Ryan O'Sullivan

Sully's Snapshot

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Ryan's Top 125, Third Edition

Thursday, April 18, 2013

Not only does the world of golf have a new number one, but so does the third edition of Sully’s Snapshot!


Tiger Woods’ play speaks for itself in the early going. He backed up his win at Torrey Pines with victories at Doral and Bay Hill, not to mention a tie for fourth at the Masters. Rory McIlroy has shown flashes, but is no longer worthy of the top spot.


The famous last words of the last edition was that a win for Matt Kuchar was “seemingly inevitable,” and he went out and won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship later that week.


Heading to Florida, Michael Thompson came out of nowhere to capture The Honda Classic just after we faded him out of the power rankings. He returns in the 34th spot in this edition.


While Tiger was off winning Doral, Scott Brown took advantage of a rare opportunity and picked off the Puerto Rico Open. Brown was playing with conditional status, having finished in the 126-150 category in his rookie year on TOUR. He will no longer split time on the Web.com Tour and debuts in this feature at 71st. Keep in mind, he only received half points for his win since it was an opposite-field event.  Perhaps the other big story that emerged was Jordan Spieth.


Next up was the Tampa Bay Championship, and Kevin Streelman made it three first-time winners in a row in full-field events when he hoisted his first trophy. He jumps from 103rd to 23rd this time around.

In the easiest one-and-done call of the year, Tiger picked up win number three at Bay Hill.


The Texas two-step saw D.A. Points baffle everyone -- given his poor form -- and win the Shell Houston Open to vault from 116th to 36th. The next week in San Antonio, Martin Laird did the exact same thing in holding off Rory McIlroy to move from 59th to 31st.


With the attention of the world and weight of Australia on his shoulders, Adam Scott slipped on the green jacket and modestly moved from 11th to sixth.


The rankings below are not the current FedExCup standings, rather an educated guess as to how the final 125 will look leading into the Playoffs. It takes into account a player's form and the courses he has remaining to play. In parenthesis is where each ranked in our second edition.


Last season, it took 363 points to secure a spot in the top 125. That means Lee Westwood, 47th in the current standings with 370 points, is the last man relatively secure. It also means that a guy currently in 80th place is nowhere close to locking up a tee time in The Barclays just yet.


Here we go:


Rank  Golfer (Previous Rank)  Comment


Tiger Woods (2)  With three early wins and regaining the No. 1 spot in the world rankings, he nabs the top honors.

Brandt Snedeker (3)  Showed up big at the Masters after an early rib injury, proving he’s in it for the long haul. He will be a factor in the remaining majors.

Rory McIlroy (1)  Didn’t get it done at the Masters, but a runner-up in San Antonio shows he’s ready to pick up a win in a non-major soon. Quail Hollow is the likely spot.

Dustin Johnson (8)  Awoke from a funk after his first win to nab a top five in Houston and looks to have regained his focus. Spent his share of time on the Masters leaderboards.

Matt Kuchar (10)  We know he won the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, and then he contended at Augusta National for a while. He’s not going anywhere.

6  Adam Scott (11)  Tied for third at Doral and won the green jacket. Playing a light schedule but showing up big.

Justin Rose (5)  Runner-up at Bay Hill and excellent ball-striking early in the season forecast big things. Could have easily left Augusta National with a top 10 if not for a seven on the par-3 12th in the finale.

Hunter Mahan (12)  Made eight (of 10) cuts. All have been T26 or better.

Bill Haas (25)  Only lacks closing the deal on the weekends. He’s giving himself numerous opportunities.

10  Keegan Bradley (9)  Racking up top 10s (five) and top 25s (7) like it’s nothing.

11  Charl Schwartzel (4)  Seems to have cooled down, but isn’t far off the game that saw him dominate in late 2012 and early 2013 across the globe.

12  Phil Mickelson (17)  Continuing to prove that we really have no clue in what weeks he will show up.

13  Rickie Fowler (16)  With three top-six finishes, could be peaking for his Quail Hollow defense. Has to stop with the double bogeys.

14  Charles Howell III (38)  I keep waiting on him to fall off, but he hasn’t.

15  Steve Stricker (34)  His number of starts continues to be a moving target, but big week at Doral shows he will be ready when his number is called.

16  Sergio Garcia (20)  Three top 10s in six starts this year show the form is here to stay.

17  Bubba Watson (14)  Not a surprise that the Masters defense wasn’t the best. Still plenty of courses for him to contend, but the majors don’t set up well from this point on.

18  Luke Donald (6)  Doesn’t seem to have his “A” game yet, but that could change as soon as Harbour Town.

19  Chris Kirk (24)  Only thing missing is a win.

20  Billy Horschel (46)  See Chris Kirk.

21  Ian Poulter (21)  Didn’t factor at the Masters, but should stand a decent chance at both the U.S. and British Opens.

22  Jason Day (29)  Nearly claimed a green jacket and continues to impress in a bounce-back 2013. Could easily be 10 spots higher on this list.

23  Kevin Streelman (103)  With a win under his belt, we will find out if he’s satisfied or still hungry.

24  Jason Dufner (13)  His play in New Orleans will serve as an excellent litmus as to the state of his game.

25  Lee Westwood (22)  Needs to watch it or he will be this year’s Bo Van Pelt with a handful of low top 10s but few times actually contending.

26  Graeme McDowell (35)  Had some nice weeks early in the Florida Swing, but faded late. Look forward to seeing him at Merion.

27  Webb Simpson (18)  A couple of top 20s since we last checked in, but not really contending much.

28  Jim Furyk (36)  Could be a factor in Hilton Head this week.

29  Jimmy Walker (32) Still hasn’t missed a cut in 10 tries, but only one top 10 since the West Coast Swing.

30  Fredrik Jacobson (63)  He’s been a top-25 machine in 2013. With the U.S. Open on the horizon at a short course like Merion, he could be a dark horse.

31  Martin Laird (59)  After a very weak start to the season, he held off Rory McIlroy to win the Valero Texas Open.

32  Scott Piercy (26)  Following a similar trend to a successful 2012.

33  Russell Henley (30)  Nine rounds in the 60s in his first three tournaments, but just two in six stroke-play starts since.

34  Michael Thompson (NR)  First win came out of nowhere, which was not unlike his runner-up at the U.S. Open last year. Continue to expect the idle big week amid plenty of mediocrity.

35  Brian Gay (28)  If he’s going to mount another charge it could begin at the Heritage.

36  D.A. Points (116)  Surprise winner at the Shell Houston Open after no top 60s entering that week.

37  Cameron Tringale (53)  Watch out for him in weaker fields this year. Showing flashes that the first win may not be far away.

38  John Merrick (33)  Hasn’t done much to back up Northern Trust win.

39  Luke Guthrie (52)  Another young gun to watch out for as the season continues to unfold.

40  Henrik Stenson (NR)  Was an elite player not long ago and may soon be again.

41  Bo Van Pelt (27)  In a year where many thought he would win on TOUR, he’s instead taken a step back.

42  Nick Watney (19)  Looked primed for a big season after Torrey Pines, but has been rather  unimpressive since.

43  Angel Cabrera (NR)  Looked excellent at the Masters, but it’s always hard to trust him on a weekly basis. With the other majors on short tracks, it’s likely Augusta National will be his best finish by a wide margin.

44  Brendon de Jonge (55)  Continues to be consistent, but lacks that huge week.

45  Robert Garrigus (15)  Continued to struggle after WGC-Accenture Match Play success.

46  Jeff Overton (57)  With two top 10s in 11 starts, his season is following a predictable pattern given his past history.

47  K.J. Choi (90)  Easily having a better year than 2012, but not even close to where he was in 2011.

48  Tim Clark (42)  Showed at the Masters that he will continue to appear periodically.

49  Zach Johnson (37)  Not looking sharp yet, but a run of shorter courses could render him a factor again soon.

50  Peter Hanson (99)  Continuing to adapt well to golf in the U.S. Wouldn’t be surprised with a big finish soon.

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Ryan O’Sullivan joined Rotoworld in 2012. The Clemson grad blogs as The Golf Aficionado and can be found on Twitter @ryangolfblogger.
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