We’re a little over halfway done with the PGA Tour season right now, so I thought it was time to look back at who has played the best on both tours from HSBC Champions(start of Euro Tour)
PLAYING TOO WELL
Nick Watney- Watney has been pretty incredible on the PGA Tour so far this season, but it is important to keep in mind over last year’s full season rankings only Phil Mickleson and Tiger Woods were about -.60 standard deviations better than the field per round, so its safe to assume that Watney will regress a little bit. Watney is definitely a good player, but I can’t seem him being this good yet.
Steve Stricker-Without posting any wins, Stricker has had a really nice season as well. Again, a solid player who never gets the recognition he deserves, but at this stage of his career its tough to seem him improving that much.
Sean O’Hair- The young guys give me trouble here. It’s easy to look at a guy like Sean O’Hair and say he will improve over the past season. It’s harder for me to imagine Sean playing better than the number two ranked player from last season, although Sean being a bi-annual Ryder Cup player doesn’t surprise me at all. Sean has got game for sure, but not this much.
Kenny Perry- I really can’t wait for the final pairing of Kenny Perry and Vijay Singh at the 2011 Senior US Open.
David Toms- Toms has played well, but I can’t see him as a guy at this point in his career with his game as someone who will legitimately get better. I think the best course of action is to celebrate him qualifying for the summer opens and take advantage of that in our favor.
Charley Hoffman-I’ve said enough about him already.
THE POTENTIALLY NOT PLAYING OVER THEIR HEADS-
Paul Casey-I know that it may be a stretch to put him in the Phil Mickleson/Tiger Woods category, but he has the type of game that I can see sticking here. He has for a while been a great ball striker and finally seems to have found himself on the greens. It’s not like he came from nowhere, a lot of people have seen his talent for awhile.
Rory McIlroy- Rory is really starting to put himself in a class of his own. At his age, considerable improvement is definitely to be expected and you can make a case that he is better than all the highly touted 20-somethings right now, with more upside. It’s only a matter of time in my opinion before Rory is the next challenger to Tiger Woods. That may seem like big words as so many have failed in that regard, but I doubt any of them were as consistently good as McIlroy before their 20th birthday.
Tiger Woods- We’ve seen it last year. Tiger is the only guy that simply has the ability to dominate fields. Now, I think in the end, Tiger’s 2008 season will be considered his best ever, at least by me, but it’s also pretty safe to say Tiger can play better than he has so far this season. Tiger will iron out his swing, hes done it before, and play a little better.
Ian Poulter- This may surprise some people, but I am starting to turn around on Ian Poulter. No, I still don’t like him, but I can see where he has the potential to be a very good golfer. -.54 standard deviations better than the field would put him around #10 or so in last years rankings, which doesn’t seem that far out of the question for Poulter.
THE FULL YEAR RANKINGS
Tour Adjusted, 1 Calender Year.
Full rankings will be updated by tomorrow morning. Next week, I’m going to take a look at what a good round on the Nationwide Tour is worth because Michael Sim is freaking dominating the Nationwide Tour right now and may soon be on the PGA Tour.