has Will MacKenzie rapidly moving up in the OWGR. If he maintains the status quo this season, expect him to continue to climb. 

John Senden

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    OWGR, End of 2013: 108

    Current OWGR: 55

    Why He'll Continue to Climb: Last season, John Senden made 16 of 25 cuts with three top-25 finishes. Senden is having a bounce-back season this year: He's made 11 of 13 cuts, and he won the Valspar Championship.

    Continuing to make cuts at the rate he has thus far this season alone will see him rise up the ranking as his poor showings last year begin to fall outside the two-year rolling OWGR ranking period.

Kevin Stadler

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    Maddie Meyer/Getty Images

    OWGR, End of 2013: 113

    Current OWGR: 53

    Why He'll Continue to Climb: Kevin Stadler spent most of the 2013 season bouncing around the No. 100 spot in the Official World Golf Ranking. This season, however, Stadler has taken significant strides forward, making 12 of 13 cuts and winning the Waste Management Phoenix Open.

    His top-10 finish at the Masters (his first appearance at Augusta) is an indicator that he's ready for the big time, and he has the "family pedigree thing" going for him too. 

Matt Every

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    OWGR, End of 2013: 133

    Current OWGR: 42

    Why He'll Continue to Climb: Matt Every won the Arnold Palmer Invitational, and he improved on his 2013 scoring average (71.02) to 69.79 this year. A proven winner with a dramatically improved scoring average, Every is poised to continue his march up the OWGR. 

Patrick Reed

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    Stacy Revere/Getty Images

    OWGR, End of 2013: 73

    Current OWGR: 25

    Why He'll Continue to Climb: Patrick Reed has won two times on tour this season. He's improved upon his five top-10s and one win last season with the aforementioned two wins and seven top-25 finishes.

    His missed cut at the Masters assuredly has the expectant father circling the wagons and ready to return to form heading into the remainder of the season. 

Jimmy Walker

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    Rob Carr/Getty Images

    OWGR, End of 2013: 47

    Current OWGR: 20

    Why He'll Continue to Climb: Jimmy Walker has a streak of six missed cuts in eight starts during 2013 between the FedEx St. Jude Classic and the Deutsche Bank Championship bogging down his OWGR position.

    You can bet that he'll perform much better during that stretch this season, and a streak of abysmal play will be out of his two-year rolling period and a substantially better streak will take its place. Result: Walker walks up the OWGR. 

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