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. Woods struggled at Sawgrass and didn’t break par until a late rally on Sunday yielded a 67, just enough to get him to even for the week. As he did two weeks ago, he struggled with his ballstriking, but this time he couldn’t bail himself out with the putter. Still, he’s the only guy out there with three Ws. ( Last week: 1)
2. Phil Mickelson. Phil jumps into second with his win. Unfortunately for him our Power Ranking doesn’t weight the field so he gets the same number of points for winning the Players as he would for winning the Byron Nelson, which has weaker competition on easier courses. If we did, Phil might have jumped into first. ( Last week: 3)
3. Vijay Singh. Singh didn’t have a great week on his home course, finishing at 1-over par, but he hangs onto the third spot. Look for him to make a move over the next few weeks as he plays some of the lesser events that many other top players skip. ( Last week: 2)
4. Charles Howell III. Howell finished last out of the players who made the cut and any momentum he had from early in the season is dead. But thanks to the made cut and good statistical performance in a number of categories he’s hanging onto fourth. ( Last week: 4)
5. Adam Scott. Scott jumped from 24th to 6th on the final day with an impressive 67 and that round catapulted him from 10th to fifth on our list. With all the focus on the new Mickelson-Butch Harmon pairing, it’s easy to forget that Scott has been Harmon’s top student for the last few years and has one of the best swings in the game. ( Last week: 10)
6. Zach Johnson. Johnson also rallied on Sunday, producing a 69 that moved him to 3-under, good for T16. He seems to be adjusting to the pressure of being a Masters champion well, but I get the feeling that the fatigue of his new life in the limelight is going to catch up with him at some point during the season. ( Last week: 5)
7. Luke Donald. Donald was one of the players who went backwards on Sunday, falling from T5 to T16, which is probably why he dropped a few spots on our list as well. He showed signs of the form that’s made him a consistent threat the last few years, but for whatever reason he’s not playing his best yet. ( Last week: 6)
8. Sergio Garcia. At last Sergio made a few putts when it counted and played himself into contention on Sunday instead of out. He nabbed second when Sean O’Hair imploded on 17-his fourth top 10 of the year-and in the process vaulted to seventh, effectively knocking Mark Calcavecchia from the list. ( Last week: Not ranked)
9. Aaron Baddeley. Badds suffered a similar fate as that of Luke Donald, starting off in fifth and falling back, in this case dropping all the way to T37. The meltdown under pressure deals a blow to the theory that he’s ready to rise to the game’s elite level. ( Last week: 8)
10. John Rollins. Rollins plummeted from T24 to T58 in the last round by shooting a cold 76. He struggled on the greens, taking 33 putts on Friday and 32 on Sunday and only broke par once during the event, posting a 68 on Saturday. ( Last week: 7)