10 Winners and Losers on the 2013 PGA Tour

Fred Altvater@@tolohgolfrContributor IIJuly 26, 2013

10 Winners and Losers on the 2013 PGA Tour

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    With three of the four major championships on the PGA Tour already decided for 2013, only the PGA Championship still remains up for grabs.

    Two players, Adam Scott and Justin Rose, who were at the top of the unofficial “Best Players Yet to Win a Major" list at the beginning of the year, won majors and permanently erased their names from that dubious honor roll.

    Phil Mickelson thrilled the world with his birdie barrage over the last few holes at historic Muirfield to win the Open Championship last Sunday.

    There is one major remaining to be decided and other big prizes left to win in 2013, but time is growing short.

    The WGC-Bridgestone is next week, followed by the PGA Championship and then the FedEx Cup Playoffs.

    A few golfers have had a very good year, but several still have work left in order to salvage their poor 2013 campaigns.

Winner: Adam Scott Gets a New Green Jacket

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    In one of the most exciting Masters ever, Adam Scott outdueled Argentina’s major threat, Angel Cabrera, down the stretch and in the playoff.

    Scott suffered a devastating loss in the Open Championship at Royal Lytham last year and turned major heartache into a learning experience to finish the job at Augusta National.

    Scott has moved up to No. 4 in the world and was a factor in the Open Championship, eventually finishing in a tie for third place. 

Loser: Luke Donald Has Fallen to No. 9 on OWGR

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    The 2013 campaign has been a major disappointment for Luke Donald.

    Merion Golf Club and Muirfield should have been perfect venues for Donald to display his magnificent short-game skills and contend for a major title.

    While he did tie for eighth at the U.S. Open, he missed the cut at the Open Championship.

    The former world No. 1 has fallen to No. 9 in the rankings and has not won on any tour since the European Tour’s BMW Championship in May 2012.

    Normally a human ATM, he only has three top-10 finishes in his 10 starts on the PGA Tour this year.

    Donald needs to catch fire at the end of the year to stay among the elite.  

Winner: Justin Rose Won the U.S. Open at Merion Golf Club

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    Justin Rose has been progressing steadily over the past few years and finally picked up a major trophy at the U.S. Open on a very difficult course at Merion Golf Club.

    When Phil Mickelson faltered down the stretch, Rose played with a calm confidence and was able to collect the win.

    He is No. 6 in the FedEx Cup standings, No. 5 in the world and is leading the Race to Dubai on the European Tour.

Loser: Lee Westwood Let Another Major Slip Away at Muirfield

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    Lee Westwood packed up his family and moved to Florida over the winter. He even signed with super golf instructor Sean Foley to get his game in major shape.

    Westwood has six top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour and three on the European Tour this year.

    He still does not have a major win, however, and at age 43, he is growing desperately short on time. He has fallen all the way to No. 10 on the OWGR and is No. 31 in the FedEx Cup rankings.

    Although he has 22 career wins on the European Tour, Westwood only has two wins on the PGA Tour and has not won in the U.S. since the 2010 St. Jude Classic.

    He was in excellent position at the top of the leaderboard in the Open Championship, but a final-round 75 moved him down to a tie for third in yet another lost opportunity.

Winner: Jordan Spieth Earned a PGA Tour Card

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    Jordan Spieth is just 19 years old and won the John Deere Classic.

    He turned professional last fall and had no status on any tour. Playing solely on sponsors' exemptions, he was runner-up in Puerto Rico to earn special temporary membership on the PGA Tour.

    His win at the John Deere Classic, however, gave him full membership on the tour, a two-year exemption and entry into all of the lucrative majors and WGC events.

    Spieth did not win a major title, but earning a tour card is just as good for this future PGA Tour star.  

Loser: Rory McIlroy Has Fallen to No. 3 on the OWGR

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    Although Rory McIlroy has four top-10 finishes and has won $1.4 million on the PGA Tour this year, he has missed three cuts and is a ranked No. 83 in the Race to Dubai on the European Tour.

    He got bounced by a No. 16 seed in the WGC-Accenture World Match Play in February and walked off the course in the second round at the Honda Classic in March.

    He tied for 25th at the Masters, tied for 41st in the U.S. Open and missed the cut in the Open Championship.

    He is No. 55 in the FedEx Cup standings and just got bumped down to No. 3 in the Official World Golf Rankings.

    McIlroy has a pocket full of money from Nike and a beautiful, talented girlfriend. Life is good, but he is experiencing a stretch of spotty golf and needs to get his season turned around before it is over.

Winner: Phil Mickelson Won the Open Championship at Muirfield

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    At age 43, Phil Mickelson is showing there is still some gas left in his tank.

    He won early in the year in Phoenix, and his six top-10 finishes include two thirds, two runners-up and two wins.

    He is ranked No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings and in the Official World Golf Rankings. His win two weeks ago at Castle Stuart in the Scottish Open was his first win in Europe, and his follow-up win at Muirfield gave him the third leg of a career Grand Slam.

    He has joined some very illustrious names in golf history. Peter Thomson, Seve Ballesteros and Byron Nelson each had five career majors.

    Let us not forget Mickelson also has six runner-up finishes at the U.S. Open. If he could somehow eke out a win in that major championship before he hangs up his spikes, he would join a very exclusive club.

Loser: Brandt Snedeker Has Lost His Edge

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    It is hard to list Brandt Snedeker in the losers category, but he has not been able to regain the winning form he displayed earlier in the 2013 season.

    He ended last year by winning the $10 million FedEx Cup and started 2013 with a third-place finish at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions.

    He tied for 23rd at the Humana Challenge but then finished runner-up to Tiger Woods at Torrey Pines and to Phil Mickelson in Phoenix.

    He won the next week at Pebble Beach. Four top-three finishes in his first five events of the year earned him the top spot in the 2013 FedEx Cup race.

    He was forced to withdraw from the WGC-Accenture Match Play with a rib injury and has missed four cuts since his return.

Winner: Billy Horschel Has a Win and Seven Top-10 Finishes This Year

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    Billy Horschel is having an excellent year on the PGA Tour.

    In the three weeks preceding his win at the Zurich Classic in New Orleans, he finished tied for second, tied for third and tied for ninth.

    He finished in a tie for fourth at the U.S. Open in June and his seven top-10 finishes have earned him over $3 million as he has moved to No. 38 in the world rankings.

    Horschel plays with no fear and has the confidence he can win every time out.

Winner: Tiger Woods Has Four Wins in 2013

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    Even though Tiger Woods will consider 2013 a lost year if he does not win a major championship, he cannot go into the losers category.

    He has regained most of his previous golfing prowess and contends in nearly every tournament he enters.

    He has retaken the No. 1 spot on the OWGR and is also No. 1 on the FedEx Cup standings.

    Woods tied for fourth at the Masters and for sixth at the Open Championship, although he was not really a factor at Merion in the U.S. Open.

    Every professional golfer is trying to get to the same skill level Woods exhibits.

    He will next play at the WGC-Bridgestone, an event he has won on seven different occasions. Woods could run the table and add the PGA Championship and the FedEx Cup to his collection of hardware. 

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