Tiger Woods didn't hit the ball well at Wachovia, but unlike the Masters, he putted well enough to get himself out of trouble.
Richard Heathcote/Getty Images
By Jim Gorant
Thursday, January 22, 2009

I worked with SI's statistical guru, David Sabino, to develop a mathematical formula to determine the top 10 PGA Tour players. The rankings incorporate 15 different statistical categories, including wins, top 10s, cuts made, earnings, total driving, greens in regulation, putting average, save percentage, eagles and birdies. Some are weighted to grant them additional influence, so it's more reflective of overall play than simply dollars earned.

Players lose ground if they take a week off, so the list won't go stagnant with the same old names sitting at the top.

1. Tiger Woods. Well, it didn't take long for Woods to assume the top spot in the rankings. Once again, Tiger didn't hit the ball well, but unlike the Masters, he putted well enough to get himself out of trouble. Now that he's going to start playing more, it's going to be hard to knock him from the top. (Last week: 9)\n

\n2. Vijay Singh. Singh could've stayed a lot closer to Woods both in our calculations and in FedEx Cup points if he hadn't triple-bogeyed the final hole. Singh may have an advantage this week at the newly refurbished TPC Stadium course, which is his home track. (Last week: 1)\n

\n3. Phil Mickelson. That's back-to-back top 5s for Phil since his much-analyzed swing coach switch. Still, he had several chances to jump into the winner's mix, but failed at critical junctures. He and Butch have more work to do, which isn't news to either of them. (Last week: 4)\n

\n4. Charles Howell III. Howell is still coasting off his hot start. A T52 at the Wachovia is emblematic of his drop into the pack, although it's impressive he finished that high after shooting an opening-round 78. He needs to get the putter revved up again if he wants to stay in this thing. (Last week: 2)\n

\n5. Zach Johnson. Johnson finished last among those making the cut, thanks in large part to a final-round 80 punctuated by a bogey, double, double, par finish. Everything went wrong for the normally straight driver and steady putter, as he hit only 46% of the fairways and averaged 30 putts a day. (Last week: 7)\n

\n6. Luke Donald. Donald and Johnson are similar players — short, accurate, good putters — and both struggled last week. Donald didn't do anything well at Quail Hollow and missed the cut after making eight bogeys and only four birdies in 36 holes. (Last week: 8)\n

\n7. John Rollins. Rollins could only muster a 56th last week, but he played well except for a 76 on Friday when he was undone by poor iron play. He hit almost 60% of the fairways but only 33% of the greens in regulation. (Last week: 3)\n

\n8. Aaron Baddeley. Badds played fairly well, finishing 43rd, he just couldn't really get it going. Hopefully he'll get the kinks worked out this week, because it would be great to see him win the Players and add some fuel to the fire that's starting to build around him as the game's next big star. He's won twice in the last year, and a marquee pelt would go a long way. (Last week: 5)\n

\n9. Mark Calcavecchia. Calc skipped the Wachovia and fell three spots as several guys behind him made the cut. Still, Quail Hollow was so tough that many guys hurt their stats, which kept Calcavecchia from losing more ground. (Last week: 6)\n

\n10. Adam Scott. Scott got a top 25 (24th) out of the weekend and some good omens for the future. He hit the ball a mile (10th in driving distance) and putted well (10th in avg. putts). He'll need to be more accurate to succeed at Sawgrass, though. (Last week: Not ranked)\n

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