GOLF

The Power 18 Golf Rankings: Scottie Scheffler Stays Leading, Justin Thomas Leaps After Major Victory

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No one expected Scheffler to be an early exit from the 2022 PGA Championship, nor expected him to spit a two-stroke lead Sunday at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Sadly, both of those events happened, but he still remains the best player in the game, even after a playoff loss to his good friend Sam Burns. With four wins in his last 10 starts, the Texan is now traveling north for the Canadian Open ahead of next week’s US Open, where he is currently the betting favorite alongside Jon Rahm. He finished tied for seventh at Torrey Pines last season in what was his best finish in four showings. Previous ranking: 1 2
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Thomas got rid of the monkey in the biggest way with his win at Southern Hills as he claimed his second Wanamaker Trophy. His iron game fell off the map the following week at Colonial, but that can be attributed to a major hangover, and there should be no worries about the state of his game. The 29-year-old has said all the right things after winning the PGA Championship, saying he just wanted to collect trophies, but now is the time to put those words into action. He’ll be looking to get rid of all the cobwebs at the Canadian Open. PR: 5 3
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Few people realize how close Smith came to being a serious threat to the PGA Championship. Eventually finishing tied for 13th, the typically scorching putter ranked 76th out of 78 players on the greens and led the pack in both shots won from tee to green and shots won on approach. Smith followed up that performance by holding the 36-hole lead at Memorial, a tournament where he had historically struggled, signaling that his new game can travel to any venue. While he lost his rhythm this weekend at Muirfield Village, he continues to compete on golf’s biggest stages and has a tremendous opportunity to do so again at the Country Club. PR: 3 4
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McIlroy has been the best player in the world from tee to green for the past three months, but still has no victory to show for it. He hit 4 under early in his last round at the PGA Championship, and had he just played his remaining holes to 1 under, he would have joined Thomas and Will Zalatoris in the playoffs. Instead, he scuttled himself and did it again last week at Memorial as he faced Muirfield Village in 3 on the last 36 holes after being within three of the lead at half-time. journey. The Northern Irishman will defend his 2019 Canadian Open title this week before heading to Boston for the US Open. PR: 6 5
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There’s a huge elephant in the room when he talks about Cantlay, and that’s his major championship summary. He has never even sniffed the cut line at the PGA Championship and marked his third weekend away in his last six major starts. The reigning PGA Tour Player of the Year quietly finished tied for third at the Memorial in what was a fine defensive effort, but it’s long past the time for a fight in one of the big four. Maybe it will be at the US Open, where Cantlay is a perfect 6-6 making the cut and finished tied for 15th last year. PR: 2 6
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It was a strange memorial tournament for the Spaniard, as his week at Muirfield Village was marred by a bad ball-striking. Despite that, and dropping shots off the tee for the first time in two years, Rahm landed a top 10 thanks to a stellar short game. His victory at the Mexican Open did not materialize into anything substantial at the PGA Championship, but with the US Open approaching, the defending champion may be biding his time. PR: 4 seven
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The first big jump in the standings comes from Homa, who hasn’t missed the cut since the Farmers Insurance Open in late January. During that span, he had a Wells Fargo Championship win, a top-five finish at last week’s Memorial Tournament, and a top-10 finish at the Genesis Invitational. It is clear that classic and difficult golf courses suit the eye of this Californian, and with it the improvement of major championships. The two-time winner this year finished tied for 13th in the PGA Championship and ranks fifth in strokes earned on the PGA Tour over the past three months. PR: 13 8
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Four wins in 28 tournaments is downright ridiculous, and Burns solidified himself in the conversation of the next young American to take over the PGA Tour. He can be inaccurate off the tee at times, but other than that the 25-year-old is flawless in his game. His tie for 20th in the PGA Championship was his best career result in a major championship and propelled him to his comeback win at the Charles Schwab Challenge. Burns will be a popular selection at the US Open; however, it’s the St. Andrews Open later this summer that might suit his style of play better. PR: 12 9
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A missed birdie putt on the 71st hole at TPC Craig Ranch pretty much sums up Spieth’s season so far. He was terrific from tee to green and now has two second-place finishes to go along with his victory at RBC Heritage. His top-20 effort at the Memorial Tournament should provide some optimism, as he finished fifth on the Muirfield Village greens in what was his best performance of the year. All the pieces of his game are laid out on the table, it only remains for Spieth to put them together. PR: 10 ten
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Top 10 shots won from tee to green in the past three months, the putter often tells Zalatoris’ story of the week. It was cooperative in Southern Hills and Muirfield Village, and with that came a pair of quality releases. His reputation as a big game hunter is well deserved, as he now has a pair of finalists and five top 10s in just eight major championship appearances. The 25-year-old is expected to add to that total at the US Open. PR: 16 11
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Fitzpatrick is sandwiched between Rahm and Zalatoris in total strokes won in 2022 but has yet to garner the same respect as his counterparts. A member of Sunday’s final pairing at the PGA Championship, had Fitzpatrick signed for an even-handed round, he would have lifted the Wanamaker Trophy. His missed cut at the Memorial Tournament was solely down to his putter as he stayed sharp from tee to green. It’s time for the Englishman to enter the PGA Tour winner’s circle, and I believe that will happen at the Canadian Open, which will only heighten his prospects for the Country Club, the site of his American amateur triumph in 2013. PR: 18 12
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If you take away Niemann’s missed cut at the Honda Classic — the week after his Genesis Invitational win — his worst finish this year is a tie for 35th. The young Chilean continues to impress and had the opportunity to put pressure on Billy Horschel during the Memorial Tournament. Instead, he settled for a tie for third place. His iron game disappointed in the final round of the AT&T Byron Nelson and the PGA Championship, but he returned to form in Muirfield Village, making him all the more dangerous for a major breakthrough at the US Open. PR: 14 13
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A few lackluster starts see Lowry dip in our rankings, but that has more to do with what others have achieved, not necessarily his game. he failed to capitalize, collecting three podiums since the end of February. He’s a great champion, yes, but Lowry has only won once on American soil, and that was in 2015 at Firestone. PR: 7 14
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Withdrawals, disqualifications… Matsuyama has been through it all this season since he is by far the most difficult man to pin down on the PGA Tour. Despite this perceived inconsistency, he has won twice and hasn’t missed a cut since last August at the Wyndham Championship. In his last five US Open starts, Matsuyama has tied for 26th place and even finished second to Brooks Koepka in 2017. PR: 9 15
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Billy Horschel, get down! The only man to make his way up our power rankings, the Memorial Tournament champion is now on track to be selected for this year’s United States Presidents Cup team. On top of what has already been a great 2022, he is now targeting the US Open. Outside of his top five at Merion, his results are as unimpressive as they are misleading, as last-lap issues at Oakmont and Winged Foot saw him drop in the standings. PR: N/A 16
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His stats are solid and deserve a higher rating, but Schauffele just hasn’t fought hard enough to make the top 15. A quick finish at TPC Craig Ranch propelled him into the top five and past the top 20 in the championship. PGA and Memorial Tournament. . He hasn’t been alone in the Sunday mix since the WM Phoenix Open, but that should change at the US Open, where his previous five starts read: T5-T6-T3-5-T7. PR: 15 17
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It was a lot of meh Hovland golf course since his short game let him down on the Florida swing. The Norwegian seemed ready to face the Charles Schwab Challenge but played his last 36 holes in 4 overs. He set the amateur scoring record at the 2019 US Open at Pebble Beach – the site of his 2018 US Amateur – and finished tied for 13th at Winged Foot in his first professional appearance. He should do well at the Country Club, but only if he is able to avoid the sand that caused him to drop out of last year’s Championship. PR: 11 18
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If there was a place on the schedule for Morikawa to get back on track, it was last week at Muirfield Village where he previously won and lost in the playoffs. Instead, he was sent packing his bags early as his struggles in 2022 persisted. The iron game hasn’t lived up to its high standards and the putter has been abysmal, but another major championship looms on the horizon. His major record speaks for itself and a win at the US Open would give the 25-year-old three career Grand Slams. PR: 8

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