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Sully's Snapshot

Ryan's Top 125: Volume Four

by Ryan O'Sullivan
Updated On: October 4, 2018, 4:04 pm ET

Jordan Spieth has turned the golf world upside down since we last checked in, and that prompts a shift at the beginning of the updated top 125. Let’s take a look back at what has happened since the PGA TOUR left the West Coast for Florida, with stops along the way in Puerto Rico, Texas and Georgia.


• The luck of the Irish rang true at The Honda Classic. Padraig Harrington returned from obscurity to snatch a victory away from Daniel Berger in a playoff. Due to numerous weather issues, it required a Monday finish.


• The Puerto Rico Open took place opposite the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship. Alex Cejka finally had his breakthrough moment thanks to a birdie on the first hole of a five-way playoff. He was likely one of those golfers who most gamers had written off as never going to win on TOUR.


• It was bombs away at the WGC-Cadillac and the leaderboard reflected it. A three-way race to the finish line saw J.B. Holmes blow the 54-hole lead to the delight of Dustin Johnson. Bubba Watson also had a shot at the title.


• The Jordan Spieth train rang the bell in a three-way playoff with Patrick Reed and Sean O’Hair at the Valspar Championship to start was has been a remarkable run for the 21-year-old. While this was a big deal for him and Reed, perhaps O’Hair had the most to gain in his return to form.


• The professional ranks paid their respects to the King at the Arnold Palmer Invitational where Matt Every achieved the unlikely by successfully defending his only TOUR title. Almost as big of a story was Henrik Stenson failing to close the door on a tournament that looked to be his for the taking.


• The Texas Two-Step began with Jimmy Walker running away with the Valero Texas Open in what is as close to a hometown event as he plays. It was his fifth PGA TOUR win in under a season and a half. Not bad.


• Holmes quickly got over the frustrations of his blown lead at Trump National Doral as he dashed the hopes of Spieth and Johnson Wagner in a playoff win at the Shell Houston Open. Much like the playoff at the Valspar, Wagner took on the O’Hair role of having much more to gain than the other two.


• The ride down Magnolia Lane turned into a 72-hole sprint for Spieth’s first victory in a major championship. His 18-under 270 tied the tournament record set by Tiger Woods in 1997. Spieth became the second-youngest winner of the green jacket (also Woods in '97).


Now that the table is set, here is the updated top 125. As a reminder, this takes into account what has already happened in 2014-15, as well as what is projected to come.



Rank  Golfer (Previous Rank)  Comment


Jordan Spieth (6)  When a player picks up two wins and two runner-up finishes between Volumes, it’s not hard to explain why said player moves up five spots.


Rory McIlroy (1)  His weekend performance at the Masters should have his owners very excited about the remainder of the season.


Dustin Johnson (3)  Absolutely nothing not to like. Expect a buzz to build towards his return to Whistling Straits for the PGA Championship, but there are so many other stops along the way where he could pick up a win given his current form.


Jimmy Walker (5)  Just when it felt like he was starting to return to a relative norm, he runs away with the Valero Texas Open. Probably won’t be favored to win any other tournaments this year, but he can’t be counted out.


Bubba Watson (2)  Slight fade due to his failure to perform at the Masters, but this is more about what the four people ahead of him have done and are trending to do than what he hasn’t done.


Patrick Reed (19)  Reminded us that he is dangerous whenever he sniffs the top of a leaderboard at the Valspar Championship. Should be fun to see how he does at the Match Play.


Henrik Stenson (43)  It would have been fun to see what could have been if he had been healthy (flu) for the Masters. He has been on a great run, and it would not be a surprise if he factored into a major championship this season.


Hideki Matsuyama (13)  When one looks at his rise over the last few years, his fifth-place finish in the Masters that moved him to 10th in the FedExCup standings and 15th in the Official World Golf Ranking was not a shock. Something very big could happen for him over the next few months. He has four top fives in 2015.


J.B. Holmes (25)  Easy to see that he’s playing the best golf of his life. With his length, anything is possible.


10  Justin Rose (9)  His owners breathed a huge sigh of relief with his T2 at the Masters after a horrible start to 2015.


11  Jason Day (4)  He didn’t live up to huge expectations at Augusta National, but like Bubba, Day's fade has more to do with what those above him are accomplishing.


12  Ryan Moore (21)  Finally fulfilling what was projected for him when he turned pro in 2005 after an incredible amateur career. In the mix for a top 10 almost every start.


13  Matt Kuchar (8)  It will be interesting to see if he snaps out of his mini-slump and returns to an elite level soon. Defends at Hilton Head this week.


14  Rickie Fowler (16)  Improved every round with his T12 at the Masters last week. This is the time of year where he caught fire last season.


15  Charley Hoffman (20)  Hasn’t finished worse than 11th in his last three starts. Handled the pressure of contending at the Masters very well, hanging on for a top 10.


16  Adam Scott (11)  The desperate switch back to the long putter for the Masters is troubling for those that have invested in the Aussie.


17  Bill Haas (17)  Since we last checked in, he welcomed his second child into the world and racked up a T7 at the WGC-Cadillac and a career-best T12 at the Masters.


18  Sergio Garcia (12)  Has yet to make any real noise in 2015 on the PGA TOUR.


19  Ian Poulter (85)  Striking the ball extremely well. The surprise could be that the putter is what is letting him down. With all of the attention focused in other directions, he could sneak out of 2014-15 with a win. In fact, he should have at The Honda Classic.


20  Brandt Snedeker (15)  Did not carry the momentum from the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am over to the next portion of the schedule like he had hoped.


21  Jim Furyk (7)  Poor play of late makes it fair to question if his age is starting to catch up with him.


22  Phil Mickelson (35)  His T2 at the Masters was somewhat foreshadowed by some solid rounds in other tournaments. He can still peak on occasion when he is focused.


23  Zach Johnson (34)  Not unlike Adam Scott, ZJ is experimenting with putters. His ball-striking has been extremely good and he is on pace for his annual, one-and-done burn at the John Deere Classic.


24  Paul Casey (28)  His strategy to focus solely on the PGA TOUR is paying big dividends.


25  Webb Simpson (27)  The book hasn’t changed. He will contend where he has always contended and avoid the spots that have troubled him.


26  Brooks Koepka (18)  Let’s keep an eye on the ribs.


27  Keegan Bradley (22)  May have turned a corner with a T5 at the Shell Houston Open and a T22 at the Masters.


28  Hunter Mahan (23)  The 20-30 range remains the right slot for Mahan.


29  Nick Watney (24)  It will be interesting to see if he can get himself in the hunt another couple of times in 2014-15. If he does, this spot is a bit too low.


30  Billy Horschel (33)  Keep an eye on him over the coming weeks, as his third-place finish at the Valero Texas Open could have him primed for one of his patented hot streaks.


31  Robert Streb (10)  Things have not gone well professionally for Streb since the personal highlight of becoming a father for the first time.


32  Sangmoon Bae (14)  Trending in the wrong direction of late.


33  Ryan Palmer (42)  A T25, T12 and T6 highlight his action since we last checked in.


34  Russell Henley (39)  Has really developed the consistency needed for long-term value, not missing a cut in 11 starts this year.


35  Kevin Na (38)  Continues to put up solid finish after solid finish. It’s easy to forget that he’s only 31 years old despite logging 285 PGA TOUR starts.


36  Russell Knox (49)  Still has his misses but threatens the top of the leaderboard on numerous occasions. On the short list of non-winners who could break through this season.


37  Ben Martin (36)  It was Harbour Town last year that launched his career. We will find out if he is a course horse in his home state later this weekend.


38  Jason Kokrak (73)  The bomber has displayed plenty of game over the past few months. Enough to where we have to consider him more than just a bomber now.


39  Shawn Stefani (29)  Posted four top-26 finishes in five starts since our latest update, but never really contended. Steady as she goes.


40  Scott Piercy (30)  Hadn’t finished any better than T30 following a runner-up finish at the Sony Open until his solo 10th at the Shell Houston Open. Perhaps he’s headed in the right direction again.


41  Brendan Steele (48)  Similar to Henley, Steele has shed come of his inconsistency this season and is a much better value for gamers.


42  Daniel Berger (62)  Really took advantage of the Florida Swing, which makes sense given he is a Florida State product and native of the Sunshine State.


43  James Hahn (47)  Back in action after taking some time off for the birth of his first child following his win at Riviera CC.


44  Brendon de Jonge (53)  Snared top 10s in two of his last four starts, including a T5 in Houston.


45  Matt Every (114)  After sleepwalking through what amounts to almost half of the season, he woke up to win his second TOUR event and again at Bay Hill. That’s about right for him.


46  Harris English (31)  Might be the ultimate tease for gamers. Has the look of an elite player but doesn’t quite get there.


47  Lee Westwood (37)  Didn’t have the Masters he had hoped, but has posted plenty of solid returns in 2015.


48  Justin Thomas (40)  Slowed his pace of late, but perhaps he will be inspired by watching his good buddy, Jordan Spieth, reach the apex of the sport.


49  Martin Kaymer (46)  Such a dangerous investment for gamers. He was a huge reward last year, but has been a bit of a hangover this season.


50  Tiger Woods (NR)  He looked much better at Augusta in comparison to the dumpster fire we saw at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and at Torrey Pines. Biggest question might become how often he actually plays. If he was available in the fourth or fifth round of a draft that took place today, I’d take a stab at him.


51  Charles Howell III (93)  Plodding along making plenty of cuts and flirting with top 25s most weeks.


52  Kevin Streelman (44)  I know that there are plenty of people out there buying up his stock, but I have a hard time trusting him due to his unpredictable performance in the past. Much safer in full-season leagues than weekly.


53  Louis Oosthuizen (113)  Watch everything he does with St. Andrews in mind.


54  Gary Woodland (41)  Hasn’t developed his overall game to the degree of other bombers like DJ and Bubba. Among all long hitters, Woodland is also arguably starting to fall behind Jason Kokrak of late.


55  Chris Kirk (45)  Conventional wisdom would say that picking up a solid all-around player like him with the 55th pick of a draft would be a good value. He’s just slumped a touch of late and the fields are getting deeper this time of year.


56  Martin Laird (51)  Stock starting to slide a bit of late. The time to buy him was in the offseason.


57  Pat Perez (65)  Tends to always slot into a familiar range, and this is above that range. That would suggest a looming fade.


58  Alex Cejka (NR)  His win was covered in the intro on page 1. He’s surrounded that with some steady play.


59  Brendon Todd (57)  Could prove to be a good buy right now as he’s about to enter what was the sweet spot of his schedule a year ago.


60  Padraig Harrington (NR)  His success at PGA National wasn’t the shock that the Derek Lamely or Derek Ernst wins provided in year’s past by any stretch, but it was completely unexpected.


61  Daniel Summerhays (67)  Following a similar script to what was expected. He has four top 20s including two top 10s. The big question is whether he will break through for his first victory this season.


62  Matt Jones (68)  Looks like the first-win hangover from 2014 has finally passed. Backed up back-to-back top 15s on the West Coast with a third-place finish at Bay Hill.


63  William McGirt (61)  This is becoming a pretty safe slot for the TOUR staple. His stats suggest he should be even higher but the results haven’t caught up.


64  Carlos Ortiz (69)  Six top 25s in 14 starts tell the story for the smooth-putting rookie.


65  Will MacKenzie (64)  His T6 in Puerto Rico was followed by a bunch of nothing. He can be streaky, so weekly gamers should keep a close eye on his form.


66  John Peterson (66)  Made 12 of 13 cuts with a season-best T11 at the Valero Texas Open in his last start.


67  Cameron Tringale (81)  Made last eight cuts, including a T5 in the Shell Houston Open, to kick his game into a higher gear.


68  Tony Finau (52)  Struggled in Florida, which isn’t exactly a shock given that he isn’t a native of the Southeast.


69  Nick Taylor (58)  His win in the 2014 portion of the schedule remains his only top 20 of the season.


70  Steven Bowditch (59)  Missed seven of his last eight cuts, thus the fade. The next spot where he would seem to have value would be Greenbrier.


71  Jason Dufner (55)  Mid-season divorces and separations are never good. There are more examples than I care to name.


72  Scott Stallings (60)  In his six starts since his P2 at Torrey Pines, he has four missed cuts and hasn’t cracked the top 60. That would be weird for most players, but it’s par for the course with him. He might win in his next start, and that wouldn’t be weird, either.


73  Sean O’Hair (NR)  See the opening regarding his P2 at the Valspar Championship.


74  Jason Bohn (83)  A known commodity at this point in his career.


75  Danny Lee (75)  Went T7-T17 at Valspar and Bay Hill before laying a pair of eggs in Texas. Still well on his way towards retaining his TOUR card.


76  Morgan Hoffmann (120)  Fourth at the Arnold Palmer and T28 at the Masters hints that he might be about to heat up for the long run.


77  Boo Weekley (88)  Harbour Town is here, so it’s the week for Boo to make some noise!


78  Jeff Overton (121)  A T7 at The Honda Classic serves as the trademark tease for his fans. Yes, I’m talking about Glass!


79  John Senden (74)  Three missed cuts before a T38 at the Masters. Not much going on, but the veteran still has the ability to post a few big weeks.


80  Zac Blair (76)  A rookie with six top 25s at this point in the season is pretty impressive. Needless to say, he’ll be around for a sophomore year.


81  Chesson Hadley (72)  The T10 at Pebble Beach accurately predicted what has become a run of five consecutive paydays. Tied for fourth at Valero Texas Open. Didn’t crack the top 40 in three of those five, though.


82  Kyle Reifers (110)  He’s bounced between the PGA TOUR and the Web.com Tour, but it appears he will stick this time. Has four top 15s and back-to-back T11s this season.


83  Graham DeLaet (32)  In addition to recent poor play, something just doesn’t smell right with this one.


84  John Huh (NR)  Made five consecutive cuts with two top 20s. Harbour Town is also the kind of course where he can put something together.


85  Rory Sabbatini (106)  He’s made just seven of 12 cuts, but six of them went for top 25s.


86  Charl Schwartzel (50)  Playing very forgettable golf to this point in the 2014-15 season.


87  David Hearn (70)  While not a grizzled vet just yet, he’s become very predictable in terms of his spot in the FedExCup standings.


88  Hudson Swafford (89)  Four top 20s this season, with the most recent a T11 at Bay Hill.


89  Graeme McDowell (26)  Really struggling to this point, but one has to have confidence that his class will come through sooner or later.


90  Retief Goosen (71)  Every time he’s almost written off, he posts a nice finish. If that trend continues, expect one soon.


91  David Lingmerth (127)  Fewer than two years ago he nearly won THE PLAYERS. Picked up two top 25s in Florida. Things could come together for him in May.


92  Charlie Beljan (90)  Between his third at Pebble Beach and T17 at the Shell Houston Open, he missed three cuts to go with a T69 at Riviera. Good luck figuring that out.


93  Luke Donald (97)  Pulled it together for a big week at PGA National but couldn’t do the same on the Copperhead Course. Hilton Head is another haven for him, but there are more questions than answers.


94  Nicholas Thompson (116)  Currently 88th in the FEC standings. He should be able to maintain something close to that over the coming months.


95  Blayne Barber (91)  The good news is, he hasn’t signed any incorrect scorecards or disqualified himself from any tournaments this season. The bad news is, there are many more to go!


96  Jerry Kelly (77)  Missed five out of his last six cuts and, gasp, slipped to 34th in driving accuracy.


97  Freddie Jacobson (84)  Compared to past seasons, he’s not on a great trend of late.


98  Camilo Villegas (105)  Picked up a couple of top 25s in Florida before a pair of missed cuts in Texas. Withdrew after only nine holes of the RBC Heritage, but no explanation was released.


99  Jamie Donaldson (104)  Sixth at The Honda Classic was nice, but hasn’t done much since.


100  Andrew Svoboda (79)  Facing some adversity due to a current slump of four missed cuts to go with two finishes outside of the top 70 immediately preceding.


101  Victor Dubuisson (100)  Perhaps the Match Play will get him back on track.


102  George McNeill (80)  His T11 at The Honda Classic is what we expect from him in Florida, but we aren’t in Florida anymore.


103  Alex Prugh (86)  A lot of below-average play since his T5-T10 run at Torrey Pines and Pebble Beach.


104  Jonas Blixt (119)  He’s showing signs of getting his game back on track. Remember that he’s won twice already in his young career without offering much of a warning.


105  Bryce Molder (92)  A T20 at the Valero Texas Open was his second-best result of the season. We know by now that he isn’t a top-50 caliber player, but the 75-125 range is right in his sweet spot.


106  Angel Cabrera (82)  Like the NFL, he can show up any given Sunday.


107  Adam Hadwin (96)  Made six of his last seven cuts, with five of those ranging from T25 to T32. Good way to keep a card, but not the best way to scale a top-125 ranking.


108  Aaron Baddeley (94)  Most players have big weeks when they putt well. He’s the opposite. When he keeps the ball on the planet, his flat stick gives him a chance. If he could scramble with Lucas Glover, for example, letting Glover get them to the green and Badds taking over from there, you would have a top-five player in the world.


109  Francesco Molinari (107)  Like many Europeans before him, the Italian has not adjusted all that well to a full-time PGA TOUR schedule. And now we learn that he's out until mid-May with a wrist injury suffered in San Antonio.


110  Seung-Yul Noh (99)  Maybe a T50-T38 stretch at the Valero Texas Open and the Masters will get him moving in the right direction.


111  S.J. Park (117)  A T2 at the Humana remains his only top 25, but he’s making enough cuts to go with it to stay ahead of the top-125 number.


112  Spencer Levin (87)  Not much going right for him on the course lately.


113  Kevin Chappell (78)  If his Twitter account is to be trusted, he’s a new father. That’s great for him personally, but typically it's a short-term distraction on the course. Just ask Robert Streb.


114  Kevin Kisner (NR)  Back to making a few cuts, perhaps his equipment switch has taken hold.


115  Andres Gonzales (63)  His game went in the tank when he went east.


116  Michael Putnam (118)  Made his last five cuts, including two low top 25s.


117  Colt Knost (109)  Faded from 36th after the Humana Challenge to 81st in the FedExCup standings. I hear Tom Petty singing in the background.


118  Ernie Els (NR)  Not making any headlines, but has found some semblance of his game lately.


119  Mark Wilson (134)  Went T24-MC-T25 in his last three starts to offer some hope that he might play well as the weather warms up. He usually doesn’t, but it’s a new year!


120  Tim Clark (54)  His return to golf (elbow injury) is unknown.


121  David Toms (98)  It’s no secret that he’s on a career downswing.


122  Brian Harman (103)  Having a hangover that was somewhat predictable this year following his breakthrough win last season. Perhaps he will follow Matt Jones’ lead and get it together soon.


123  Ken Duke (115)  Harbour Town has always been a friend to Duke, so expect a positive blip on the radar.


124  Jon Curran (NR)  One of about half of the field to P2 in Puerto Rico, he now sits 84th in the FEC standings and will try to hold his ground.


125  Marc Leishman (56)  It has not been a good season and he skipped the Masters due to a health scare regarding his wife.



Next 10 (Previous Rank): Johnson Wagner (NR), Chad Collins (NR), Steve Wheatcroft (NR), Scott Pinckney (NR), Billy Hurley III (108), Chris Stroud (102), K.J. Choi (111), Steve Stricker (112), Brian Stuard (95) and Jhonattan Vegas (101).


Falling out (Previous Rank): Erik Compton (122), Scott Langley (123), Lucas Glover (124), Stewart Cink (125), Scott Brown (Next 10), Derek Fathauer (Next 10), Max Homa (Next 10), Andrew Putnam (Next 10), Vaughn Taylor (Next 10) and Ryo Ishikawa (Next 10).


We will return with the fifth edition of the top 125 on Thursday, June 11. Until then, best of luck to all!