Ranking the Top 25 Golfers Heading into the 2014 US Open
U.S. Open week is upon us. Ben Crane's win at the soggy FedEx St. Jude Classic wrapped up the preliminary festivities. The Official World Golf Ranking is set, as are the FedEx Cup standings. There will only be minor adjustments to major sportsbooks' lines from now until Thursday.
The USGA's premier championship brings with it some questions.
Where does the world's top-ranked golfer, Adam Scott, find himself in the breakdown of the top 25 golfers entering the season's second major championship? Where is pre-U.S. Open favorite Rory McIlroy positioned?
Click through to find out.
25. Phil Mickelson
Official World Golf Ranking: No. 11
Best of 2014: Phil Mickelson has made 11 of 14 cuts on the PGA Tour this season. However, he didn't play the weekend at the Masters or the Players Championship. His tie for 11th at the FedEx St. Jude is his best showing this season.
Why He's Here: Phil Mickelson presently sits at 87th in the FedEx Cup ranking. Thus, he's lucky to have any position in these rankings. However, as the 11th-ranked golfer in the world and one of the pre-tournament U.S. Open favorites, Lefty earns the 25th position.
U.S. Open History: Phil Mickelson has finished second six times at the U.S. Open, more than any other golfer in history. He's made 21 of 23 cuts in the U.S. Open.
24. Jason Day
OWGR: No. 7
Best of 2014: Dealing with injury for much of this season, Jason Day has still managed to make five of five cuts. He won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship and finished tied for second at the Farmers Insurance Open.
Why He's Here: As he's only made a limited number of starts on the PGA Tour, Jason Day hasn't been able to accumulate FedEx Cup ranking points. However, he's both won and played well when he's teed it up.
U.S. Open History: In three appearances at the U.S. Open, Jason Day has finished second twice.
23. Gary Woodland
OWGR: No. 46
Best of 2014: In 15 starts on tour this season, Gary Woodland has made 14 cuts. He's notched four top-10 finishes and nine top-25s overall.
Why He's Here: Regular high-quality play earns Woodland (22nd in the FedEx Cup standings) the 23rd spot.
U.S. Open History: Gary Woodland has made the cut twice in four U.S. Open starts. His best showing at the season's second major is a tie for 23rd in 2011.
22. Sergio Garcia
OWGR: No. 8
Best of 2014: Sergio Garcia has made seven of eight cuts on the PGA Tour this season. He's secured two third-place finishes in his five total top-10 finishes.
Why He's Here: Presently 33rd in the FedEx Cup ranking, Sergio Garcia earns a spot ahead of Mickelson, Woodland and Day because of consistent top-tier play.
U.S. Open History: In his career, Sergio Garcia has made 12 of 14 cuts at the U.S. Open. He's finished inside the top 10 four times. His best finish: tied for third in 2005.
21. Graham DeLaet
OWGR: No. 32
Best of 2014: Canadian Graham DeLaet has made 12 of 15 cuts on tour this season. He tied for second at both the Farmers Insurance Open and the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Why He's Here: Near-wins and a quality season put Graham DeLaet here.
U.S. Open History: Graham DeLaet will be appearing in his first U.S. Open this year.
20. Kevin Na
OWGR: No. 40
Best of 2014: Kevin Na has made 12 of 17 cuts on the PGA Tour in 2014. He finished second at the Memorial Tournament in a playoff. The native South Korean recorded a second-place finish at the Valspar Championship as well.
Why He's Here: Like DeLaet, Na has two near wins. The recency of Na's playoff defeat at the Memorial earns him the 20th spot.
U.S. Open History: In three starts at the U.S. Open, Kevin Na has made the cut once. He finished tied for 29th in 2012.
19. Kevin Stadler
OWGR: No. 58
Best of 2014: Kevin Stadler won the Waste Management Phoenix Open and has made 13 cuts in 18 starts this season.
Why He's Here: A winner who hasn't played at the same high level throughout the entirety of the year like those ahead of him on the list, Stadler is 19th on this list.
U.S. Open History: In two appearances at the U.S. Open, Kevin Stadler has made the cut once (2004). He hasn't teed it up an Open since 2006.
18. Ryan Moore
OWGR: No. 41
Best of 2014: Ryan Moore has made 12 of 15 cuts on the PGA Tour this year. He won the CIMB Classic in October and has finished inside the top 10 four times.
Why He's Here: Similar to the golfers around him on this list, Ryan Moore has a win and multiple top-10 finishes.
U.S. Open History: In seven career starts at the U.S. Open, Ryan Moore has made three cuts. He finished tied for 10th in 2009.
17. John Senden
OWGR: No. 49
Best of 2014: John Senden has made 15 of 18 cuts this year. He won the Valspar Championship and has recorded a total of four top-10 finishes.
Why He's Here: Not surprisingly, one win and four top-10s earns Senden a spot near other winners who have played consistently well this season.
U.S. Open History: In five starts at the U.S. Open, John Senden has made the cut three times, finishing inside the top 10 once.
16. Jim Furyk
OWGR: No. 12
Best of 2014: Jim Furyk has made 12 of 12 cuts on the PGA Tour this season. Furyk finished second at the Wells Fargo Championship and the Players Championship in successive weeks.
Why He's Here: Incredibly solid play, particularly of late, earns Furyk his position.
U.S. Open History: Furyk won the 2003 U.S. Open. He has a total of six top-10 finishes at the event in his career.
15. Webb Simpson
OWGR: No. 33
Best of 2014: This season, Webb Simpson won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open. In 14 starts, he's made 11 cuts and has totaled six top-10 finishes.
Why He's Here: A win in a second-tier event complemented by six top-10s nestles Simpson between Furyk and the next golfer on the list.
U.S. Open History: Webb Simpson won the U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in 2012. He made the cut in his two other appearances in the national championship.
14. Zach Johnson
OWGR: No. 14
Best of 2014: Native Iowan Zach Johnson's best finish this season is a win at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January. He's made 15 of 16 cuts and finished third at the Humana Challenge.
Why He's Here: Solid play plus a win puts Johnson here.
U.S. Open History: Zach Johnson has made the cut five times in 10 appearances at the U.S. Open. His best finish was a tie for 30th in 2011.
13. Harris English
OWGR: No. 47
Best of 2014: Harris English won the OHL Classic in November. He's made 15 cuts in 19 starts with a total of six top-10s.
Why He's Here: It's only the fact that Harris English won so early in the season relative to the golfers slightly ahead of him that positions English in the 13th spot.
U.S. Open History: Harris English has not played in the U.S. Open thus far in his career.
12. Hideki Matsuyama
OWGR: No. 13
Best of 2014: Winner of the Memorial Tournament, Hideki Matsuyama has made 12 of 15 cuts on tour this season. He also tied for third at the Frys.com Open.
Why He's Here: A big win and a third-place finish position Mr. Matsuyama here.
U.S. Open History: In his first appearance at the U.S. Open last year, Hideki Matsuyama finished tied for 10th.
11. Matt Every
OWGR: No. 51
Best of 2014: In 18 starts on tour this season, Matt Every has made 12 cuts. He won the Arnold Palmer Invitational and has recorded a total of six top-10 finishes.
Why He's Here: As with Matsuyama and Todd at the next spot, Every has a win and several top-10s.
U.S. Open History: Matt Every tied for 28th at the U.S. Open in 2005.
10. Brendon Todd
OWGR: No. 55
Best of 2014: Brendon Todd won the HP Byron Nelson Championship. In addition, he's made 16 of 19 cuts with a total of five top-10 finishes.
Why He's Here: Really, the golfers in the No. 9-12 spots on this list could switch places, as all have similar stats.
U.S. Open History: The 2014 U.S. Open will be Brendon Todd's first major.
9. Chris Kirk
OWGR: No. 43
Best of 2014: Chris Kirk has made 18 of 18 cuts on the PGA Tour this year. He won the McGladrey Classic and finished second at the Sony Open. He's finished inside the top 25 nine times.
Why He's Here: A win and 100 percent of cuts make Chris Kirk a top-10 guy.
U.S. Open History: Kirk tied for 78th at his first U.S. Open in 2008, missed the cut the next year and hasn't qualified for tournament since (until this year).
8. Jordan Spieth
OWGR: No. 10
Best of 2014: Jordan Spieth has only missed the cut twice on the PGA Tour this season. He's notched six top-10 finishes, placing second twice, including at the Masters.
Why He's Here: Although he hasn't won this year, Spieth has done everything else. He's presently fifth in the FedEx Cup standings.
U.S. Open History: Spieth tied for 21st at the U.S. Open in 2012 as an amateur and missed the cut for the tournament last year.
7. Dustin Johnson
OWGR: No. 15
Best of 2014: Dustin Johnson has made 10 of 12 cuts on tour this year. He's finished second twice in addition to winning the WGC-HSBC Champions. Johnson has finished in the top 10 six times.
Why He's Here: A win, a second-place finish and six top-10s make DJ a necessary inclusion inside the top 10.
U.S. Open History: In six starts at the U.S. Open, Johnson has made five cuts. He tied for eighth in 2010, five strokes behind winner Graham McDowell.
6. Patrick Reed
OWGR: No. 26
Best of 2014: Patrick Reed has won twice in 2014. Overall, the San Antonio, Texas native has made 10 of 16 cuts on tour this season. He's presently seventh in the FedEx Cup standings.
Why He's Here: Although his head hadn't been in the game recently while he awaited the birth of his child, two wins this year earn Patrick Reed a spot inside the top 10.
U.S. Open History: Patrick Reed will be competing in the U.S. Open for the first time this season.
5. Rory McIlroy
OWGR: No. 6
Best of 2014: Rory McIlroy won the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour. On the PGA Tour, he's made the cut in all nine of his starts, finishing inside the top 10 six times.
Why He's Here: Winning the premier event on the European Tour the same week as calling off his engagement paired with a bounty of top-10s places McIlroy this high on the on the list.
U.S. Open History: McIlroy won the 2011 U.S. Open. He tied for 41st at Merion last year.
4. Matt Kuchar
OWGR: No. 5
Best of 2014: Matt Kuchar has made 13 of 15 cuts on the PGA Tour this season with a ridiculous nine top-10 finishes. He won the RBC Heritage and finished tied for 15th at the Memorial Tournament, his last start.
Why He's Here: Nine top-10s, a win, and strong play lately place Kuchar among the best golfers on tour right now.
U.S. Open History: Back in 1998, Matt Kuchar tied for 14th as an amateur at the U.S. Open. He's only done better than that once since, finishing tied for sixth in 2010. He's made four straight cuts for the USGA's event.
3. Adam Scott
OWGR: No. 1
Best of 2014: In nine events on the PGA Tour this season, Adam Scott has made the cut all nine times. The Australian has finished inside the top 25 in eight starts, including a win at the Crowne Plaza Invitational two weeks ago. Scott also assumed the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking this season.
Why He's Here: A recent winner and consistent finisher in the top 25 this year, the new world No. 1 earns the third spot on this list.
U.S. Open History: Scott has never finished inside the top 10 at the U.S. Open. He's made the cut in the tournament six times in his career and missed the cut six times as well.
2. Jimmy Walker
OWGR: No. 19
Best of 2014: Thrice a winner in 2014, Jimmy Walker has made 16 of 18 cuts. Walker has finished inside the top 10 seven times this season. He's presently first in the FedEx Cup standings.
Why He's Here: Walker tied for 10th his last time out and was positively torrid earlier this season. More wins than any other player on tour and his overall level of play earn him the second spot.
U.S. Open History: Walker hasn't played in the U.S. Open since 2002 when he missed the cut. He tied for 52nd at the Open in 2001.
1. Bubba Watson
OWGR: No. 3
Best of 2014: Bubba Watson has won twice in 2014. The left-hander was victorious at the Northern Trust Open and, of course, the Masters. He's made 10 of 11 cuts with an impressive seven top-10 finishes. He's second in the FedEx Cup ranking.
Why He's Here: Second in the FedEx Cup. Winner of the season's first major. Consistent top-10s and a third-place finish in his last start. The aforementioned add up to to the top spot in this pre-U.S. Open ranking.
U.S. Open History: Watson tied for fifth in 2007 and tied for 32nd last year. He's made four cuts and missed three.