Welcome back to the second week of the PGA Tour Power Rankings. This week the Tour heads to Torrey Pines with a loaded field for the 2019 Farmers Insurance Open. Before we get to this week, let’s quickly recap my performance from the Desert Classic.
Desert Classic Power Ranking Grade: B+
Had Phil Mickelson found the winner’s circle I would’ve considered moving myself into the A range. Give credit to Adam Long, the man played some unbelievable Sunday golf. I was high on Phil, slotting him at #4 for the week, and man did he back me up. Lefty finished the tournament at -25 with all four rounds in the 60s, and although he leaves La Quinta with a bit of a bitter taste in his mouth, there are plenty of positives that he can take from the desert.
-8 of my 12 ranked golfers made the cut.
-7 of the 12 finished in the top 35.
-3 of the 12 finished in the top 10.
All in all it was a solid opening week highlighted by the Phil call. There were some misses — I slotted Bud Cauley in the top 5 and he missed the cut, and was also well off the mark on Peter Uihlein. No time for gloating or sulking, let’s head to San Diego.
Could you ask for a better field for a January event on the PGA TOUR? Tiger makes his season debut, Rickie makes his first start of 2019, and names like McIlroy, Spieth, and Day are all teeing it up. Couple that with one of the purest courses on the entire West Coast and this feels like the true start to the 2019 Season.
Standard Disclaimer: For non-major Championships I will be ranking 12 golfers a week, and for the Majors I will be going 20 deep. I don’t rank for guys that I think will be in the mix, I rank solely on likelihood of winning the golf tournament. Thus, whoever I give the #1 spot to each week, is the guy I feel is most likely to reach the winner’s circle, and so forth down the list. Without further ado, let’s get into it.
1. Rory McIlroy- A man on a mission in 2019. Started his 2019 campaign with a Top 5 at Kapalua and will look to build off it this week. Not a regular at Torrey but if the putter is there, there truly is no weakness. I anticipate a ball-striking clinic from Rors this week.
2. Rickie Fowler– Bizarrely enough has missed the cut here the last three years, but Rickie is capable of finding form on any given week. In a pivotal season in his career, expect him to come out guns blazing in 2019. Switch to TaylorMade ball raised some questions, but don’t expect it to affect this man’s play.
3. Tony Finau– If the objective was to finish in the Top 20 every week, then nobody has been better than Tony Finau the last 12 months. Continues to knock at the door, and maybe this is the week he breaks it down. 6th and 4th in his last two starts at Torrey.
4. Justin Rose- Solid week in the desert, but just couldn’t put together the really low round. Consistent as ever and Top 10s in his last two trips to Torrey. Putting him anywhere outside the top 5 on this list would be asinine.
5. Jon Rahm– 2017 Champ and coming in fresh off a 6th place finish in the desert. Continues to overpower golf courses and has a sneaky impressive short game. Rahmbo will be hungry to claim his 2nd trophy at Torrey.
6. Xander Schauffele– An absolute bulldog when he’s in the mix on Sunday. Winner in his last two starts on Tour so X is gunning for the rare feat of 3 straight wins in as many starts. Will not be bothered by the Tiger pairing on Thursday and Friday.
7. Tiger Woods- The storyline of the tournament every time he tees it up. May be a little early rust, but I think Tiger will be fresh and ready to rock. The history at Torrey speaks for itself.
8. Jason Day- Many will question having JDay all the way down to 8th on this list, but I am rarely bullish on guys going back to back. Needs to start stringing together consistent high-level results after a very hot and cold 2018.
9. Jordan Spieth– Have a weird feeling about this man this week. Hasn’t had a top 50 since August and not much positive history at Torrey, but it just feels like time for him to snap out of it. The putter will tell much of the story per usual.
10. Marc Leishman– One of my favorite men to watch on Tour and consistently one of the most underappreciated. Thrives in the wind, and it tends to blow at Torrey. Top fives in both Hawaiian stops. Leish gonna Leish.
11. Keegan Bradley– Quite the comeback story in 2018. Looks much more confident on the course and has finished in the top 5 in consecutive years here. Hungry to chase more trophies.
12. Alex Noren– Runner up to Jason Day in a memorable playoff in his debut here a year ago. Could be some rust in his first start Stateside, but this is a man who plays some of his best golf on tough tracks. Still searching for first win in America.