Ranking the Top 25 Golfers After the 2014 US Open
This edition of the top 25 golfers on the PGA Tour sees several players leaping in the rankings. Most notably, Martin Kaymer, on the heels of his dominant U.S. Open performance, leaps forward.
The breakdown is a collection of the best golfers on the PGA Tour this season with a heavier weight given to recent results. If it were a collection of the best performers at the U.S. Open, the list would merely be a regurgitation of the final-round leaderboard from the U.S. Open.
Neither is it a rundown of the most talented players on the PGA Tour in the abstract because really, who could measure that (and how)?
Read on for the full rundown.
25. Graham DeLaet
Previous Ranking: 21
Offical World Golf Ranking: 32
U.S. Open Performance: Graham DeLaet arrived at Pinehurst No. 2 and promptly shot two rounds of 75 to miss the cut by five strokes. The Canadian has missed out on the weekend festitivites in both majors this year. He hit barely better than 50 percent of greens for the two rounds and didn't make enough up and downs to play the weekend.
Why He's Here: DeLaet is usurped by those who did better for themselves in Pinehurst, North Carolina, this week. The Boise State alum has recorded six top-10s in 17 starts. His two second place finishes (Farmers Insurance Open, Waste Management Phoenix Open) go a long way...but not long enough to wipe out his poor play at Pinehurst.
24. Rickie Fowler
Previous Ranking: N/A
U.S. Open Performance: Rickie Fowler was very impressive at the U.S. Open. Playing in the final group with Kaymer, Fowler fired a final-round 72 to finish tied for second. It was the PUMA staffer's best showing of his career at a U.S. Open. He was derailed by a double bogey at the fourth hole and really saw any hope of hoisting the U.S. Open trophy boil off in the South Carolina sun at that point.
Why He's Here: Not included in this ranking before, Rickie Fowler has had a pretty decent 2014, as he begins to turn a corner following swing changes with coach Butch Harmon: The orange-clad fan-favorite tied for fifth at the Masters and recorded a top-five finish at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship.
23. Sergio Garcia
Previous Ranking: 22
U.S. Open Performance: Sergio Garcia finished outside of the top 30 at the U.S. Open. He didn't break 70 in any of the four rounds. The finish marks the third year in a row that he's failed to finish inside the top 30. What let him down? Garcia made bogey out of a bunker eight times during this week.
Why He's Here: Garcia is now 2-of-2 in cuts missed at majors in 2014, thus he's falling this week. It's a disappointing streak for the Spaniard who has eight wins on the PGA Tour since 2001 but still no major championships. He falls to golfers who did better for themselves at Donald Ross' masterpiece.
22. John Senden
Previous Ranking: 17
U.S. Open Performance: A second-round 76 cost John Senden a chance to play the weekend at the U.S. Open. He's now missed the cut in both of his career appearances at the USGA's event. The showing is particularly disappointing after Senden tied for eighth at the Masters in April.
Why He's Here: You miss the cut, you move down at least a little. Other players play well at a significant tournament; you move down a little more.
21. Jason Day
Previous Ranking: 24
U.S. Open Performance: Jason Day tied for fourth at the U.S. Open. A final-round 68 propelled him 12 spots up the leaderboard. For the Australian, it's his third consecutive top-five finish at the U.S. Open. He didn't record a bogey during the fourth round until the 18th hole.
Why He's Here: A top-five finish at the season's second major? That'll help you climb higher here. The two-time PGA Tour is developing something of a penchant for top-five finishes in majors.
20. Kevin Stadler
Previous Ranking: 19
U.S. Open Performance: Recovering from the USGA's tactless decision to pair him with fellow overweight professionals Shane Lowery and Brendon de Jonge for the first and second rounds, Kevin Stadler made the cut. His play was lackluster on the weekend, however, as he shot 78, 75 to finish tied for 63rd.
Why He's Here: Kevin Stadler made the cut at the U.S. Open, but he didn't overwhelm. This contrasts sharply to his T8 finish at his first Masters earlier this year. Those immediately ahead of him on this list did just a bit better.
19. Kevin Na
Previous Ranking: 20
U.S. Open Performance: The good: Kevin Na made the cut at the U.S. Open and fired a second-round 69. The bad: He shot 73 in the final two rounds to finish tied for 12th.
Why He's Here: Na moves up a spot. He could have just as easily stayed put or fallen one, but the recent second-place finish at the Memorial gives him the nudge here.
18. Ryan Moore
Previous Ranking: 18
U.S. Open Performance: Ryan Moore made the cut at this year's U.S. Open, something he hasn't done since 2010. He had missed the cut in his only two appearances at the tournament since that point, so making the cut is a net positive for the UNLV alum.
Why He's Here: Moore holds his position with a T48 finish, thanks to his earlier win and multiple top-10s (Waste Management Phoenix Open, Shriners Hospitals for Children Open, Hyundai Tournament of Champions).
17. Webb Simpson
Previous Ranking: 15
U.S. Open Performance: Webb Simpson made the cut at the U.S. Open but didn't make a serious run at the top of the leaderboard. The 2012 U.S. Open champion fired weekend rounds of 73, 74 to finish outside of the top 40.
Why He's Here: His performance this week simply took away from the positive momentum generated by his third-place finish at the St. Jude Classic in Tennessee last week. Therefore, his ranking drops a couple of spots this week.
16. Matt Every
Previous Ranking: 11
U.S. Open Performance: Matt Every missed the cut. He was undone by a double bogey in the first round and another in the second against only two birdies for the two rounds in total.
Why He's Here: The weight of this week's dismal performance overwhelmed his T3 finish at the St. Jude Classic last week.
15. Zach Johnson
Previous Ranking: 14
U.S. Open Performance: Zach Johnson got around Pinehurst No. 2 in a nine-over 289 for four rounds. The native Iowan missed the cut at the Masters in April and missed the cut at last year's U.S. Open. He made the cut this year, so then, even with a pedestrian finish, he's still a step forward.
Why He's Here: Zach Johnson falls a spot after a blase showing at Pinehurst.
14. Harris English
Previous Ranking: 13
U.S. Open Performance: Harris English finished at 11 over for the 2014 U.S. Open. He was unable to follow up his opening-round 69 with quality playing, going 75, 75, 72 over the succeeding three rounds to finish outside the top 40.
Why He's Here: It's a common story: English moves down in this ranking as others have passed him, even though he's a winner this year.
13. Hideki Matsuyama
Previous Ranking: 12
U.S. Open Performance: Hideki Matsuyama finished tied for 35th. The performance follows up last year's U.S. Open showing in which the young Japanese star impressed and finished tied for 10th.
Why He's Here: Even though his play was very good (and really making the cut two years in a row at his age is an accomplishment), Matusyama is deposed by players who were better at Pinehurst this week.
12. Jim Furyk
Previous Ranking: 16
U.S. Open Performance: Jim Furyk finished tied for 12th at the U.S. Open. The Pennsylvania native carded a stellar final-round 67 to move up 23 places on Sunday.
Why He's Here: Furyk, as always, has gritted out a solid string of finishes this year. With his showing at the U.S. Open, he moves ahead.
11. Chris Kirk
Previous Ranking: 9
U.S. Open Performance: Chris Kirk finished tied for 28th at the U.S. Open. Weekend rounds of 72 and 76 kept him out of the top 20.
Why He's Here: A drop from ninth to 11th is Kirk's fate this week. However, the slide has more to do with other players' performances (moving up) than it does with Kirk's: Finishing 28th at the U.S. Open is nothing to sneeze at.
10. Brendon Todd
Previous Ranking: 10
U.S. Open Performance: Brendon Todd blew up on Saturday at the U.S. Open, carding a 79. Were it that unimpressive 18-hole stretch, he would have done vastly better than a tie for 17th. Still, it's not bad in one's first U.S. Open.
Why He's Here: Because he made the cut and finished inside the top 25 in his maiden appearance at the U.S. Open, Mr. Todd stays put this week.
9. Patrick Reed
Previous Ranking: 6
U.S. Open Performance: Patrick Reed finished outside the top 30 at the U.S. Open. His eight-over tally marked his best showing in a U.S. Open. It was also his worst. That's because this was the Augusta State grad's first appearance in a U.S. Open. Making the cut was always going to be victory for the 23-year-old, and the performance was a good one.
Why He's Here: Reed drops in the rankings as other players move up. His three wins get him deep in this group.
8. Jordan Spieth
Previous Ranking: 8
U.S. Open Performance: Jordan Spieth continued his strong play at the majors this year, with a tie for 17th at the U.S. Open. The showing was his best as a professional.
Why He's Here: He's done everything but win this year. Another quality week of work sees Spieth staying put.
7. Rory McIlroy
Previous Ranking: 5
U.S. Open Performance: Ho-hum weekend rounds of 73 and 74 kept Rory McIlroy's 2014 U.S. Open performance from being much better. Still, the Ulsterman finished tied for 23rd, which is better than his tie for 41st at the USGA's event last year.
Why He's Here: McIlroy falls a couple of spots due to the solid play of those around him on this list.
6. Adam Scott
Previous Ranking: 3
U.S. Open Performance: Although he never threatened Kaymer's lead, Adam Scott put together four solid rounds at Pinehurst No. 2. He finished tied for ninth after a cool final-round 69.
Why He's Here: Even though he's the No. 1 golfer in world, Scott slides to sixth on this list even after a tie for ninth because of the quality of the play of Kaymer, Kuchar, Scott and Johnson. Scott continues his campaign of top-25 finishes with his showing in North Carolina.
5. Dustin Johnson
Previous Ranking: 7
U.S. Open Performance: Dustin Johnson tied for fourth at the U.S. Open. His occasional lack of accuracy wasn't an issue, given the No. 2 course's lack of rough and the bomber took advantage. The finish was the best of his career at the USGA's annual fete.
Why He's Here: Johnson moves up two spots, thanks to a strong showing at the U.S. Open. This year he's recorded a win, a second-place finish and seven top-10s.
4. Matt Kuchar
Previous Ranking: 4
U.S. Open Performance: Matt Kuchar tied for 12th at the U.S. Open. The finish marks his best showing at the U.S. Open since 2012. A one-under after two rounds, Kuchar couldn't gain any ground on the weekend, firing 71 and 73.
Why He's Here: Kuchar stays put, as neither McIlroy nor those just above him put together a performance to leapfrog the Florida native in this ranking.
3. Martin Kaymer
Previous Ranking: N/A
U.S. Open Performance: Martin Kaymer was dominant at this year's U.S. Open. Entering the final round with a five-stroke lead, Kaymer never looked back en route to his second major championship. He dominated the field, finishing at nine under, while his closest challenger only managed a one-under tally.
Why He's Here: Kaymer has now won a major and "the fifth major" in 2014. Kaymer has made nine of 11 cuts on the PGA Tour this season and also finished 12th at the BMW PGA Championship, the European Tour's premier event. Although he wasn't included in this ranking in the last edition, he would have been around the 30th position.
2. Bubba Watson
Previous Ranking: 1
U.S. Open Performance: Bubba Watson found himself just outside the fence: He missed the cut by one stroke at the U.S. Open this year. An opening-round 76 sunk the left-hander, and even a tidy second-round 70 couldn't punch his ticket to the weekend at No. 2.
Why He's Here: As he missed the cut, he loses his top spot to a man who played very well at the U.S. Open.
1. Jimmy Walker
Previous Ranking: 2
U.S. Open Performance: In his first U.S. Open since 2002, Jimmy Walker did very well for himself. A final-round 69 put him inside the top 10 at tournament's end. Walker needed just 27 putts in his final round.
Why He's Here: Three wins this season. Top 10s in both majors. Seven top 10s. Walker has been the most consistent of the very good players on tour this season. He has firmly established himself as a guy who hangs around the top of leaderboards.
As Bubba Watson missed the cut at the U.S. Open, he falls behind Walker in the ranking this week.