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Josh Culp

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Top 150 Golfers for 2019 Pt. 2

Friday, December 7, 2018


Keeping the train moving, this is part two (of three) for ranking the top 150 golfers ahead of the 2019 calendar year. 

Here is PART ONE for anyone that missed it. 

As a reminder, full status is very important when considering your options. There are many European Tour golfers that would deserve a spot on this list if they were allowed the starts. There are also some golfers stranded with conditional status which prevents them from playing all the events they want to play.

Jim Furyk was the only golfer to crack this Top 150 list from the conditional bucket. It's just too hard to trust a golfer to perform when you can only really bank on 18 starts, give or take a few. 

Again, here is the brief rundown of key metrics I'm looking at when ranking these golfers: 

2018 SG Rank = 
Performance per Round during the 2018 calendar year, adjusted to the strength of field. Also, the rank is limited to only the golfers that cracked the final Top 150 list. 

5-Year SG Rank = 
Performance per Round since 2014, adjusted to the strength of field. This is generally the best metric for determining a golfer's true talent but the 2018 number is a great way to see where that golfer is trending. 

Projected 2019 Earnings =
A rough estimate of expected earnings in PGA TOUR events, during the 2019 calendar year, but not including next year's fall schedule. Anything a golfer has earned so far this season is not included here.


#99 Kramer Hickok


2018 SG Rank: 108
5-Year SG Rank: 147
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,262,100

Notes: If you read my Web Graduate article then you'll know I'm high on Kramer this year. He finished 5th amongst all graduates in terms of worldwide strokes gained in 2018. He flashed some of that talent in the fall. He was T5 after day one of the Shriners and co-led after R1 of the Mayakoba (T10 after 36 holes). I would expect at least one top 5 this season to help him make the Playoffs in his rookie season. 

#98 Whee Kim

2018 SG Rank: 145
5-Year SG Rank: 139
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,262,440

Notes: The numbers rarely are in his favor but he finds a way to get the job done at least a few times a year. He has a beautiful swing but the biggest issue is his lack of distance. He can hang with the big boys, though, if you put him on a second-shot course. That is why he has three runner-up finishes to his name, despite his overall stat profile being average at best. 

#97 Charley Hoffman

2018 SG Rank: 61
5-Year SG Rank: 45
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,263,000

Notes: The 41-year-old finished outside the top 40 in six of his last seven starts in 2018. He skipped his hometown event at the Shriners. His baseline Off-the-Tee per Event is 1.4 since 2012 but over his last 20 starts it is just half that (0.7 SG OTT per event). The concern there is a big dip in distance. Was he fighting through an injury in 2018 and will be ready to rebound in 2019 or has his age caught up with him and he will be battling through injuries for the rest of his career? It's hard to say but I personally I will let others find out. 

#96 Michael Kim

2018 SG Rank: 150
5-Year SG Rank: 146
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,263,600

Notes: Took a huge dip in terms of consistency during 2018 but it turned out to be the best season of his career due to a runaway victory at the John Deere Classic. Before that, he was a golfer you could rely on for a top 50 but he rarely cracked the top 20. Kim won the Jack Nicklaus Award and the Fred Haskins Award during his time at Cal. The pedigree is there and he now has some cushion in terms of job security. Statistically, he's shorter than the TOUR average and also less accurate. With his lack of distance, he will at least to need to fix the accuracy issue before he takes the next leap in his career. Until then, we'll see him contend a few times on courses or setups that allow short knockers a chance. 

#95 Hudson Swafford

2018 SG Rank: 140
5-Year SG Rank: 104
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,265,000

Notes: "I was driver testing on the West Coast. A little cool. Probably hit a few too many. It was San Diego week. And then I strained my intercostal lat muscle. And it's kind of plagued me all year." Swafford lost strokes to the field in 10 straight starts after that. Since then, he's talked about playing pain-free golf again and he's gained strokes over the field in four of his last seven starts. It was just two seasons ago that The Swafficer went 19-for-28 to finish 38th in the FedExCup standings. Returning to full health, I like him to finish somewhere in between that 38th and last year's 156th. 

#94 Jim Furyk

2018 SG Rank: 85
5-Year SG Rank: 48
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,268,000

Notes: Taking his sweet time to fully return from a wrist injury. He could have taken a Career Earnings exemption either of the last two seasons but instead, he'll play on conditional status this year. His strokes gained number suggest he was still a top 100 golfer last year, even with the Ryder Cup on his mind and a wrist injury to overcome. It's hard to get excited about drafting a 48-year-old that will likely make just 15 starts this season. He will deserve to be on your radar for DFS formats this season. 

#93 Brian Harman

2018 SG Rank: 105
5-Year SG Rank: 70
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,270,000

Notes: What happened to Harman? He opened the season with five straight top 10s and was then being talked about as a likely member of the Ryer Cup team, due to his pedigree in match play. Then his form just fell off the map and he became a father for the second time in July. He lost 10.8 strokes to the field at THE PLAYERS this year and that was only his third-worst performance on the season (WGC-HSBC and BMW). Over the fall he also appears to have said goodbye to his hair. Something Tiger Woods and/or Zach Johnson might want to try.  Harman is still a two-time winner and top-10 machine (29 in 214 career starts). The performance dip in 2018 is a big concern but let's not count him out just yet. He'll turn 32 in January. 

#92 Trey Mullinax

2018 SG Rank: 124
5-Year SG Rank: 123
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,272,000

Notes: Managed to crack the FedExCup Playoffs while playing out of the conditional bucket last season. Not an easy task. Now he'll be able to set a little better schedule in 2019. Mullinax is easily one of the 10 longest on TOUR and you could have argued he was the longest before Cam Champ came around. Mullinax relies a little too much on that driving, though, as historically he loses 1.8 strokes from the APPROACH, AROUND THE GREEN, and PUTTING departments combined. His only lead after any round on TOUR came at the 2017 Puerto Rico Open so he will be glad to see that back on the schedule in 2019. Mullinax has always been a talent where his peers expect bigger things than he actually produces. Perhaps 2019 is the year that he lives up to that high standard. 

#91 J.T. Poston

2018 SG Rank: 125
5-Year SG Rank: 108
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,273,000

Notes: Similar to Mullinax above, the Postman also earned his card while playing out of conditional status. I swear it's not that easy, they just happen to land right next to each other on this list. Poston is 37-for-55 to open his career. A very strong ratio, especially for someone in his position who has been forced to play events that may not suit him. Now with full status, he'll be able to pick and choose his spots. The great thing about Poston is his all-around skills. He's had standout performances in all four categories of strokes gained. Overall, he's about average in all four categories but he can excel in any area, on any given week. Somewhat like a Rickie Fowler Light, if you will.  

#90 Lucas Glover

2018 SG Rank: 55
5-Year SG Rank: 61
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,273,700

Notes: Went 15-for-18 last season before knee surgery shut him down for the season. Earned his card back through the Web.com Tour Finals. Still entered the season on a Medical and quickly earned the 53 points he needed during the fall, so he will play out of the Top 125 category. The putter continues to hold him which helps explain why he's made less than $1 million in six of his last seven seasons, despite being one of the world's best ball-strikers. 

#89 Tom Hoge

2018 SG Rank: 119
5-Year SG Rank: 133
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,274,000

Notes: The man from Fargo always has a soft spot in my heart since I called Fargo home for 2 or 3 years after college. Hoge will have full status for the first time in his career this season, so I'm excited to see what he can do with it. If we dive into Hoge's approach numbers, he is above average in ALL yardage buckets but he's elite from 175 yards to 225 yards. The TCU product has led/co-led after six rounds on TOUR and five of those have come on BERMUDA. Definitely worth keeping that in mind if you're looking for spots to invest in weekly formats. 

#88 Sam Burns

2018 SG Rank: 133
5-Year SG Rank: 131
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,274,200

Notes: The college ranks were no match for Burns but his tee-to-green game is still looking to catch up with the big boys. In 15 ShotLink starts, Burns has lost 4+ strokes tee-to-green in five of them. He's also gained 10+ strokes tee-to-green in two of his starts. His bad weeks are really bad but his good weeks are really good. That was even the case down on the Web circuit. The LSU product has been inside the top 45 thru 54 holes in nine events, eight of those came on bermuda. It's definitely worth keeping an eye on those splits until he flashes any big finishes on other surfaces. Burns has the pedigree to become a breakout star on TOUR, which explains his rank of 88th despite his bi-polar results leading to SG Ranks outside the top 130. 

#87 Nick Watney

2018 SG Rank: 66
5-Year SG Rank: 80
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,275,000

Notes: The California native quietly posted a 21-for-26 season to finish 74th in the FedExCup standings. Now a few years removed from his injury, we are starting to see flashes of old Watney. The Watney that has won five times on the PGA TOUR. Of course, his consistency with his irons is still lagging far behind when you compare to his prime years. In 2012, for example, he had EIGHT events where he gained 4+ strokes on approach. Last year he eclipsed that mark just three times. He has at least one top 10 at the Farmers, Pebble Beach Pro-Am, and WM Phoenix Open which means we might see Watney pay off his draft pick early in the season.  

#86 Ollie Schniederjans

2018 SG Rank: 128
5-Year SG Rank: 101
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,276,500

Notes: It's been an odd career for the Hatless Wonder. First, he stormed onto the scene with a top 15 at The Open Championship in 2015. Then, he finished outside the top 45 in 7-of-8 starts during the 2016 calendar year. Then in 2017 we saw him gain strokes tee-to-green 15 times in an 18-event stretch. His putter was the only thing holding him back. He fixed that in 2018 as he finished the season ranked 37th in SG Putting but the rest of his game fell apart along the way. I shouldn't say "the rest" of his game as it really is just his driving accuracy woes that have been the culprit. Heading into 2019, he's hit fewer fairways than the field in 22 straight starts. That's never been his strength but it is something he'll need to improve on if he wants to take the next step. I do think we see him tidy up the driving just a bit and therefore see him contend a few times in 2019. 

#85 Brice Garnett

2018 SG Rank: 108
5-Year SG Rank: 131
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,279,000

Notes: The Missouri native finished 121st, 140th, and 177th in the FedExCup during his first three seasons on TOUR. Garnett then won twice in 2017 down on the Web circuit and added a PGA TOUR win last season at Corales. He finished 61st last year, after adding that win to his resume. His Strokes Gained numbers suggest his true talent is somewhere in between. He should do enough to crack the Top 125, but I wouldn't bank on another Top 65 finish in the FEC race. It's possible, but not something I'd want to assume is likely for this 35-year-old. 

#84 Andrew Putnam

2018 SG Rank: 59
5-Year SG Rank: 92
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,280,100

Notes: Putnam was at a rolling boil for quite a while before finally breaking out at the Barracuda last year. In 2017, he finished 4th in total adjusted strokes gained on the Web.com Tour. The three that finished ahead of him? Landry, Cook, and Ancer, who all had breakout campaigns of their own. Putnam now sits at No 73 in the OWGR and will find himself in some much stronger fields in 2019. That might result in less consistency but will also result in a bigger payday during his good weeks. 

#83 Martin Laird

2018 SG Rank: 73
5-Year SG Rank: 68
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,280,900

Notes: His week-to-week numbers may be all over the map but his career performance is rather consistent. He's racked up 5 or more top 25s in all but one season since his 2008 rookie campaign. He's also earned between $1 million and $2.7 million in 9-of-11 seasons. He had five starts last season where he gained 4+ strokes tee-to-green. He had another four starts where he gained 5+ strokes putting. The WM Phoenix Open is an event I'll certainly be looking at him hard in DFS. He's been inside the top 20 after 18 of his 32 rounds played at TPC Scottsdale but is still searching for a victory there. 

#82 Bronson Burgoon

2018 SG Rank: 90
5-Year SG Rank: 104
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,281,000

Notes: The Texan always flashed potential with his ball-striking prowess but it wasn't until recently that he started stringing rounds together. His best finish before last season was a T14 (2016 Honda). He posted four finishes better than that in 2018, including a pair of runner-up finishes since July. That kind of momentum can be huge for a 31-year-old golfer that has still played fewer than 60 TOUR events. This will be his first season on TOUR playing with Top 125 status which means his results might be a bit more efficient as he plays events that suit him, rather than playing any event he can manage to find a spot in. I think Burgoon will be a good value for anyone that picks him after 70 on the draft board and a potential steal if he falls 15 or 20 spots further than that. 

#81 Pat Perez

2018 SG Rank: 66
5-Year SG Rank: 47
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,283,000

Notes: The 42-year-old earned nearly $3 Million last year but found just two top 30s from February to September (excluding runner-up in Zurich team event). He was prepping to become a father for the first time and golf may have taken a back seat during that time. After the baby was born, he managed a pair of top 10s in the fall. Which Perez will we see in 2019? Considering he didn't eclipse $1.8 Million during any of his first 15 seasons on TOUR, I will take a pessimistic stance here and say he easily underperforms compared to the last two seasons. 

#80 Danny Lee

2018 SG Rank: 92
5-Year SG Rank: 82
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,285,000

Notes: The 28-year-old just became a first-time father in October. Will that change Lee's schedule at all? The great thing about drafting Lee in the past is guaranteed starts. He's cracked 28 starts in each of the last five years. I would expect more of the same as Lee already made two fall starts after becoming a dad, a T41 at the Shriners and a runner-up at the Mayakoba. Lee went unconscious in 2015 en route to earning $3.9 Million, collecting his first win and three other podiums. He's earned between $1.2 and $1.6 million in the three seasons since then. I would look for another similar season. Perhaps a little higher when you consider he already picked up $989K in the fall. 

#79 Scott Piercy

2018 SG Rank: 78
5-Year SG Rank: 82
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,285,600

Notes: The 40-year-old Vegas resident continues to be an ATM. He's earned $1.25+ million in seven of his last eight seasons. The exception was an injury-shortened 2014 season. He's always been a lights-out short iron player but he's managed to dial it in even more lately. His baseline of SG Approach per Event since 2012 is 0.6 but over his last 20 starts he's been gaining 1.7 strokes on approach. Just don't look at his putting stats and you'll be wondering how he didn't post two or three podium finishes last year. 

#78 Joel Dahmen

2018 SG Rank: 78
5-Year SG Rank: 99
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,286,000

Notes: Battled cancer in 2011 and won the Mackenzie Tour Player of the Year just three years later (2014, winning twice that season). He played his way through the Web circuit and now will play his first full season with Top 125 status after finishing 80th in the FedExCup race last year. Dahmen won't wow you with his distance but he's gained strokes tee-to-green in 16 of his last 21 ShotLink starts. His approach numbers are strong throughout the bag. No holes in his iron play. If 2018 was the year that Dahmen got a taste of success, 2019 might be the year of contention. His SG numbers suggest his 80th-place finish in the FEC race was no fluke. 

#77 Harold Varner III

2018 SG Rank: 99
5-Year SG Rank: 89
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,287,000

Notes: We are now entering the zone of golfers where you've probably been waiting for these guys to breakout for at least three years now. HV3 has now played 94 events on the PGA TOUR, 92 of them individual, stroke-play events. He's been inside the top 10 thru 36 holes in 15 of those starts (16%). There are 13 events where he's gained 4 or more strokes on APPROACH. He's also gained 4+ strokes off-the-tee on seven occasions. It's fun to watch him from tee-to-green but he's still searching for his first podium finish on the PGA TOUR. I think that comes in 2019. Despite all his distance, he really struggles with his mid-to-long irons. His breakout win or breakout podium will likely come on a course that puts a lot of wedges into his hands. 

#76 Jason Kokrak

2018 SG Rank: 75
5-Year SG Rank: 73
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,287,900

Notes: It seemed like a quiet year for the big hitter but he sneakily posted a career high in terms of total top 25s collected in a single season (11). He continues to post jaw-dropping, ball-striking stats from time to time but the win has yet to fall into his lap. The Xavier product ranked 36th in SG Off-the-Tee and 59th in SG Approach last season. If he keeps doing his thing then drafting him in the 70s is good value. If that win finally falls into his lap then he becomes a steal. 

#75 Jamie Lovemark

2018 SG Rank: 78
5-Year SG Rank: 67
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,292,000

Notes: People have been waiting for the big breakthrough since his massive 2010 Web season which saw him collect six podium finishes including a win. He grew up and went to school in California but just one of his 31 career top 25s have come in the Golden State. He's a Jupiter man now and separates himself from the field with his distance and elite around-the-green play. The 30-year-old should be entering his prime which opens up the chance of a breakout season. Even in a down year, he finished 101st in the FedExCup last year. His upside is much higher. 

#74 Kevin Tway

2018 SG Rank: 68
5-Year SG Rank: 81
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,300,000

Notes: Always flashed potential but his first lead after any round came at the Canadian Open in July. Three starts later he co-led after R1 at THE NORTHERN TRUST and two starts after that he became a first-time TOUR winner. Now that he knows he can get the job done will he take the next step and become a regular winner or will we look back in 5 years and remember when Tway was trending? It's tough to say but he obviously has the pedigree and he's just entering his 30s so the best years may still be ahead of him. 

#73 Sam Ryder

2018 SG Rank: 83
5-Year SG Rank: 86
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,320,000

Notes: The soon-to-be 29-year-old posted five top 10s in 24 starts on the Mackenzie Tour (20.8%) and then went to the WEB and posted top 10s in 9-of-46 starts (19.6%). He's now 32 starts into his PGA TOUR career and he's compiled five top 10s (15.6%). That ratio of big finishes is key if you want to keep your card on the big stage. It also helps to be one of the best iron players on TOUR. Ryder stands out in all approach buckets. He gained 5+ strokes on approach in three different starts this season. If you go solely by SG ranks then you'll probably undervalue Ryder and wait too long for him in drafts. Ryder is showing improved comfort and he's starting to see courses for the second time around. Drafting him anytime after the 50th slot is very reasonable. 

#72 Charl Schwartzel

2018 SG Rank: 130
5-Year SG Rank: 55
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,322,000

Notes: This was a year to forget for Charl. There is still time for him to rebound as he makes a few home country appearances on the Euro Tour. However, he lost strokes to the field in 14 of his last 19 PGA TOUR starts. He did toss in back-to-back top 10s in the middle of the season but missing seven cuts last season was the most of his career. His previous high was 4 missed cuts (2014-15 season). Looking for the bright side? He rebounded from that season to post the best season of his career in 2016 as he won the Valspar and racked up nearly $3 million in earnings. As of now we should be very cautious with Schwartzel but if he finishes the year strong in South Africa then I think there is still a reasonable chance that he has a bounce-back season in 2019. 

#71 Peter Uihlein

2018 SG Rank: 85
5-Year SG Rank: 71
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,332,555

Notes: Many gamers, including myself, had him Sharpied in for Rookie of the Year last year before it even started. The transition back to the States didn't go as smoothly as planned. He missed 10 cuts in 26 starts. It wasn't all doom and gloom, though, as he managed four top 10s, three of them doubling as top 5s. He also added a T7 this fall at The RSM Classic. We also saw him lead wire-to-wire at the Shriners before fading to T23 on Sunday. Uihlein certainly qualifies as a post-hype sleeper in 2019. 

#70 Russell Knox

2018 SG Rank: 73
5-Year SG Rank: 63
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,338,000

Notes: The 33-year-old finished 89th in the FedExCup standings last year which is his lowest rank since 2013.  Diving into his declining numbers, his driving numbers are the biggest issue. Over his last 20 starts, he's about field average in terms of SG Off-the-Tee instead of gaining 0.5 strokes OTT per event. Even with his decline he managed eight top 25s and 20 cuts made. If you want to follow the stat trends then Knox might be one to drop down your draft board and potentially avoid him altogether in 2019. Of course he's still just 33-years old so it's possible that he rebounds and 2018 will just look like an "off year" when we look back at his overall career. 

#69 Chris Kirk

2018 SG Rank: 54
5-Year SG Rank: 74
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,340,000

Notes: The Georgia Bulldog cracked the Playoffs for the eighth straight season. He went 24-for-29 to rebound from a 17-for-28 season when he was still recovering from a 2015 hand injury. If we dive into his strokes gained number over the last 20 events, they are right in line with his career baseline. That means gamers should expect another top 70 season by year's end. He's finished 66th or higher in the FedExCup race in seven of eight seasons on TOUR. In that regard, this ranking of 69th is likely too low and he's worth giving a look earlier in the draft, especially if you're a Georgia fan. 

#68 Chesson Hadley

2018 SG Rank: 63
5-Year SG Rank: 100
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,342,000

Notes: Returned from his second stint on the Web circuit to post the best season of his career. Hadley posted seven top 10s in 30 tries. He went through a mid-season slump but rebounded with a pair of top 10s during the fall. Gamers should focus more on his 2018 numbers and not his 5-year rank here. 

#67 Bud Cauley

2018 SG Rank: 97
5-Year SG Rank: 71
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,344,000

Notes: I was legit wondering if we'd ever see him on TOUR again after a car accident that left him with five broken ribs, a collapsed lung, and a fractured left leg. That was in June and he returned to action just four months later. He's gone 3-for-4 since the return with a T10 at the Shriners and T29 at Mayakoba as the highlights. Sometimes those near-death experiences help an athlete get over the hump. That means a maiden win could finally be in the cards for Cauley in 2019. 

#66 Si Woo Kim

2018 SG Rank: 83
5-Year SG Rank: 104
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,365,000

Notes: The 23-year-old Korean comes with a lot of positives that makes him more appealing than his general strokes gained numbers. First, is his age. He's still improving. Second, he has now played 30+ times in all three seasons on TOUR. Quantity beats Quality, sometimes. Lastly, is the big-finish potential. The youngster already has 13 career top 10s in 107 starts. Five of those have doubled as podium finishes including a pair of wins. If you have a small roster then it may not be worth fighting through all the missed cuts but if you just assume the big finishes will come then he will likely pay off by season's end. 

#65 Patrick Rodgers

2018 SG Rank: 77
5-Year SG Rank: 102
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,372,000

Notes: Rodgers had his worst season to date (finished 104th in the FedExCup race) but his 2018 SG is trending UP. That finally paid off with a runner-up finish at the year-ending RSM Classic. There could be more of that in store for Rodgers in 2019 as we've seen him become one of the best putters on the planter in recent times. Combine that with his historically strong Off-the-Tee play and we have ourselves a winner. 

#64 Keith Mitchell

2018 SG Rank: 89
5-Year SG Rank: 84
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,378,400

Notes: Mitchell's strength is his ability to GO LOW. Real low. He was inside the top 10 after R1 in eight of his starts last season. When I look at percentage of worldwide "go low" rounds he ranks inside the top 70 for 2018. Some names right above him? Horschel, Landry, Palmer, Hadwin, Thorbjorn, Knox, Berger, Steele, Scott, and Oosthuizen. These guys are all winners but Mitchell hasn't found his first big win yet. It will come. Soon. 

#63 Russell Henley

2018 SG Rank: 59
5-Year SG Rank: 55
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,378,700

Notes: The Georgia product has a personality that is prone to an occasional slump. He always gets the job done by season's end, though. Henley has racked up $1.2 MM or more in all six seasons on TOUR. Four of those have gone for more than $2 million. The 29-year didn't impress over the summer or fall but we shouldn't hold that against him. He's talked about it in the past that sometimes a good break away from the game is all it takes to rejuvenate his game. Henley may come out firing at the Sony, a place where he won his first PGA TOUR event.

#62 J.J. Spaun

2018 SG Rank: 94
5-Year SG Rank: 84
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,385,500

Notes: It took him 23 starts to win on the Mackenzie Tour and just 19 to win on the Web. It's taking him a little longer on the big stage (64 starts and counting) but he's been close. Spaun has racked up four podium finishes in his young career with three of them coming in 2018. We saw him battle with a rib injury in 2017 but that looks to be in the past now. Spaun has three starts where he's gained 7+ strokes on approach. That kind of elite ball-striking will eventually lead to a win and likely soon. 

#61 J.B. Holmes

2018 SG Rank: 49
5-Year SG Rank: 50
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,390,000

Notes: The big hitter missed 10 cuts last season. It was the first time he's eclipsed 5 in that category since 2009. The (potential) good news is that putting was the issue. At one point in the season he lost strokes putting in 11 straight starts. Long term he is a slightly below average putter but not as bad as 2018 would have us believe. Is this a new trend or something that he can fix in 2019? If you think it's an easy fix then Holmes becomes a steal of a pick for anyone that is avoiding him due to a sub-par 2018 season. 

#60 Kevin Na

2018 SG Rank: 45
5-Year SG Rank: 36
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,392,000

Notes: What is it about these Vegas guys being ATMs? Despite finishing outside the top 30 in 17 of his 26 starts, Na managed to rack up a career-high in earnings ($3.5 million). For anyone that is playing in a league where last season's earning is their salary, Na will be heavily inflated and not good value. Na is in a Strokes Gained bucket that indicates he should be making about $60,000 per start but was $137,627 per start last season. At this point in his career, the short knocker knows what courses can optimize his earnings potential but his 2018 numbers still suggest he's on a downswing. I would avoid in season-long drafts unless he falls past the 55 slot. 

#59 C.T. Pan

2018 SG Rank: 56
5-Year SG Rank: 78
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,392,780

Notes: At this point last year I talked about his improved status allowing him to improve on his efficiency numbers as he'd be allowed to pick his preferred schedule. That turned out to be true but let's be honest, he wasn't all that picky as he still played in 30 events. Pan has a unique profile in that he's a short hitter but he gains plenty of strokes from the tee. Then he's strong with the irons but struggles at times with the flat stick. Pan is a West Coast guy but only one of his career top 30s has come on the Best Coast. I would look for that to change early in 2019. Big upside here. 

#58 Abraham Ancer

2018 SG Rank: 64
5-Year SG Rank: 92
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,426,000

Notes: It was easy to see his breakout year coming if you watched him on the Web.com Tour in 2017. He ranked 3rd in total adjusted strokes gained behind only Andrew Landry and Austin Cook. That turned into a season with nine top 25s, five of them doubling as top 10s. He added two more top 10s in the fall and even went overseas to win the Australian Open. He now sits at World No 58 which means more opportunities to play in big-purse events should be heading his way in 2019. 

#57 Chez Reavie

2018 SG Rank: 57
5-Year SG Rank: 53
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,454,000

Notes: Had him ranked 45th here last year as his game was trending well. One year later and his game is trending in the opposite direction. He did pick up a T7 at THE CJ CUP this fall but overall he has just four top 30s over his last 14 starts. Similar to Kevin Na, if your league sets its salary cap based on last year's earnings then Reavie is one to fade in 2019. If last year's earnings aren't in the equation then Reavie still provides value if he falls past 60th on the draft board. 

#56 Brandt Snedeker

2018 SG Rank: 64
5-Year SG Rank: 34
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,473,000

Notes: He's a 9-time TOUR winner so you have to give him some attention. However, the 2018 SG Rank versus his 5-year Rank is a bit concerning. Sneds landed just eight top 25s in 25 starts last season. That was his lowest top-25 ratio in a single season since 2008 (7-of-26 that year). Coming off a serious injury, we should still be impressed with his 2017-18 campaign. Will it be a sign of what's to come in Sneds' future or was 2018 just a stepping stone en route to his return to full form? That's a good question. 

#55 Dylan Frittelli

2018 SG Rank: 118
5-Year SG Rank: 111
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,475,000

Notes: The South African's PGA TOUR stats don't look so appealing as you can see from his 2018 SG Rank of 118th and 5-Year Rank of 111th. However, Frittelli has gained 1.5+ strokes off-the-tee in 8 of his 10 ShotLink starts. That is elite driving that should lead to a consistent 2019 season. When I grade out worldwide consistency, Frittelli ranks 44th in the world which names around him including Ian Poulter, Hideki Matsuyama, Kyle Stanley, and Gary Woodland. Frittelli won the award for Top Academic Golfer in the nation during his time at Texas, so I'd expect him to be a quick study as he plots his way around these PGA TOUR course for the first or second time. It's not always a smooth transition from the Euro Tour to PGA TOUR which is why he sits at 55 but I would be thrilled to draft him at the number.   

#54 Austin Cook

2018 SG Rank: 62
5-Year SG Rank: 52
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,491,000

Notes: The 27-year-old went 24-for-29 during his rookie season. That included a win in the fall of 2017. That is easily deserving of Rookie of the Year many seasons but Aaron Wise was a tough one of overtake. Cook is about to become a first-time dad. Will that slow down his pace of making 29 starts which we saw last season? Tough to say but his week-to-week consistency is fun to own in fantasy leagues. 


#53 Adam Hadwin

2018 SG Rank: 42
5-Year SG Rank: 59
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,505,000

Notes: We knew it'd be tough to back up his breakout campaign but he may have done it, if it wasn't for the pesky hip injury. The hip injury was cited as the reason for him backing out of the WGC-Bridgestone in August but it may have been lingering for longer than that. After a T16 at THE PLAYERS he went nine straight starts without a top 30. Two starts after the Bridgestone WD he got back on track with three straight top 25s to end the season. Added a pair of top 10s in four starts during the fall. I would say Hadwin is back on track and safe to draft for 2019 leagues. 

#52 Branden Grace

2018 SG Rank: 49
5-Year SG Rank: 39
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,509,800

Notes: He collected seven top 25s with two of them going for top 10s, for the second straight season. If he maintains that performance then he's worth a pick in this range but we know his upside is still greater than that. Just look at the 2015-16 season where he won the RBC Heritage and collected $2.8 million along the way. He's finished T6 or better in three majors so the upside of a big payday is always lurking. Not much downside here with plenty of upside for the pick.  


#51 Cameron Smith

2018 SG Rank: 58
5-Year SG Rank: 76
Projected 2019 Earnings: $1,512,000

Notes: Had him pegged at 62nd in my rankings last year so his jump to 51 shows where I think he is trending. That plays out in his 2018 SG trend as well as he's improved 18 spots versus his career baseline. The young Aussie still leans too heavily on his short game and struggles (compared to the world's best) when it comes to performance out of the rough. If you look at some of his best performances, they've come on courses with really easy fairways to hit. He'll need to either improve his accuracy off the tee or improve his play from the rough if he wants to take the next step and become a week-to-week contender on the big stage. 



That does is for PART TWO of this Top 150 Ranking series. Check back on Monday for the final installment with the Top 50 golfers ranked. 



Josh Culp joined Rotoworld in 2014. The DFS enthusiast from Iowa State can be found on Twitter @futureoffantasy.
Email :Josh Culp



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