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Monday, April 7, 2014

Masters - Power Ranking

In prepping for the Masters power ranking, I essentially stuck to the same research method I have for every tournament this season. I added a little bit of extra detail, but not much. When the numbers were crunched and the stat sheet sorted for the first time (numeric values are plugged in for form and course history), two of the top three names were Bubba Watson and Adam Scott.

Considering Watson and Scott won the last two Masters, it would seem that the formula is directionally correct for this week's tournament. Problem is, when the name sitting immediately ahead of them is Sergio Garcia, I cringe a little bit.

I can think of plenty of reasons to remove Sergio from the top of my power ranking. His interview at Carnoustie stands out, as does his declaration that he just wasn't cut out to win the Masters a few years ago. Not even specific to Garcia, often the guy who looks the best on paper on any given week fails to live up to the lofty expectations. Look no further than Dustin Johnson, Keegan Bradley and Henrik Stenson a week ago.

The biggest reason I've decided to stick with Garcia atop the power ranking is consistency in my process. Identifying him as number one on the power ranking doesn't necessarily mean he's my pick to win the tournament or a shoe in for every fantasy format, but it does mean that a strong amount of consideration needs to be directed his way.

As an added bonus, I've ranked the entire field. (R) = Masters Rookie

Here we go....hold on tight:

  1. Sergio Garcia - Form is undeniable off a T8-T16-3 run at The Honda Classic, Doral and Shell Houston Open. Masters record includes three top 10s, with a T8 last year. His stats really set him apart, ranking first in the all-important par 4 scoring, eighth in 3-putt avoidance and inside the top 35 in SGP, driving distance, proximity and approaches from over 200 yards. 
  2. Bubba Watson - I started drooling over him when he tied for second at Doral, and I'm not letting his inability to break 80 and subsequent WD at Bay Hill spook me. First in driving distance, fifth in 3-putt avoidance and ninth in par 4 scoring average. Obviously he knows his way around Augusta National as the 2012 winner.
  3. Adam Scott - His last four starts in the Masters have gone T18-T2-T8-Win, so what's not to like? As a contender at Bay Hill, we know the defending champ's form is fine. 
  4. Matt Kuchar - If you paid attention to me on Twitter yesterday, you know I'm not wild about his chances to win after spending his last 144 holes in contention and failing to close the deal in back-to-back starts. Still, he is a machine in terms of consistency and has posted top 10s in his last two Masters. Fifth in par 4 scoring average and 13th in 3-putt avoidance. 
  5. Rory McIlroy - I can't overstate how much I liked his final-round 65 at the Shell Houston Open as a springboard. It was tied for the lowest round of the week and snuck him inside the top 10 for the second time in his last three PGA TOUR starts. It also felt like he figured the driver out at times last week. Has three top 25s in five Masters starts.
  6. Dustin Johnson - Like with Bubba, I started salivating with DJ's T4 at Doral. I don't like his first round at the SHO last week, but I doubt it carries over. His T13 last year represents his only top 25 here, which is his biggest yellow flag. He ranks first in par 5 scoring, second in par 4 scoring, second in driving distance and is tied for 13th with Matt Kuchar in 3-putt avoidance. Yes, please.
  7. Zach Johnson - If you take away his win in unseasonably cold (borderline brutal) conditions at a Masters where 1-over-par won, his record here isn't great. The stat sheet looks solid, and his form is fine. 
  8. Jason Day - It would be ideal if he had played since his win at the WGC-Accenture Match Play, but we'll have to trust him when he says he's healthy and ready to go. You probably already know he has two top-three finishes in his three starts here. 
  9. Harris English (R) - After he popped up here, I heard a stat that something like 10 of the last 13 or 14 winners ranked inside the top four in GIR in the season of their win. Well, he's leading the PGA TOUR in GIR, thus further solidifying his lofty ranking as a rookie. Ranks third in par 4 and fourth in par 5 scoring, also tying for 16th at Doral.
  10. Phil Mickelson - I think he's ready to go. The two most important metrics for Phil in terms of form as it relates to the Masters is Doral and his last start before the Masters. In this case, the SHO. Those happen to be his best to finishes of 2014. It may have been a roller coaster up until this point, but he looks to be peaking at the right time.
  11. Charl Schwartzel - Past winner tied for ninth at Doral.
  12. Graeme McDowell - Like Schwartzel, T9 at Doral. Also third in par 4 scoring and eighth in 3-putt avoidance.
  13. Hideki Matsuyama - Stats are juicy and hasn't missed a cut here in two tries.
  14. Graham DeLaet (R) - Solid stats and good form.
  15. Henrik Stenson - Form a little hard to nail down right now.
  16. Luke Donald - Four top 25s in nine trips, and form suggests a fifth.
  17. Patrick Reed (R) - Sorry dude...you're a top five rookie but not overall.
  18. Keegan Bradley - Ranked a little lower than some might like because he still doesn't have a top 25 here.
  19. Justin Rose - Only two top 10s in eight trips here and was a distant T34 at Doral.
  20. Ryan Moore - Never missed a cut here in five tries and owns two top 15s.
  21. Jason Dufner - In three previous trips, Duff Daddy has never finished better than 20th or worse than 30th.
  22. Matt Every (R) - Second in par 5 scoring and that matters a lot around ANGC.
  23. Jim Furyk - A top-25 machine around these parts, but only four top 10s in 17 trips.
  24. Angel Cabrera - Form be damned, he's 11/14 with nine top 25s, six top 10s, 1 win and 1 playoff loss.
  25. Fred Couples - He's finished inside the top 15 in each of his last four trips. This may be too low.
  26. Jordan Spieth (R)
  27. Rickie Fowler
  28. Jimmy Walker (R)
  29. Stewart Cink
  30. Kevin Stadler (R)
  31. Hunter Mahan
  32. Brandt Snedeker
  33. Bill Haas
  34. Lee Westwood
  35. Marc Leishman
  36. Gary Woodland
  37. The Mechanic / Most Interesting Golfer in the World / MAJ
  38. Louis Oozthuizen
  39. John Senden
  40. Steve Stricker
  41. Ian Poulter
  42. K.J. Choi
  43. Nick Watney
  44. Chris Kirk (R)
  45. Jonas Blixt (R)
  46. Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano
  47. Jamie Donaldson
  48. Victor Dubuisson (R)
  49. Peter Hanson
  50. Francesco Molinari
  51. Ernie Els
  52. Thorbjorn Olesen
  53. Webb Simpson
  54. Matteo Manassero
  55. Thomas Bjorn
  56. Lucas Glover
  57. Scott Stallings
  58. Steven Gallacher (R)
  59. Martin Kaymer
  60. Matt Jones (R)
  61. John Huh
  62. Trevor Immelman
  63. Branden Grace
  64. Joost Luiten (R)
  65. Billy Horschel (R)
  66. Tim Clark
  67. Ken Duke
  68. Boo Weekley
  69. Sang-moon Bae
  70. Vijay Singh
  71. Russell Henley
  72. Kevin Streelman
  73. David Lynn
  74. Steven Bowditch (R)
  75. Brendon de Jonge (R)
  76. Y.E. Yang
  77. Roberto Castro (R)
  78. D.A. Points
  79. Tom Watson
  80. Darren Clarke
  81. Matthew Fitzpatrick (R)
  82. Bernhard Langer
  83. Derek Ernst (R)
  84. Thongchai Jaidee
  85. JM Olazabal
  86. Mike Weir
  87. Oliver Goss (R)
  88. Jordan Niebrugge (R)
  89. Mark O'Meara
  90. Craig Stadler
  91. Ben Crenshaw
  92. Sandy Lyle
  93. Larry Mize
  94. Ian Woosnam
  95. Michael McCoy (R)
  96. Chang-woo Lee (R)
  97. Garrick Porteous (R)

That's probably enough to chew on for tonight, but we will return tomorrow to go over some fantasy options.

Until then, best of luck to all!

2 comments:

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