The Best and Worst Moments for Golf's Top Stars in 2014

Ben Alberstadt@benalberstadtFeatured ColumnistJune 20, 2014

The Best and Worst Moments for Golf's Top Stars in 2014

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    Charlie Riedel/Associated Press

    Golf's top stars, like golf's not top stars, have had their ups and downs in 2014. 

    Some of the PGA Tour's most popular players (I'm looking at you, Phil Mickelson.) have had significantly more downs than ups through the second major of 2014. 

    Others, such as Adam Scott and Bubba Watson, have experienced charmed campaigns thus far. 

    What are the best and worst moments for Mickelson, Scott, Watson and others so far this season? Read on to find out. 

Phil Mickelson

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    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup rank: 80

    Best finishes: T16: WGC-Cadillac Championship, T11: Wells Fargo Championship, FedEx St. Jude Classic

    Worst finishes: MC: the Masters, The Players Championship, the Honda Classic

    The final word: Missing the cut at the Masters is a significant low point in the golfer's career. Mickelson hadn't missed the cut at the Masters since 1997. Further, he hasn't finished inside the top 10 in any event in what has been a very disappointing campaign in 2014. 

Rickie Fowler

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup rank: 25

    Best finishes: T2: U.S. Open, 3: WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, T5: the Masters

    Worst finishes: MC: Memorial Tournament, Crowne Plaza Invitational, Arnold Palmer Invitational, Northern Trust Open, Waste Management Phoenix Open, Farmers Insurance Open 

    The final word: Rickie Fowler has been retooling his swing this year and thus has had some poor showings, as evidenced by the bounty of missed cuts. However, the swing changes are paying dividends, as he has played incredibly well in the first two majors. Fowler's best moments have been first-rate, and he seems poised to move into professional golf's upper tier. 

Justin Rose

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    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup rank: 41

    Best finishes: T4: The Players Championship, 5: Wells Fargo Championship, 5: WGC-HSBC Champions

    Worst finishes: MC: Arnold Palmer Invitational, the Memorial, T45: Northern Trust Open

    The final word: Justin Rose's missed cuts at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Memorial Tournament were significant missteps. Still, a strong showing at The Players and fifth-place finishes in two other upper-tier events balance out the snafus. On balance, though, his 2014 form lags behind his major-winning 2013 play. 

Jordan Spieth

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    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup rank: 6

    Best finishes: 2: Hyundai Tournament of Champions, T2: the Masters, T4: The Players Championship

    Worst finishes: MC: Sony Open, Shell Houston Open

    The final word: Jordan Spieth nearly won the Masters and was in the mix at The Players Championship. He missed the cut in two events early in the season but has been on a roll ever since. If he records a win at some point later in the season, 2014 will be seen as progressive for the 20-year-old. 

Sergio Garcia

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    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup rank: 34

    Best finishes: 3: The Players Championship, Shell Houston Open, 4: WGC-HSBC Champions

    Worst finishes: MC: the Masters, T35: U.S. Open

    The final word: Missing the cut at the Masters and not threatening at the U.S. Open are very unimpressive feats by the Spaniard. Garcia is having a great season outside of the majors, but isn't that seemingly always the story with him? 

Tiger Woods

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup rank: 207

    Best finish: T25: WGC-Cadillac Championship

    Worst finishes: T80: Farmers Insurance Open, W/D the Honda Classic

    The final word: On the shelf with a back injury since early March, Tiger Woods hasn't had much of a 2014 season to speak of. It's unfair to evaluate specific performances, as he was clearly dealing with significant back issues the few times he teed it up. The takeaway: All of 2014 has been pretty bad for Woods. 

Rory McIlroy

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    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup rank: 35

    Best finishes: 2: The Honda Classic, T6: The Players Championship, T8: the Masters

    Worst finishes: T25: WGC-Cadillac, T23: U.S. Open

    The final word: Rory McIlroy has been resurgent this year. Not listed on his rundown of finishes: his win at the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour. Top-10 finishes at the Masters and The Players indicate he's ready to contend in golf's most significant tournaments again. 

Jimmy Walker

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    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup rank: 1

    Best finishes: 1: Open, Sony Open in Hawaii, AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am

    Worst finishes: MC: Farmers Insurance Open, Wells Fargo Championship, T46: WGC-HSBC Champions 

    The final word: Prior to the 2014 season, Jimmy Walker hadn't won a PGA Tour event. By February of 2014, he had captured three victories. Even if he misses the cut in every other event, his work in the first few months of the year would make 2014 a raging success and a significant step forward. 

Bubba Watson

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    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup rank: 2

    Best finishes: 1: the Masters, Northern Trust Open, T2: WGC-Cadillac Championship

    Worst finishes: MC: U.S. Open, T48: The Players Championship

    The final word: Bubba Watson missed the cut at the U.S. Open. Other than that, though, he's been spectacular in 2014, winning both the Masters and the Northern Trust Open. On the year, he's made 10 of 12 cuts with an impressive seven top-10 finishes. 

Adam Scott

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    David Cannon/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup rank: 12

    Best finishes: 1: Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial, 3: Arnold Palmer Invitational, T4: the Memorial Tournament

    Worst finishes: T38: The Players Championship 

    The final word: Although he claimed the top spot in the Official World Golf Ranking and won the Crowne Plaza Invitational, it's likely that the high point of Adam Scott's 2014 came off the golf course when he married his longtime girlfriend in a secret ceremony