In only 20 starts on the PGA Tour, Jon Rahm is on his way to a top 10 ranking. As a matter of fact, if he had the minimum 40 starts, he’d be ranked No. 7.
It doesn’t matter what type of course, the strength of the field, or how demanding his schedule is, the young Spaniard continues to churn out top finishes. Even Phil Mickelson can’t contain his enthusiasm for Rahm’s bright future.
In this piece, we’re unleashing the first ever Big On Sports Golf Rankings. You will find them a bit different than the Official World Golf Rankings, which you’ll find in parentheses to the right of each player.
Big On Sports Golf Rankings
- Dustin Johnson (1) – The most athletic golfer of any generation. He’ll add another major or two this year, and is a favorite to win a Green Jacket at the 2017 Masters.
- Rory McIlroy (2) – McIlroy’s always a contender anytime he tees it up, however, we don’t think he’ll win a major this year.
- Jon Rahm (25) – Quickly becoming one of the elite players in the world, Rahm is one of the few players in the history of the PGA Tour to make enough money on sponsors exemptions to earn exempt status. The former ASU Sun Devil is on the rise, so keep your eyes peeled.
- Hideki Matsuyama (4) – The Japanese player is finally figuring out how good he can be. He’s still only 24 with a major win on the horizon. Matsuyama’s a ball-striking machine, but putting is his nemesis.
- Jordan Spieth (6) – He won his 9th PGA tour at the AT&T and his ball striking was spot on. He continues to struggle at times driving the ball, but when Spieth’s on, he’s arguably the best in the world.
- Justin Thomas (7) – His three wins this year are the most by anyone. Pound for pound, Thomas is the longest hitter in the world. He’s excelled on every level and will be a golfer to watch for many years.
- Sergio Garcia (10) – Garcia’s always in the mix because he’s solid as a rock in all phases of the game. More importantly his optimistic, positive attitude that shines on and off the golf course.
- Adam Scott (8) – Scott one of the best ball-strikers on the planet. He can dominate for multiple weeks when he gets hot. He’s getting up there in age and he’s an underachiever with all that talent and only one major victory.
- Rickie Fowler (9) – The bigger the event, the better for Fowler. Though he’s been close, he doesn’t have a major under his belt yet. We’ll see if Fowler’s learned from his losses to finally top the PGA leaderboard this year.
- Adam Hadwin (44) – He’s recorded an astounding four 29s this year, as well as a 59. Hadwin’s gaining confidence and believes he has the game to compete against the best in the business. He’s unproven in major championships but the way Hadwin’s played so far in 2017, he deserves the lofty ranking.
On the Bubble
Henrik Stenson (5) – Stenson’s always in the mix, but many forget that he didn’t even qualify for the FedEx Cup playoffs last year. He needs to win more to justify his high ranking.
Patrick Reed (12) – Brass Balls! He needs to win more and use his Ryder Cup domination in a positive, but not cocky way. He hasn’t played up to par and could be fading away rather than soaring.
Tyrrell Hatton (14) – The Englishman is quietly climbing in the rankings. It won’t be long and he’ll be in everyone’s Top 10. He swings just like Lee Westwood, hits just as well, but unlike the veteran, Hatton has an unbelievably impressive short game.
On the Rise
Thomas Pieters (34) – One of the longest hitters in the world, we saw how good he can be at the Ryder Cup where he went 4-1. He’s already earned exempt status on the PGA Tour with top finishes in Los Angeles, and more recently at the WGC Mexico Championship.
Ollie Schniederjans (128) – This former top-ranked amateur is slowly working his way on to the PGA Tour. He played solidly on the West Coast Swing and will continue to move up the rankings with improvements to his game.
Patrick Cantlay (234) – Here’s another former No. 1-ranked amateur who started the year playing on a medical exemption. He needed to make $608K in nine starts to keep his card and came through with a solo second at the Valspar Championship to rake in a cool $684K. He can play pretty much where he wants to for the rest of the year. Keep your eye on Cantlay.
Stewart Cink (207) – The veteran is on the verge of possibly winning again. His current form is solid and we’re looking to the former Open Championship winner to improve and get in the hunt multiple times this year.
Alex Noren (11) – A former Oklahoma State product, the Swede won four times on the European Tour last year, but he’s a non-factor in high stakes odds.
Danny Willett (No. 15) – “One Hit Wonder” Willett is still somehow ranked No. 15 in the world despite faltering since his epic win at Augusta. He has lost his game and will likely continue to plummet in rankings.
Zach Johnson (50) – The two-time major champion recently switched equipment and has been falling on scoreboards ever since. Johnson’s best days are in the rearview mirror.
Ian Poulter (199) – Poulter has his work cut out for him. Currently, he’s playing on a medical exemption and has yet to have a top 25 finish. Poulter’s exemptions will run out and the Ryder Cup hero will head back to Europe to play.
On the Brink
Steve Stricker (110) – Will the veteran play a full schedule or split time on the PGA Champions Tour? He’s Captain of the President’s Cup team, so the native Wisconsinite has a lot on his plate in 2017.
Ernie Els (404) – The Big Easy is getting up there in age but we were really surprised to see his ranking this low. He still has a great swing and knows how to play the game, which will likely propel him to a few more shining moments.
Tiger Woods (742) – The former No. 1 player in the world plummeted down the rankings and now is trying to make a comeback. His health is always a concern and so is his mental approach. Will Tiger ever play again?
Check back the week before The PLAYERS to get the second edition of the Big On Sports golf rankings.
In the meantime, be sure to check out Big on Sports’ PGA predictions and golf betting odds!