Ranking the 10 Hottest Golfers on the PGA Tour Ahead of the 2014 British Open
We're moving closer to the 2014 British Open, and a few golfers in the field will arrive at Royal Liverpool in top form.
Sunday's winner, Angel Cabrera, is a member of this elite stable. And El Pato's quality play didn't just surface at the Greenbrier Classic; he's been on his game his past few times out.
While some may think Kevin Streelman, winner of the Travelers Championship three weeks ago, deserves inclusion on this list, he doesn't.
Streelman missed the cut in his four starts prior to the Travelers. Thus, he wasn't hot enough for a sustained period of time to crack the top 10. The players here have excelled across their last three starts at least.
Who joins Cabrera in the top 10? Click through to find out.
10. Bubba Watson
FedEx Cup Standing: 2
Last Three Starts: T16 (Greenbrier Classic), T31 (Travelers Championship), cut (U.S. Open)
How Hot is He? He's been hotter this year.
Bubba Watson is presently second in the FedEx Cup standings. Between his wins at the Masters and the Northern Trust Open, the left-hander was en fuego, finishing tied for ninth and tied for second, respectively—a pretty impressive string of four starts.
He's cooled off a bit since then but finished third at the difficult Memorial Tournament and tied for 16th at last week's Greenbrier Classic.
Watson's line for 2014 thus far is superb:
- 14 starts
- 12 cuts made
- seven top-10s
- two second-place finishes
- two wins
9. Brandt Snedeker
FedEx Cup Standing: 84
Last Three Starts: T21 (Quicken Loans National), T11 (Travelers Championship), T9 (U.S. Open)
How Hot is He? He's cooking on medium-high heat.
After a tie for ninth at the U.S. Open, Brandt Snedeker has turned in two top-25 finishes. While he's had a few suspect starts recently (T45 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational, T48 at The Players), the Vanderbilt grad is rounding into form just in time for the season's third major.
Although his relative lack of accuracy off the tee and into greens is troubling at an Open Championship venue, he finished tied for 11th at Muirfield last year and tied for third in 2012, so he shouldn't be counted out.
Sneds will be flying across the pond under the radar, but make no mistake: He's playing his best golf of the year right now.
8. Sergio Garcia
FedEx Cup Standing: 21
Last Three Starts: 12 (BMW International Open), 2 (Travelers Championship), 35 (U.S. Open)
How Hot is He? Cooking on both sides of the pond.
Sergio Garcia is playing the game with a disgusting amount of ease right now. He seems incapable of finishing outside the top 25 at any tournament anywhere in the world.
That is, of course, unless he's teeing it up in a major. Garcia missed the cut at the Masters and didn't challenge at Pinehurst No. 2 in the U.S. Open.
Still, with a second-place finish his last time out on the PGA Tour and a top-15 finish the following time he put a peg in the ground, the Spaniard is again approaching a boil.
7. Martin Kaymer
FedEx Cup Standing: 6
Last Three Starts: 12 (French Open), cut (BMW International Open), 1 (U.S. Open)
How Hot is He? A pail of water was dumped on his fire, but he's ablaze again.
After his U.S. Open romp, Martin Kaymer returned to his native country for the BMW International Open...and promptly missed the cut. We'll call that result a "U.S. Open letdown" and give it very little weight here, especially considering his 12th-place finish in his following start.
Kaymer's past three tournament finishes on the PGA Tour look like this: first (U.S. Open), T29 (Byron Nelson Championship), first (The Players Championship).
Translate this into German: He's hot right now.
6. Billy Hurley III
FedEx Cup Standing: 69
Last Three Starts: T4 (Greenbrier Classic), T8 (Quicken Loans National), T57 (Travelers Championship)
How Hot is He? Hotter than the boiler room on a Navy ship.
Billy Hurley III had a shot at his first PGA Tour victory at last week's Greenbrier Classic. Unfortunately, the Naval Academy grad faltered Sunday, firing a final-round 73.
Nevertheless, with top-10 finishes in two consecutive weeks, Hurley is at the top of his game. And after missing three straight cuts earlier this year, he's made nine of his last 10.
Hurley III is heating up for Hoylake.
5. Jordan Spieth
FedEx Cup Standing: 5
Last Three Starts: T11 (Quicken Loans National), T17 (U.S. Open), T19 (the Memorial)
How Hot is He? He's a warm, consistently burning blaze in a living-room fireplace.
Jordan Spieth has been one of the most solid performers on tour throughout the 2014 season, which isn't bad considering this is just his second PGA Tour campaign.
He's heading to Hoylake for the second Open Championship of his young career after finishing tied for 44th in his first. He does so with six of his last eight finishes being of the top-20 variety.
Spieth finished tied for second at the Masters, tied for fourth at The Players and tied for 17th at the U.S. Open. Whatever the task, the kid has been up to it. He shouldn't be counted out in England next week.
4. Brendon Todd
FedEx Cup Standing: 9
Last Three Starts: T4 (Greenbrier Classic), T5 (Quicken Loans National), T17 (U.S. Open)
How Hot is He? As hot as the watched pot that refuses to boil.
Brendon Todd won the HP Byron Nelson Championship in mid-May. Since then, his finishes read: T5, T8, T17, T5, T4.
The Pittsburgh native has been so good lately that it's a wonder he hasn't won again. In fact, he's been good all year. For the season, he's made 19 of 22 cuts and recorded seven top-10 finishes.
Todd will be competing in his first Open Championship, so it will be interesting to watch a red-hot player try to handle a course (and a style of course) he's unfamiliar with—a true golfing heat check.
3. Adam Scott
FedEx Cup Standing: 14
Last Three Starts: T9 (U.S. Open), T4 (the Memorial Tournament), 1 (Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial)
How Hot is He? Adam Scott's game is hotter than Jason Dufner deems him to be.
The Australian is following up his major-winning 2013 campaign with another gem. Playing a reduced schedule and clearly concentrating on PGA Tour events (rather than peppering in European Tour events), Scotty has been superb.
He followed his playoff victory at Colonial with a pair of top-10 finishes at difficult tracks and has put together an impressive record so far this year:
- 10 starts
- 10 cuts made
- six top 10s
- one win
2. Justin Rose
FedEx Cup Standing: 13
Last Three Starts: 1 (Quicken Loans National), T12 (U.S. Open), cut (the Memorial)
How Hot is He? The Englishman is a tea kettle that has just boiled.
A winner his last time out, Justin Rose has been stellar lately, save for a missed cut at Jack's place. After tying for 14th at the Masters, he rattled off three top-10s before the missed cut and played well at the U.S. Open.
A golfer is never hotter than when he's just won, and Rose satisfies that criteria, as does the next man on this list.
1. Angel Cabrera
FedEx Cup Standing: 54
Last Three Starts: 1 (Greenbrier Classic), T24 (Quicken Loans National), T11 (Travelers Championship)
How Hot is He? About as hot as the sun on the Argentinian flag.
Not only did Angel Cabrera capture the Greenbrier Classic with a back-nine surge, but he's also put together three strong showings since missing the cut at the U.S. Open.
El Pato has turned around a season that began with six missed cuts in his first seven starts. Although he's not highly favored at Royal Liverpool, Cabrera did finish tied for 11th at Carnoustie last year, so he's capable of conquering an Open Championship track.