We all know that the only thing keeping Tiger from being number one is his number of rounds played. So that leaves us with the question who is the next best golfer in the world.
Lately there has been a lot floating around that Geoff Ogilvy is the second best player in the world. Now, I love Ogilvy’s game and I expect him to do better this season than last(3 WWW(world wide wins) since the end of the playoffs suggest he already has), but calling him the second best player because of recent play is probably incorrect. To test this out I take a look at a few players and how they have done “recently:”
This includes all WW Tourneys since last year’s PGA Championship.
As you can see, Recent hot-play has been determined solely on the basis of high profile US wins. All four other players listed here can make a case for playing as well in relation to the average golfer as Ogilvy, if not better recently.
Sergio’s play lately has been pretty absurd. As I watched on Thursday his ball striking is just flat out amazing right now. He led the field in GIR’s at Honda. That may not be rewarded on a course with small rough, but I can guarantee you when he gets to the US Open and is hitting more greens than anyone else that will be a big deal. I don’t know if it is fair to call Sergio the best ball-striker in the world, but he is certainly right there with Tiger.
In the seven common tournaments they have played together since the US PGA Sergio has finished better in all but the Matchplay two weeks ago. He is on average(in stroke play events) 7.5 shots ahead of Ogilvy during this time.
I think with Sergio’s display of golf lately he has pretty clearly established himself as the second best golfer in the world. The reason no one else thinks that is because his one win came in China while no one was watching.
The other thing that bothers me about Sergio is the idea that his putting is awful. I compared him with Karlsson and Stenson(because I figured they played roughly the same US PGA schedule) to see how Sergio’s putting stacks up.
As you can see, Sergio hits a ridiculous number of greens. That is a reason why his putts per round is higher. Also, It looks like Sergio made a far fewer percentage of 5-10 foot putts than these other two guys. I don’t know if there is a reason for that or not.
Sergio’s 3-putt avoidance and putting inside 5 feet are pretty darn good, considering he only plays harder PGA Tour courses. I have a hard time believing a guy that hits the Golf ball that well, will not find his stroke for long enough to win a major this year. Looking ahead I love him at Bethpage and Hazeltine as well as the British.
Regardless of how many impressive wins Geoff Ogilvy has, Sergio manages to shoot lower scores more consistently. I know who I like more.