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Tuesday, May 5, 2015

THE PLAYERS Championship - Power Rankings and one-and-done

THE PLAYERS Championship is inching closer by the minute, and here are the power rankings and one-and-done selection to complete our coverage for the week. I encourage you to refer to Sunday's preview for additional information.

Without further delay, here we go!

  1. Jordan Spieth - In terms of THE PLAYERS, his 2-1 record in the Match Play last week wasn't necessarily a bad thing. He played three competitive rounds (relatively well) and didn't have to have any 36-hole days on the weekend. Needless to say, any dust was knocked off from his one-week break and he's fresh for TPC Sawgrass, where he finished T4 a year ago. 
  2. Rory McIlroy - McIlroy can win in bunches, so he is absolutely a threat this week even though he did have to play about 700 holes last week. That he responded to missed cuts in his first three trips to TPC Sawgrass with top 10s in his most recent two trips is why he is elevated to the second spot. What needs to be pointed out is that Rory won't be able to get away with some of the wayward drives he pushed last week on this week's layout. It's too unforgiving in certain areas. 
  3. Jim Furyk - After a brief slump, he's going win (Harbour Town) and fourth (Match Play) in his last two starts. This is a home game for him, and he is 15/19 with four top-five finishes including a runner-up last year. I'm not sure who, other than the big two, you can place ahead of him at this point in the week.
  4. Hideki Matsuyama - I really loved how his stats line up for this course relative to others who have had great success here, and his T23 last year with all round par or better further support that theory. He's cracked the top 10 in his last two PGA TOUR starts.
  5. Zach Johnson - It wasn't all that long ago that this was considered the spot to burn ZJ for one-and-dones if you didn't want to use him at Colonial CC or the John Deere Classic. His T9 at the Masters was the second-best finish at Augusta National, and his T17 (2-1 record) at the Match Play further solidifies the state of his game as being strong.
  6. Matt Kuchar - I see this is being like Hilton Head for him, in that course history trumps otherwise average form. He is a past winner here with four top 10s and, much like Harbour Town, this course isn't necessarily easy for his competitors to navigate. Do I love him? No. Can I safely place anyone else other than the first five above him? No.
  7. Henrik Stenson - Since his runner-up at Bay Hill, he's battled illness and seen his "A" game fall to a "B-/C+" level. If he plays his "A" game this week, he's one of the three best options in the field, as he has four top 10s in nine starts at TPC Sawgrass including a win.
  8. Sergio Garcia - Commented on Twitter a few days ago something along the lines that this is his favorite stop of the year. Attitude matters, especially for Sergio, so that's a good sign. His record here is excellent, featuring a win and 2nd and 3rd among five top 10s and 13/15 cuts. The problem is that his form is below average by his standards and only average by the standards of an average tour pro. 
  9. Tiger Woods - He reminded us not to count him out at the Masters last month, and he's a two-time winner (including 2013) at THE PLAYERS. Yes, I read the interviews about him not sleeping the last few days and I get that the breakup with his girlfriend and the anniversary of his father's death are on his mind. In a weird way, those distractions might help him to play a little more free and ultimately better. Why not?
  10. Justin Rose - His T2 at the Masters and win in New Orleans were about as good as it gets, but he came back to earth (not all that surprisingly) at the Match Play with a T17 (2-1). His T4 at THE PLAYERS last year represents his only top 20 in 11 starts, so there is some risk in calling his number this week.
  11. Rickie Fowler
  12. Paul Casey
  13. Phil Mickelson
  14. Jimmy Walker
  15. Jason Day
  16. Lee Westwood
  17. Adam Scott
  18. Hunter Mahan
  19. J.B. Holmes
  20. Luke Donald
  21. Marc Leishman
  22. Gary Woodland
  23. Patrick Reed
  24. Louis Oothuizen
  25. Daniel Berger

As for the one-and-done this week, I feel like a kid at Christmas because it's time to unwrap Jordan Spieth!!!!

To steal from my Rotoworld colleague, Mike Glasscott, It's time for #Spiethboner !

4 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. I really wanted to love him this week, but I'm just not totally on board. Nothing great about his current form, course history or statistical breakdown. He's on one of my full-season teams, so I'd love it if he pleasantly surprised me.

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  2. Zach Johnson made cut in 2013 (19th). I think he has made 6 straight here.

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    Replies
    1. Nice catch. Not sure where the wires got crossed on my end. Updated the post. Thanks,

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