This is the third edition of the BigOnSports Golf Rankings comes heading into the Open Championship, and not a lot has changed at the top, but a few players have fallen on hard times and a few others have climbed into the top 10.
Let’s take a look at the BigOnSports Open Championship edition golf rankings. You will find them very interesting and quite different from the official rankings.
BigOnSports Top 10
(Official World Golf Rankings in parenthesis)
- Dustin Johnson (1) – No change at the top. He is clearly the best player in the world at the current time. He hasn’t returned to the form before he injured his back on the eve of the first round of the Masters, but still remains the player to beat whenever he tees it up. He continues to amaze us with his length and athleticism. DJ grabs his second major this year, possibly at the U.S. Open.
- Sergio Garcia (5) – No change here either. Garcia finally got the monkey off his back by winning his first major of his career at the Masters and since hasn’t really played that well but can’t be overlooked and remains in my No. 2 spot. The Masters win has now sunk in and he now can start playing golf the way we are accustomed to seeing. Arguably the best ball-striker of his generation, the Spaniard heads to the U.S. Open rested and very capable of notching another huge win.
- Jon Rahm (10) – Quickly becoming one of the elite players in the world. Since the last rankings edition, he’s moved from No. 13 to No. 10. He continues to get in the mix and he very easily could notch a win at the U.S. Open. Rahm thrives on the big stage and is not afraid to take it deep. He will be a top ten player for the next decade or so.
- Rickie Fowler (9) – Rickie recently finished T2 at the Memorial, then missed the cut the very next week in Memphis. When he’s on, he’s one of the best in the game. He has one of the best putting strokes in the game and also is one of the best drivers of the golf ball. He remains one of the most talented players on the planet. He’s still searching for his first major win and I think he grabs one of the last three this year.
- Jordan Spieth (6) – He won at Pebble Beach earlier this year but hasn’t regained that form in recent months. He did finish second at Colonial a month ago but before that missed two consecutive cuts for the first time in his career. Your guess is as good as mine which Jordan Spieth will show up on any given week. But, he still remains in my top five.
- Rory McIlroy (2) – He’s withdrawn from his last two starts due to rib issues. That’s a big concern. Maybe he should lay off the heavy weight lifting and concentrate on being more flexible in order to stay healthy and perform on a more consistent level. continues to come up empty in the majors. My crystal ball forecast on McIlroy has him again disappointing his fans and more importantly, himself, as he comes up empty in the majors in 2017. The talent is there, but his putting is and health is always a concern.
- Jason Day (3) – The Aussie returns to the top ten after contending at the Byron Nelson where he lost to Billy Horschel in a playoff. He appears to be back on track and injury free and should contend and win this year. It would not surprise me to see him notch another major this year. He’s done it before and can do it again.
- Hideki Matsuyama (4) – A cold putter have the Japanese phenom scratching his head and off the leaderboards the past few months. He continues to disappoint and it won’t be long before he’s out of my top ten. Due to his solid ball striking, he holds on at No. 8 in my rankings. The 24-year old needs to pick up his game and play the kind of golf we know he can, not just one week, but on a consistent basis.
- Justin Rose (11) – He recently withdrew from the Memorial citing back problems and that’s a concern, but no one else has been impressive as of late, so Rose grabs the No. 9 spot. The Gold Medal winner thrives in big events. He already has one U.S. Open title and it wouldn’t surprise me if he adds another.
- Francesco Molinari (16) – The Italian continues to be undervalued. He’s climbed to No. 16 in the world and if he can start winning a few tournaments, he will vault even further up the rankings. He recently finished T6 at The PLAYERS Championship and a solo second at the BMW PGA Championship on the European Tour,
Summary: Jason Day climbs back into the top ten, as does Justin Rose. Francesco Molinari makes his first appearance into the top ten. Players fallen out include Adam Scott and Tyrrell Hatton. World No. 7, Henrik Stenson continues to be on the outside looking in.
On the Bubble
Alex Noren (8) – The Swede has won five times in his last 22 starts and recently won the biggest event in Europe, the BMW PGA Championship. He doesn’t quite make my top ten due to his play in the majors and bigger events on this side of the pond. If he can play well at the U.S. Open, he clearly will be in the top ten in the next issue.
Adam Scott (12) – The veteran Aussie fights his putting on a weekly basis and at the end of the day, that’s the difference from him winning or finishing in the top ten. His last five starts have not been that impressive; MC-T9-T36-T6 and T31. He’s going to have weeks where his ball striking carries him to a win, but inconsistency with the flatstick will always hold him back and why he’s not ranked any higher.
Henrik Stenson (7) – He’s still ranked high in the official rankings, but has fallen back a few spots. He continues to struggle and quite possibly could be on his way down as his best days may be in the rearview mirror. The Swede hasn’t done much this year and doesn’t warrant a top ten ranking.
Thomas Pieters (24) – One of the longer-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 LA and more recently at the WGC – Mexico Championship. The Belgian continues to dazzle us with his superb play, most recently at the Masters where he tied for third Clearly he loves the big stage and could contend at the U.S. Open.
Players on the Rise
Kevin Kisner – No. 19 – He’s climbed all the way into the top 20. That may be his ceiling but after losing a playoff at the Zurich Classic, he backed it up with a win a few weeks later at the DEAN & DELUCA. In his last start he tied for seventh at the Memorial. You can expect to see Kisner on the President’s Cup team this fall and on future Ryder Cup teams. He’s that good!
Kyle Stanley – No. 92 – The former Clemson star contended at the PLAYERS Championship before settling for a T4. He backed that up with another strong performance at the Memorial where he tied for sixth, his fourth top ten of the year. He’s rising in the rankings – almost 40 spots since the last edition. Don’t be surprised if he grabs a win this year and climbs into the top 50.
Danny Willett – No. 28 – Willett makes the list again. “One hit Wonder” Willett continues to fall and fall hard. As predicted, he is falling off the face of the earth in the world rankings. He’s all the way down to No. 28 and will continue to plummet. His game is bad. He misses cuts on a regular basis and is one of the most overrated players in the world. He may take a leave from the game, his game is that bad.
Zach Johnson – No. 67 – The two-time major champion fell 11 more spots since the last rankings. His recent switch of equipment have created a lot of disappointing finishes. The once ball-striking machine is now just an average player and I hope they paid him well because his on course play is the worst I’ve seen it. He used to be one of the most dependable players in the game and now is a huge risk, mainly due to the new clubs in his bag. He continues to fade in the rankings and will continue to do so. You won’t see him on the President’s Cup team this fall. His game is gone!
Going, going gone
Former World No. 1 Tiger Woods has hit rock bottom. Another back surgery and his recent arrest for DUI have pretty much washed him away. Sad, but true, Woods is finished!
Check back the week before The PGA Championship to get the fourth edition of the BigOnSports golf rankings.