Scheffler, Rahm and McIlroy battle for the top spot in PGA Tour Power Rankings
Rory McIlroy from Northern Ireland entered the year by finishing first in the Official World Golf Rankings.
One can, of course, object that over the past few weeks, the Spaniard John Rahm has acted as the best player in the world.
On Sunday, Scotty Scheffler reminded everyone in the sport that he was number one for most of last season when he won four times, including his first major championship (at the Masters).
Scheffler, who finished world No. 2 this week, will reclaim his top spot as he becomes the seventh player to repeat his WM Phoenix Open title, the tournament he qualified for last year with his first PGA Tour win.
Since Scheffler’s first win at TPC Scottsdale a year ago, he’s earned $17.6 million in official profits, not counting his Tour Championship win at the end of last season.
“I think when guys play as good as Nick [Taylor] was today, it really put a lot of pressure on me, and I responded very well,” Scheffler said. Of course, and make some really key shots in the area. I’m proud of how I fought on the golf course.”
Here are the latest PGA Tour Power rankings heading to this week’s Genesis Invitational at the Riviera Country Club, where you know who (Tiger Woods!) will debut in 2023:
1. John Ram
Scheffler took his fifth win in the last 365 days, but he hasn’t been as consistent as Ram in the last few months. The Spaniard finished third in Phoenix, 5 shots behind, but got into an argument again. It was his ninth consecutive world top 10 finish; he has been in the top five in seven of his last nine tournaments. Ram is still leading the race for FedEx Cup points.
2. Scotty Sheffler
Scheffler takes first place in OWGR for the second time in his career, having spent 30 weeks in first place last season after winning the WGC Dell Technologies Match Play. He led in shots: an approach last weekend for the first time since the 2022 US Open in Brooklyn. He also led the Phoenix team in hits scored from tee to green and scramble.
3. Rory McIlroy
Round 73 knocked him out in the first round in Phoenix, but he still plays as well as anyone in the world. He had three wins in his previous eight world starts. He has three top 10s in his last four starts at the Riviera, where he has never won.
4. Max Homa
The California native has already won twice in his home state this season, with victories at the Fortinet Championship in Napa and the Farmers Insurance Open in Torrey Pines. He finished 10th in the Genesis Invitational last season after picking up his second PGA Tour victory in 2021.
5. Tony Finau
Finau has (barely) cooled off from his hot spell last season in which he won back-to-back starts and was ninth in the Tour Championship. He qualified for the Houston Open in November and has since finished 16th or higher four times in a row after finishing 14th in Phoenix. He lost in the playoffs to Homa and finished second at the 2021 Genesis Invitational.
6. Colleen Morikawa
Morikawa showed strong character with a third-place finish at the Open Farmer Insurance Championship, his first start since losing a 6-shot lead in the final round of the Tournament of Champions. Morikawa missed the cut at the WM Phoenix Open, his first missed weekend since the 150th Open at St. Andrews in July. He will have a chance to make things right at the Riviera, where he finished second last season, two strokes behind Joaquin Niemann.
7. Xander Schauffele
Schauffele’s sore back hasn’t been much of a problem since he withdrew from the Tournament of Champions in his first start in 2023. Phoenix Open.
8. Keegan Bradley
Bradley’s renewed commitment to fitness and endurance has paid off handsomely. Winning for the first time in four years at the Zozo Championship in October, he compiled three other top 25s at the CJ Cup in South Carolina, the Farmers Insurance Open (runner-up) and the Phoenix Open. Bradley, 36, is third in the FedEx Cup rankings.
9. Justin Thomas
Thomas, the reigning PGA Championship winner, still seemed to be gathering his strength as he headed to Phoenix. After placing 25th in back-to-back starts at the Tournament of Champions and Farmers Insurance Open, he fared better in Phoenix, finishing fourth alone at the age of 13. He was too fickle off the tee and his putting was not very good either. This began to take shape at TPC Scottsdale.
10. Patrick Cantley
Cantley, ranked fifth in the official world golf rankings, has yet to make it this season. After finishing second at the Shriners Children’s Open in early October, he tied for 16th at the Tournament of Champions, tied for 26th at the American Express, and missed the final in Phoenix, where he lost to Scheffler last season in playoffs. Cantley ranks 127th on the tour in scoring: close (-0.117).
11. Viktor Hovland
Hovland won the Hero World Challenge, an unofficial event that Woods hosted in the Bahamas in December, but so far he hasn’t achieved anything impressive in official tournaments in 2023. His best out of three starts this year was 13th at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. Hovland was one of the best iron players last season; he was first in approach shots from 200 to 225 yards, second from 125 to 150, and third from 175 to 200. He was 120th in shots scored: approach at the WM Phoenix Open.
12. Tom Kim
A year ago, Kim was preparing for the Royal Cup in Thailand as part of the Asian Tour. Now he has already won the PGA Tour twice and is one of the most popular players. After winning the Shriners Children’s Open in October, he finished fifth at the Tournament of Champions and sixth at the American Express. He is in the top 15 on the tour in terms of hits scored: total, tee-to-green and approach.
13. Matt Fitzpatrick
Much of Fitzpatrick’s best performance over the past few months has come in Europe, where he finished second at the Italian Open and tied for fifth at the DP World Tour championship. The current US Open winner has just four PGA Tour starts this season; his best result was seventh in the Tournament of Champions.
14. Jordan Sleep
Spieth bounced back after disappointing consecutive starts – he missed cuts at the Sony Open and finished 63rd at Pebble Beach – and finished sixth at TPC Scottsdale. He hit 8 to 63 in the second round, the tournament’s lowest round, and potted all 18 greens in the main, which he only did once in 843 official tour rounds.
15. Sam Burns
It’s likely only a matter of time before Burns starts heating up again after a relatively quiet start to 2023. He won 7-to-64 in the third round of the WM Phoenix Open, his 15th such round of 64 or better since 2021. According to Justin Ray of Twenty First Group, this is the best result among all participants of the tour during that period.
16. Cameron Young
Young, the 2022 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year, had a pretty good week. He finished second in the Saudi International, 2 shots behind LIV Golf’s Abraham Unser, and earned $525,000. He flew back to the US to compete in the WM Phoenix Open and the long journey seemed to catch up with him. He finished with a fifth point finish, which was the third-worst result among ranked players.
17. Si Woo Kim
Kim took his fourth PGA Tour victory when he rallied after three shots to catch up with Hayden Buckley to win the Sony Open in Hawaii. His career winning total is second among South Korean golfers; KJ Choi has eight PGA Tour wins. Kim backed up this win with consecutive top 25 finishes at the American Express, Farmers Insurance Open and WM Phoenix Open.
18. Sungjae Im
Kim from South Korea is hard to beat when his stick gets hot. After opening with 70 in Phoenix, he fired up on the final 54 holes for a sixth. During the 12-hole stretch in the second round, I only needed 14 putts. He had six birds on the first eight holes of the second round before taking three ghosts on the second nine.
19. Jason Day
The Aussie is still looking for his first PGA Tour win since the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship, but there are many signs of hope. After finishing fifth solo in Phoenix, he now has three top 10s and seven top 25s in nine starts this season. Day had just two top 10s and five top 25s in 19 starts last season. Day climbed from 91st to 57th in OWGR, bringing him closer to the top 50 for an invitation to the Masters in April.
20. Justin Rose
Did the former world No. 1 player catch lightning in a bottle at Pebble Beach, where he took his first PGA Tour win in four years, or was this the start of a real renaissance? Rose loves his new kit, caddy and trainer and is comfortable with the team around him again. He scored 13 hits: total and placed well this season.
Best of the week
Best Tee Shot
Like Deion Sanders, Ricky Fowler will be coming. He’s coming.
🚨 HOLE IN ONE for @RickyFowler from 216 meters! 🚨
This is the third ace in his career. pic.twitter.com/djDjZuFQFy
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 12, 2023
Max seemed a little angry after 16.
321 yards ➡️ 13 feet@MaxHoma23 with one of the best discs of the week for 17 @WMPhoenixOpen. pic.twitter.com/U4xDqJhNHs
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 12, 2023
Schauffele hit over 89 feet on the first five holes on Sunday.
Another rebound for @XSchauffele❗️ pic.twitter.com/pIvn48nDKs
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) February 12, 2023
Which fence (or tree, bush and person)?
It’s official. Rory McIlroy is not human. Completely ignored the laws of physics. pic.twitter.com/xwhDvl8Wrn
— Amanda Rose (@AmandaGolf59) February 9, 2023
The best sand shot
Yes it’s good.
“The best bunker shot Jordan has ever made.”
Appreciation from Michael Greller @JordanSpiethridiculous shot at 17