In our first BigOnSports golf rankings, we discussed the emergence of budding star, Jon Rahm. A month later we have to talk about another Spaniard, Sergio Garcia, who after years and years of frustration in major tournaments, finally got the monkey off his back by winning The Masters.
Both Garcia and Rahm make the top 3 in the second edition of BigOnSports world golf rankings. So let’s take a look at the complete list of BigOnSports rankings ahead of The PLAYERS Championship. You will find them very interesting and quite different from the OWGR, which are in parenthesis next to each player’s name.
- Dustin Johnson (1) – He was clearly the best player in the world before he injured his back on the eve of the first round of the Masters. He is nearing a return to the game and hopefully he’s back to full strength and can continue amazing us with his length and athleticism. DJ grabs his second major this year.
- Sergio Garcia (7) – He finally got the monkey off his back by winning his first major of his career at the Masters. Arguably the best ball-striker of his generation, Garcia finally found happiness off the course, which paved the way for his epic victory. His attitude, in the past, was always a hindrance, particularly in big events, but it is now one of his strengths and there are more major wins on the horizon. He finally kicked the door down and now is going to be tough to beat.
- Jon Rahm (13) – Quickly becoming one of the elite players in the world. Since the last rankings edition, he’s moved from No. 25 to No. 13. I’ve been high on Rahm all year. When Phil Mickelson says that Rahm is already one of the best players in the world, I’m buying it. Look for the former ASU Sun Devil to keep improving and keep winning golf tournaments. Majors he will have to wait for, but look for him to win a few more times this year and continue climbing in the rankings.
- Rory McIlroy (2) – He 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 always a concern.
- Rickie Fowler (9) – Rickie was leading the Masters a few weeks ago, but struggled on Sunday with a 78. He’s one of the best drivers of the ball on the planet and also one of the best putters. You would think with that deadly combination of driving and putting that the flashy Fowler would win more often, but his lack of course management in crucial situations has cost him, however, I do see him winning a major this year.
- Jordan Spieth (5) – He won at Pebble Beach earlier this year but hasn’t regained that form in recent months. He’s a contender anytime he pegs it up and needs to cash in when he’s in the mix to return to the top.
- Hideki Matsuyama (4) – A cold putter has the Japanese phenom scratching his head and off the leaderboards the past few months. His ball-striking prowess makes him a contender on any given week, but he must improve his short game to be totally elite. But don’t forget, this kid is still just 24 years old.
- Thomas Pieters (27) – 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 L.A. 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.
- Justin Rose (8) – I would have him easily ranked in the top 5 if he was wearing a Green Jacket because his ball striking and clutch putting can’t be overlooked. He needs to win more, but I could easily see the Englishman sneak up even further in the coming months. I mean…he does have a Gold Medal.
- Tyrrell Hatton (16) – The Englishman is quietly climbing in the rankings. In the last rankings I said, “It won’t be long and he will be in my top 10.” Well this edition he climbs into my top 10. His ball striking is solid but his putting is the key as he ranks in the top 5 on both tours in that statistic. It wouldn’t surprise me if he knocks off a big tournament this year, possibly even a major.
Summary: The Europeans are coming, the Europeans are coming. Wow, I have six Europeans in my top 10 and that doesn’t include Swede Henrik Stenson. That bodes well for their Ryder Cup squad in two years. Jason Day, who is currently ranked No. 3 in the world doesn’t crack BigOnSports’ top 10!
On the Bubble
Adam Scott (10) – 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 10. 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.
Henrik Stenson (6) – He’s still ranked high in the official rankings, but what has he done lately? Nothing! He doesn’t win enough to warrant a top 10 ranking.
Justin Thomas (11) – His three wins this year are the most by anyone. Pound for pound the longest hitter in the world. He’s excelled on every level and is around for a long time to come. He’s cooled off recently and hasn’t played well in the majors, which is why he doesn’t crack the top 10.
Players on the Rise
Ollie Schniederjans – No. 100 – Former No. 1 ranked amateur is slowly working his way on to the PGA Tour. He played solid on the West Coast Swing and will continue to improve and move up the rankings. Since the last BigOnSports rankings, he’s moved up 28 spots. Look for the former Georgia Tech star to grab a win this year.
Patrick Cantlay – No. 133 – He is another former top-ranked amateur who started the year playing on a medical exemption. He needed to make $608K in nine starts to keep his card and by golly, he came through with a solo second at the Valspar Championship to earn $684K and now he can play pretty much where he wants the rest of the year. The former UCLA Bruin is on the move, climbing 105 spots in just over a month.
Patrick Reed – No. 15 – I thought that after he starred in the Ryder Cup that he would take off and win tournaments, but that never happened and now the cocky Reed finds himself searching for answers and even questioning his equipment. His game is a mess…he’s driving it all over the place and seems to have lost his confidence in his short game.
Danny Willett – No. 21 – “One hit Wonder” Willett, as predicted, is falling off the face of the earth in the world rankings. He’s all the way down to No. 21 and will continue to fall. His game is bad. He misses cuts on a regular basis and is one of the most overrated players in the world.
Zach Johnson – No. 56 – The two-time major champion recently switched equipment to PXG and his game has suffered. I hope they paid him well because his on-course play is the worst I’ve seen from him, ever. 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 fall in the rankings and now is outside the top 50.
All Washed Up
Tiger Woods – No. 808 – The former No. 1 player in the world recently had his fourth back surgery and his future looks bleak and may be over. All the steroids, weight lifting and training have taken their toll on Eldrick and sadly, his days of competing appear to be over.
Check back the week before the U.S. Open to get the third edition of the BigOnSports golf rankings.