Ryan O'Sullivan

Sully's Snapshot

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Ryan's Top 125: Preseason Rank

Monday, September 30, 2013

26  Luke Donald  It’s time to come to grips with the fact that he is no longer the elite player that ascended to world number one and led the 2011 money list. He is now in that next tier.

27  Ryan Moore  Finished 32nd or better in earnings in three of the last five seasons. Could be a nice candidate for a big rebound coming off a 61st in 2013.

28  Charl Schwartzel  Due to heavy global schedule, he’s never finished better than 24th on the PGA TOUR money list. While he could win at any time, starts are a reason for caution if the value isn’t reasonable.

29  Harris English  Perhaps not the sexiest member of the 2012 rookie class, he may be the most stable. Picked up his first win in 2013 and was 27th on the money list after a respectable 79th in his rookie campaign.

30  Graeme McDowell  His 2013 season was defined by missed cuts and wins, with plenty of each across the globe. Has never finished better than 28th on the money list.

31  Jonas Blixt  An excellent putter, he’s good for a few hot weeks with wins in each of his first two seasons on TOUR. A young Brian Gay.

32  Lee Westwood  Given his history of high finishes, but rare victories, this is a good slot for his value.

33  Matt Every  High on the list of non-winners with the ability to get hot and pick one off, his 40th on the 2012 PGA TOUR money list is evidence of the potential.

34  Kyle Stanley  Fought through a pretty lengthy slump and still finished 62nd on the 2013 ML. The few weeks he putts can be very special.

35  David Lingmerth  I’m already regretting this, as he is a perfect candidate for the sophomore slump.

36  Ian Poulter  Ryder Cup season should bring out the best in the Brit.

37  John Peterson  And you thought Billy Horschel was confident? Won the Web.com Tour Finals money list which gives him full exemption on TOUR in 2013-14.

38  Bubba Watson  Very average last season. Important season for him to prove he is a top-tier player.

39  Kevin Chappell  Coming off his best season on the PGA TOUR at 56th on money list, all signs point to another solid campaign.

40  Roberto Castro  Made the leap from 118th on the 2012 money list to 29th in ’13 with several near misses.

41  Rory Sabbatini  Played really well down the stretch in 2013, with his focus seemingly returned to his career.

42  Bo Van Pelt  After four consecutive seasons inside the top 40 on the money list, he plummeted to 88th in 2013. With no obvious reason as to why, a return to a more familiar status is possible, if not likely.

43  Chris Kirk  Quickly becoming one of those guys where you know what you get. His money list finishes dating back to 2011 are a respective 45th, 78th and 47th.

44  Brendon de Jonge  Never a winner, but has been 42nd or better on the money list in three of the last four seasons. Great before the cut, but a notorious weekend fader.

45  Scott Piercy  After a career-best 27th in money in 2012, he finished a very quiet 39th in 2013 meaning this spot is entirely in the cards.

46  Morgan Hoffmann  Young gun loaded with potential and coming off a successful 2013 rookie season.

47  Scott Stallings  He will miss his share of cuts, but has a knack for winning out of nowhere in events where the scores go deep and prestige is lacking.

48  John Huh  Backed up a stellar rookie season with a 58th on the 2013 money list.

49  Jason Kokrak  Has length to spare and has progressed from 119th as a rookie to 70th on last season’s money list as a sophomore. Made a legit run at AT&T National.

50  Marc Leishman  Aussie will enter the season fresh off his first Presidents Cup appearance and having challenged for the Masters deep into the back nine on Sunday.

51  Martin Kaymer  Finished 94th on the money list in his first season as a member of the PGA TOUR. Familiarity will breed more success, as he finished the 2013 season better than he started.

52  Louis Oosthuizen  An admitted shot in the dark, his 2013 season was cut short due to injury and he eventually finished 137th on the money list after ranking 15th in 2012.

53  Jimmy Walker  Has improved his position on the money list every year since ranking 185th in 2008, finishing 30th this season. Expect a correction back to a sustainable baseline. This position is between his 48th in 2012 and his 67th in 2011, which feels about right.

54  Gary Woodland  Returned to significance with his win at the Reno-Tahoe Open, and played pretty well down the stretch. Record of inconsistency doesn’t warrant much better than this.

55  Ernie Els  He has an every-other-year trend working that bodes well for 2013-14, but with a 93rd in 2011 and a 74th in 2013 it’s hard to be overly optimistic. He turns 44 on October 17th.

56  Hideki Matsuyama  Japanese star has committed to make the requisite 15 starts this season and played well in the majors, with top 20s in the U.S. Open, Open Championship and PGA Championship.

57  Bud Cauley  After a terrible 2013 that cost him his card, he dropped down to the Web.com Tour Finals and earned it back. Expect him to come back humbled and motivated.

58  D.A. Points  Finished inside the top 70 on the money list in four of the last five years, so this is right in his range.

59  Richard H. Lee  Improved from 138th to 89th in earnings in his sophomore year and consistently posts impressive splits in important statistical categories.

60  Aaron Baddeley  A virtual dart throw, he has finished outside the top 100 on the money list in three of his last five years, but posted a 20th during that stretch as well. Putter is a known commodity, but has to find fairways and greens a couple of times a year to have a chance.

61  Charles Howell III  Catching on to a weaker trend in Ryder Cup years, he was 69th, 60th and 67th in 2008, 2010 and 2012, respectively.

62  Charley Hoffman  Steadily in this range for each of the last five years, he’s finished no higher than 25th and no lower than 66th on the money list since 2009.

63  Ben Martin  Was 164th as a rookie on the 2011 money list, but a breakout year on the 2013 Web.com Tour, with a pair of wins, points to a nice second trip to the big stage.

64  Robert Garrigus  Proved that his 20th spot on the 2012 money list was a step outside of his class, but nothing worse than 77th or better than 51st in the three years surround that slots him in nicely here.

65  Kevin Streelman  If he’s a stock, it’s time to sell high. Finished 62nd to 107th in each of the five years leading up to the season of his first win, so expect a noticeable drop from 17th in 2013.

66  Martin Laird  Considering he’s been no worse than 65th on each of the last five money lists, this is a bit of a slight. Consistency from week to week is a legitimate concern.

67  Chris Stroud  Lost in a playoff to Ken Duke at the Travelers Championship, but had a solid season across the board. Don’t be surprised if he breaks through.

68  Brian Davis  Captain Consistent has an average money list finish of 65.33, ranging from 43rd to 96th over the past six seasons and was 72nd in 2013.

69  John Rollins  Another Steady Eddie, ranges from 59th to 76th in the last four money list. He tends to peek his head up in weaker fields and on easier courses, but don’t count him out in any Texas event either.

70  Ryan Palmer  Has trended in the wrong direction on each of the last four money lists, moving from 17th in 2010 to 47th, 58th and 59th in subsequent seasons.

71  Jeff Overton  Busy year off the course saw him fall to 112th in the 2013 money list, but was no worse than 76th in the four seasons prior.

72  David Hearn  Nearly gathered his first win at the John Deere Classic, losing in a lengthy playoff to Jordan Spieth that also included Zach Johnson.

73  Chesson Hadley  Fresh off his win at the Web.com Tour Championship, his second of the season, consider him a threat as a rookie in 2013-14.

74  Michael Thompson  Has plenty of bad weeks, but can’t ignore that he’s improved from 98th to 60th to 52nd in earnings in his three TOUR seasons. Expect a minor correction back to a weaker spot on the money list.

75  Cameron Tringale  Probably should have won by now. At four years in, he’s ranked inside the top 90 in each of his last three seasons on the money list. Admits he does not look at a leaderboard in tournaments when in contention.

76  Ben Crane  Perhaps we learn down the road that his 105th on the 2013 money list was caused by something other than a poor year, but for now we have to assume he finds his way back to a more familiar higher spot. Typically slots in the 40-70 range, so this could be a value buy.

77  Tim Clark  Since an injury-plagued 2011, finished 61st and 64th on the last two money lists. Could play more events than normal due to upcoming anchored putter ban in an effort to make hay while the sun is shining.

78  Matt Jones  Looked strong at times in 2013 and eventually finishing 48th on the money list, which is much higher than his career trend. This season could go either way. A worthy risk in the right spot.

79  Kevin Stadler  The book on him is simple. He’s very dangerous the few weeks where his long putter cooperates.

80  Bryce Molder  Slipped to 102nd on the 2013 money list, which is his worst finish in the last five seasons. Another solid guy on the stat sheet that could put it together for a few big weeks.

81  Mark Wilson  Known as a player that does most of his damage early in the calendar year, consider bailing once the major season dawns if that is an option.

82  Jamie Lovemark  Banking on this as a Matt Every or Billy Horschel situation, where it took a little time to adjust to the ranks of professional golf but the talent has always been there.

83  Peter Hanson  Concluded 2013 at 125th on the money list in his first PGA TOUR season as a member. Similar to Kaymer, familiarity should yield better results.

84  Brendan Steele  Was 38th on the 2011 money list with a win as a rookie, then dropped to 110th in 2012 before rebounding to 82nd in ’13. Barring a win, this seems to be a stable range.

85  Brendon Todd  Finished 140th on the 2013 money list with conditional status and picked up a Web.com Tour win on the side. It’s all coming together for the Georgia Bulldog.

86  Seung-yul Noh  Suffered a sophomore slump, but regained his card after a nice run in the Web.com Finals. If he plays like he did to end the year on the Web.com, this spot is too low.

87  Carl Pettersson  Stay with me on this one. He was 21st on the 2008 money list then collapsed to 136th in 2009. He was 13th in 2012, and then fell to 110th in 2013. Hangovers seem to be a problem for the Swede, but he rebounded from ’09 to finish 39th in 2010.

88  Pat Perez  The last four years, the money list range has been 73rd to 101st. This is who he is.

89  Padraig Harrington  At 42, it has to be considered that he isn’t going to significantly rebound from form that has seen him finish outside the top 100 on the money list in two of the last three years. He is no longer elite, and the data says he hasn’t been since 2009.

90  Luke Guthrie  Failed to deliver on lofty expectations to the degree Russell Henley and Patrick Reed did in 2013, but easily earned a ticket for at return trip. Fingers crossed he isn’t this season’s Bud Cauley.

91  Daniel Summerhays  Six top 25s and four top 10s in each of his last two years on TOUR qualify him as a stable investment.

92  John Merrick  Finally got a win in 2013, but made little noise after his triumph. Expect a quiet 2013-14.

93  Thorbjorn Olesen  Wouldn’t be surprised to see him higher on numerous rankings, but the 2013 efforts of Nicolas Colsaerts, Peter Hanson and Martin Kaymer should be reason enough to temper immediate expectations.

94  David Lynn  Played well enough early in the 2013 season to head back to Europe for the better part of the summer, one must question his commitment once his card is locked up.

95  Russell Henley  The winner of the first full-field event in his rookie season, this is around where he would have finished without that victory.

96  John Senden  The veteran dropped to 120th in the money list after four consecutive years inside the top 70. It’s reasonable to expect a moderate rebound.

97  Boo Weekley  Season slowed down after his win at Colonial, which could easily carry over to the new year.

98  Fredrik Jacobson  Hasn’t had a top 10 on TOUR since the WGC-Accenture Match Play, so while this is below his career value, it is in line with his struggling form.

99  Angel Cabrera  Somewhat similar to Baddeley, he’s finished everywhere from 21st to 174th on the last five money lists.

100  Sang-moon Bae  Didn’t crack the top 30 in any event and missed seven cuts after winning the Byron Nelson.

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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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