PGA Power Rankings: Breaking Down the Top 25 Post-British Open

Ben Alberstadt@benalberstadtFeatured ColumnistJuly 20, 2014

PGA Power Rankings: Breaking Down the Top 25 Post-British Open

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    After a brilliant wire-to-wire performance at Royal Liverpool, Rory McIlroy hoisted the Claret Jug at The Open Championship, holding on for a two-stroke victory over Sergio Garcia and Rickie Fowler.

    Where is McIlroy ranked now? Who's risen and who's fallen since our ranking of the tour's best heading into Hoylake? As was the case with that list, the criteria for this collection of top players consists of "one part recent play, one part performance this season and one part career achievement."

    Read on to see our top 25 golfers following McIlroy's victory in Hoylake.

25. Kevin Na

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    Official World Golf Ranking: 37

    Best of 2014: Kevin Na has five top 10s in 21 starts this season, including two second-place finishes.

    Pre-Open Ranking: N/A

    Open Championship Performance: Na tied for 54th at Hoylake.

    Why He's Here: Na slides into this week's ranking after a made cut at Royal Liverpool.

24. Luke Donald

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    OWGR: 24

    Best of 2014: Former world No. 1 Luke Donald has made nine of 11 cuts on the PGA Tour this season. His best performance of the year is a second-place finish at the RBC Heritage. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 20

    Open Championship Performance: Donald barely made the cut at The Open Championship. However, the finish is an improvement on his performance in the season's first two majors in which he failed to earn the privilege of weekend play.  

    Why He's Here: The drop from 20th to 24th is a result of an unimpressive week at Royal Liverpool (finished 64th) and consistent, quality play from other golfers. 

23. Patrick Reed

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    OWGR: 30

    Best of 2014: Patrick Reed has two wins on tour this year. Beyond these victories, Reed has made 13 of 21 cuts and is seventh in the FedEx Cup standings. He maintains a 70.7 scoring average. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 22

    Open Championship Performance: An opening-round 78 sunk Reed's hopes of making the cut at Hoylake. 

    Why He's Here: Reed falls a place after the missed cut. 

22. Ryan Moore

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    OWGR: 39

    Best of 2014: Ryan Moore won the CIMB Classic early in this wraparound season. He's made a total of 16 of 19 cuts this year with six top 10s.

    Pre-Open Ranking: N/A

    Open Championship Performance: Moore was excellent at Hoylake, finishing tied for 12th. 

    Why He's Here: Moore jumps into this ranking for adding a quality performance in a major to a year of strong play.

21. Chris Kirk

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    OWGR: 43

    Best of 2014: Winner of The McGladrey Classic this season, Chris Kirk has missed just one cut in 2014. He's accumulated nine top-25 finishes and more than $2.8 million in prize money. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: N/A

    Open Championship Performance: Kirk finished inside the top 20 at Royal Liverpool. 

    Why He's Here: Kirk joins our ranking thanks to his stellar play this season and a strong showing at Hoylake. 

20. Brendon Todd

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    OWGR: 41

    Best of 2014: One of the strongest players on tour recently, Brendon Todd won the Byron Nelson Championship. He's made an impressive 20 of 23 cuts, with top 10s in four of his five starts prior to The Open Championship. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 23

    Open Championship Performance: Todd fired a final-round 67 to pull into a tie for 39th. 

    Why He's Here: Todd moves from 23rd to 20th thanks to his strong play at Royal Liverpool.

19. Angel Cabrera

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    OWGR: 52

    Best of 2014: His last time out prior to The Open, Angel Cabrera won the Greenbrier Classic. The Argentinian has been strong as of late, with top-25 finishes in his two starts prior to the Greenbrier.

    Pre-Open Ranking: 21

    Open Championship Performance: Cabrera was solid at The Open Championship, finishing inside the top 20.

    Why He's Here: El Pato moves up thanks to a strong showing at Hoylake. 

18. Tiger Woods

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    OWGR: 9

    Best of 2014: The best occurrence in the golf life of Tiger Woods this season is his recent pain-free return to competitive golf. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 6

    Open Championship Performance: After a poor showing at The Open Championship in which he struggled to make the cut, the above statement about the "best occurrence" remains true. Woods finished 69th.

    Why He's Here: Woods was ranked so highly heading into Hoylake because of his play over the last two years. He falls even more than the maximum 10 spots after a poor showing this week in a bid to correct his position in this ranking.

17. Jason Day

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    OWGR: 8

    Best of 2014: Jason Day won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship but has been plagued by wrist issues since. Still, he's tallied three top-10 finishes in 10 starts this year. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 13

    Open Championship Performance: Bothered by a left wrist injury throughout the tournament, Day battled to make the cut. He tied for 58th.

    Why He's Here: Day lost ground to those who played better at Hoylake. 

16. Matt Kuchar

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    Matthew Lewis/Getty Images

    OWGR: 7

    Best of 2014: Matt Kuchar won the RBC Heritage in late April. In addition, he recorded a ridiculous nine top-10 finishes in 17 starts heading into The Open Championship.

    Pre-Open Ranking: 15

    Open Championship Performance: Kuchar made the cut but didn't do much more than that. 

    Why He's Here: Kuchar dropped a spot with his 54th-place finish at Hoylake. 

15. Graeme McDowell

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    OWGR: 16

    Best of 2014: Graeme McDowell won the French Open at the beginning of the month. On the PGA Tour, he's totaled five top 10s in 11 events. His lone blemish this year: a missed cut at the Masters.

    Pre-Open Ranking: 16

    Open Championship Performance: Although he never threatened Rory McIlroy's lead, Graeme McDowell was solid at Hoylake, tying for ninth.

    Why He's Here: McDowell continues his strong month and moves up accordingly. 

14. Phil Mickelson

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    OWGR: 13

    Best of 2014: Phil Mickelson hasn't been having the best year of his career. He missed the cut at the Masters and The Players. His best finishes are a pair of ties for 11th place.

    Pre-Open Ranking: 12

    Open Championship Performance: Mickelson opened with a 74, effectively sinking his hopes of repeating as the British Open champion. 

    Why He's Here: Mickelson falls two spots as the pair ahead of him this week played much better at Royal Liverpool.

13. Jim Furyk

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    OWGR: 10

    Best of 2014: Pennsylvania native Jim Furyk has made the cut in all 14 of his starts this season. He's finished inside the top 10 five times. He tied for 12th at the U.S. Open and for 14th at the Masters. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 17

    Open Championship Performance:  The 2014 Open Championship was yet another solid major performance by Furyk. The 44-year-old finished fourth thanks to a Sunday 65. 

    Why He's Here: Furyk moves from 17 to 13, as he outplayed those in front of him on last week's ranking by a lot at Hoylake. 

12. Rickie Fowler

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    OWGR: 18

    Best of 2014: In the midst of swing changes, Rickie Fowler has played well this season. Fowler finished tied for second at the U.S. Open and tied for fifth at the Masters as well.

    Pre-Open Ranking: 18

    Open Championship Performance: Any time you're playing in the final group on Sunday at a major championship, you're doing OK. Fowler finished tied for second for the second major in a row.

    Why He's Here: Fowler makes a big jump thanks to another brilliant week at a major.

11. Zach Johnson

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    OWGR: 14

    Best of 2014: Zach Johnson won the Tournament of Champions at the beginning of the year. He's made 18 of 20 cuts and has racked up five top-10 finishes. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 9

    Open Championship Performance: Johnson made the cut at Hoylake but finished at even par for the tournament, miles behind McIlroy.

    Why He's Here: Johnson falls two slots after an average performance.

10. Jordan Spieth

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    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    OWGR: 11

    Best of 2014: Jordan Spieth finished tied for second at the Masters in a breakout major performance. He's made 19 of 21 cuts with seven top-10 finishes. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 8

    Open Championship Performance: Spieth finished inside the top 40 at the season's third major. A second-round 75 kept his total from being much better.

    Why He's Here: Spieth did well, but he falls behind players who played very well at Hoylake.

9. Sergio Garcia

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    OWGR: 5

    Best of 2014: Sergio Garcia has made 10 of 11 cuts on the PGA Tour year with seven top-10 finishes, including a second and two thirds and another fine showing at an Open Championship.

    Pre-Open Ranking: 14

    Open Championship Performance: Nobody was going to catch Rory McIlroy this week, but Garcia did a better job than anyone in pursuing the Ulsterman on Sunday, finishing tied for second.

    Why He's Here: Inspired play at The Open Championship makes Garcia the highest-ranked non-winner on this list. 

8. Dustin Johnson

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    OWGR: 15

    Best of 2014: Dustin Johnson won the WGC-HSBC Champions and tied for fourth at the U.S. Open. He's made 14 cuts on the year with 11 top-25 finishes. The Carolinian recorded second-place finishes in consecutive weeks in February as well.

    Pre-Open Ranking: 11

    Open Championship Performance: Paired with Rory McIlroy on Saturday, Johnson couldn't keep pace. Still he turned in a top-notch week at Hoylake, finishing inside the top 15. 

    Why He's Here: Johnson moves from 11th to eighth after a top-15 performance at Hoylake. 

7. Bubba Watson

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    OWGR: 6

    Best of 2014: In April, Bubba Watson won his second Masters in three years. He also won the Northern Trust Open and has seven top-10s in 15 starts. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 5

    Open Championship Performance: Watson struggled at Hoylake, missing the cut by two strokes.

    Why He's Here: Another missed cut at The Open Championship sees Bubba fall this week. 

6. Henrik Stenson

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    OWGR: 3

    Best of 2014: Henrik Stenson has made eight of nine cuts on the PGA Tour this season. He tied for fourth at the U.S. Open in his last PGA Tour event before The Open Championship. He also finished second at the BMW International Open on the European Tour. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 7

    Open Championship Performance: Stenson finished at one under for the tournament. 

    Why He's Here: Stenson was OK at Hoylake; he moves ahead of Bubba Watson, who wasn't.

5. Martin Kaymer

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    Tom Pennington/Getty Images

    OWGR: 12

    Best of 2014: Martin Kaymer won the U.S. Open and The Players Championship in incredibly convincing fashion. He's made 11 of 13 cuts on the PGA Tour with five top-25 finishes.

    Pre-Open Ranking: 4

    Open Championship Performance: The German made the cut at Hoylake, but he finished at eight over after a final-round 79.

    Why He's Here: Kaymer falls from fourth to fifth after a lackluster performance at Royal Liverpool. 

4. Jimmy Walker

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    OWGR: 19

    Best of 2014: Three wins defined the early part of Jimmy Walker's 2014 season. Although he's cooled somewhat, Walker has top-10 finishes at the Masters and the U.S. Open on his resume this year.

    Pre-Open Ranking: 10

    Open Championship Performance: In his second career start at The Open Championship, Walker was very good, finishing tied for 26th. 

    Why He's Here: Walker moves up thanks to top-30 finishes in all three majors this season and the uninspired play at Hoylake of those who were immediately ahead of him on this list.

3. Adam Scott

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    OWGR: 1

    Best of 2014: In addition to assuming the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking, Adam Scott's year has included a win at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. Further, he's accumulated a total of seven top-10 finishes. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 3

    Open Championship Performance: Scott tied for fifth, carding an impressive 66 on Sunday.

    Why He's Here: Scott stays put thanks to his record this season and a solid showing at Royal Liverpool. 

2. Justin Rose

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    OWGR: 4

    Best of 2014: Rose was victorious in his two starts immediately before heading to Hoylake. The Englishman won the Quicken Loans National on the PGA Tour and the Scottish Open on the European Tour. He's totaled six top 10s in 14 starts on the PGA Tour. 

    Pre-Open Ranking: 1

    Open Championship Performance: Rose tied for 23rd at Hoylake. 

    Why He's Here: Rose lost his spot to the next guy on this list. Bet you can guess who he is. 

1. Rory McIlroy

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    OWGR: 2

    Best of 2014: McIlroy heads the list for winning The Open Championship and now needing only a Masters victory for the career Grand Slam. He also won the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour.

    Pre-Open Ranking: 2

    Open Championship Performance: Unless you've been on a planet that doesn't get any golf news, you know McIlroy won The Open Championship in dominant fashion. 

    Why He's Here: He was second in the last edition, so the win moves him into the top spot.