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Monday, March 31, 2014

Shell Houston Open - Power Ranking

The Shell Houston Open power ranking is a who's who of the biggest names in golf. We have the best players in the world doing their best to peak just in time for the season's first major. Chances are, a couple of them will peak a week early.

As always, I encourage you to refer back to yesterday's preview for any additional information.

Without wasting time, here we go:

  1. Dustin Johnson - When I ran statistical splits for this tournament, his lead over second place was about as big as the gap between Tiger Woods and second place in the OWGR when Woods held his biggest leads. Add to that, DJ tied for fourth in this event last year and tied for fourth in his last PGA TOUR start. Fair warning, he will rank inside my top three for the Masters next week and may rank first again.
  2. Keegan Bradley - Bradley can run hot in spurts, so he should immediately be on your radar after his runner-up finish at Bay Hill in his last start. He's finished inside the top 10 in his last two trips to the Shell Houston Open, so all systems are a go. 
  3. Henrik Stenson - I held off the Swede's bandwagon long enough, and now it's time to hop on. He followed up his T16 at Doral with a strong T5 at the Arnold Palmer. He also has two top-three finishes on this course since 2009, including a T2 last year. 
  4. Matt Kuchar - Not only do the stats check out, he has back-to-back T8s in this event and a T4 at the VTO last week. 
  5. Rory McIlroy - While Rory isn't on fire, he followed up his P2 at the Honda with a T25 at Doral. His best finish here was a T19 in 2009, so there's certainly reason to hold off in some formats.
  6. Graham DeLaet - The Canuck has a T3 here and enters off a T8 at the Valspar. Ranked fifth in my statistical breakdown, so he passes the form/course history/stats test with flying colors.
  7. Jordan Spieth - His history here is limited to a T50 last year, but his form is trending perfectly. He's improved from a T34 (Doral) to a T20 (Valspar) and a 10th (VTO) over his last three starts. Perhaps most impressive, last week's top 10 came after he was 6-over through seven holes. 
  8. Bill Haas - While he hasn't been hogging the spotlight, his play of late has been slowly trending in the right direction. Each of his last three starts went for top 20s, including a T6 at Doral. He tied for 10th at the SHO last year.
  9. Charl Schwartzel - Went T3-T30-MC in his last three trips here beginning in 2010, but skipped last year. He tied for ninth at Doral in his last start. There is a gap between he and Haas in the rankings. 
  10. Sergio Garcia - The Spaniard tied for 77th here in his only trip back in 2009, but I don't lean too heavily on that. A T8 at the Honda and a T16 at Doral in his last two starts more than erase that. Seems to be in a good place right now.
  11. Charley Hoffman - Performed well last week (T11) with expectations set high, so he's earned another week in the power ranking. He's 7/7 at the SHO with four top 25s and a top 10. Stats are a nice match as well.
  12. Charles Howell III - A T19 and T10 in his last two starts at the SHO is a solid trend. His results lately are mixed, but ranked second to Dustin Johnson in my stats breakdown earning him a mention in the 12th spot. 
Next 5: Matteo Manassero, Louis Oosthuizen, Webb Simpson, Daniel Summerhays and Jimmy Walker

Worth a mention:
Three players were worthy of heavy power ranking consideration, but recent developments forced me to hit the pause button. Hunter Mahan withdrew from the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational with a back injury, Phil Mickelson pulled out of the VTO in the third round with a strained oblique and Ryan Palmer probably should have pulled out of the final round of the VTO with a hip injury, but fought it out to the tune of an 82. 

We will return tomorrow with a look at the various games. Until then, best of luck!

2 comments:

  1. Kokrak has good history here and good current form. Did he cross your mind at all?

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Absolutely. Just not sure who to remove in his stead.

      Delete