FedEx St. Jude Classic Preview: Who’s Hot? Who’s Not?

June 9, 2015

Forget the World Rankings, according to our calculations (see below) these are the Tour’s hottest players two weeks out from the Open.

1. Jordan Spieth – 334 points

Shot a final-round 65 to finish T-3 at Memorial, missing out on the playoff by two strokes. But coming off a T-2 at Colonial, it was good enough to take him to the top of our list. With two wins and nine top-tens in 2015, Spieth is having the best overall season of anyone on Tour. He will take this week off to get ready for the U.S. Open, where he’s sure to be counted among the favorites.

2. Soren Kjeldsen – 313 points

Added a runner-up finish at last week’s Nordea Masters to go with his Irish Open victory the week before, but the U.S. Open wasn’t in his plans this year so he didn’t try to qualify. Despite climbing 223 spots on the World Rankings—in just the last two weeks—No. 80 won’t be good enough to earn the Dane an exemption to Chambers Bay. Look for him next at the BMW International at the end of June.

3. Rory McIlory – 298.33 points

Skipped out on the Memorial to get ready for the U.S. Open. As the defending PGA Championship title-holder, McIlroy will first fly to Wisconsin on Friday for the PGA Championship media day before heading to Tacoma to get ready for Chambers Bay.

4. Francesco Molinari – 277.67 points

The Italian was in the hunt at the Memorial before finding the water on 16 on Sunday. The subsequent double bogey pushed him out of the playoff and into a T-3 finish, marking his second top-three performance in the last four weeks, which, along with a 5 spot at the BMW PGA Championship, has pushed him from No. 70 to No. 44 in the world.

5. Kevin Kisner – 230 points

Has played six events in the last nine weeks, finishing in the top-8 four times, including playoff loses at the Heritage and Players Championship. Despite battling back trouble all week, Kisner secured a top-10 at the Memorial with a gutsy 70 on Sunday, moving him from 61st to 57th in the world rankings and earning a spot at Chambers Bay—assuming he’s not overtaken by at least four players while he sits out next week to rest his ailing back.

6. Byeong-Hun An – 265.33 points

Stayed home in Orlando last week to prep for Chambers Bay, a course that should afford some good memories thanks to his semifinal run in the 2010 U.S. Amateur there. The South Korean has risen from 132nd to 51st in the world in the last four weeks, mainly thanks to his win at the BMW Championship.

7. Justin Rose – 251.67 points

Missed a golden opportunity to notch two wins in two months when he fell short in the Memorial playoff to David Lingmerth. Rose will take this week off before heading to Washington, where he’ll once again be one of the favorites.

8. Alex Noren – 246 points

Incredible to think that he started the year on a medical extension after suffering tendinitis in both wrists last year. Noren finished 2014 ranked 214th but has since climbed to No. 70 with his win at the Nordea Masters. He’ll take this week off after punching his Open ticket in a qualifier at Walton Heath last week.

9. Chris Kirk – 227.33 points

Won at Colonial, finished T-36th at Memorial. Taking this week off to get ready for the Open.

10. Miguel Angel Jimenez – 223 points

He missed the cut at the Nordea Masters, but in the three weeks prior, the Spaniard notched a pair of runner-up finishes at the Open de Espana and the BMW PGA Championship, putting him back in the World top-50 just in time for a U.S. Open nod.

Here’s how the system works:

*The GOLFstats player rankings provides a method of determining the hottest players based on the last nine weeks on the PGA and European Tours.

*132 points for a regular Tour win. All finishers in top-50 get points via a declining scale.

*198 points for a win in WGC events, Players and BMW PGA.

*264 points for a win in a major championship.

*Points are lost for miss cut, DQ or WD: 10 for regular events, 15 for WGC, Players & BMW PGA, 20 for majors.

*All points get degraded 1/3 after weeks 4, 5 & 6, then degraded 2/3 for weeks 7, 8 & 9.

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