Golf World's annual ranking of the top 30 players of the PGA Tour for 2008
January 02, 2008
Age: 31Joined PGA Tour: 19962007 PGA earnings: $10,867,052 (1)__ World Rank:__1PGA Tour wins: 61Majors: 1997, 2001, '02, '05 Masters; 2000, '02 U.S. Open; 2000, '05, '06 British; 1999, 2000, '06, '07 PGATop 2007 finishesBuick Invitational, WGC-CA,Wachovia, WGC-Bridgestone,PGA, BMW, Tour Championship1Masters, U.S. Open, Deutsche BankT-2Skill RatingsPower rating: 8.6 Accuracy: 8.0 Short game: 7.6 Putting: 7.3 Scoring: 8.9Defining moment of '07: Woods won the inaugural FedEx Cup at the Tour Championship after sitting out a playoff week, then refused to kiss the Cup after PGA Tour commissioner Tim Finchem mentioned the maiden trophy in the post-round presentation.Why he's No. 1: Saying he feels "stronger than I ever have," Woods is on pace to tie Sam Snead's career victory total (82) at age 34 in 2010. As in 2006, Tiger didn't dominate until midsummer, but when he returned to the tour after his daughter's birth in June, he won four of seven starts to make a mockery of a close player-of-the-year race.Why he should rank lower: He shouldn't. The way Woods dominates events with $1 million first-place checks, it would take a Herculean effort by a peer to knock him from this perch.
Age: 37Joined PGA Tour: 19922007 PGA earnings: $5,819,988 (2)World Rank: 2PGA Tour wins: 32Majors: 2004, '06 Masters; 2005 PGATop 2007 finishesAT&T Pebble Beach Nat'l Pro-Am1Players1Deutsche Bank Championship1Nissan Open2EDS Byron Nelson, WachoviaT-3Skill RatingsPower rating: 7.8 Accuracy: 6.4 Short game: 7.3 Putting: 7.1 Scoring: 8.4Defining moment of '07: Pebble and Sawgrass were nice, but winning the Deutsche Bank Championship outside Boston showed Mickelson can outduel Tiger Woods when it matters.Why he should rank higher: He's the only player capable of dethroning Woods: Five wins (including two majors and at least two Players or WGC titles among them) can get Lefty to No. 1. With Butch Harmon, who wasn't added to the stable just to fix an erratic swing but also to make him mentally tough, he can get there.Why he should rank lower: Mickelson still has weeks where sure-fire wins become losses. The debacle at Winged Foot in 2006 is the classic example, but the trend continued in '07 at the Nissan Open and the Barclays Scottish Open. He did, however, win a close one in China.
Age: 37Joined PGA Tour: 19942007 PGA earnings: $4,154,046 (7)World Rank: 3 PGA Tour wins: 13Majors: 2003 U.S. OpenTop 2007 finishesCanadian Open1Crowne Plaza InvitationalT-2U.S. OpenT-2Nissan OpenT-3AT&T NationalT-3Skill RatingsPower rating: 4.4 Accuracy: 7.8 Short game: 7.5 Putting: 6.9 Scoring: 8.1Defining moment of '07: Furyk had a 10-week, seven-event stretch that included a fifth, a third, two seconds and finally a win at the Canadian Open. Imagine how great that run would have been had he not made bogey on the 313-yard, par-4 17th hole Sunday at the U.S. Open, a tournament he lost by one stroke for the second straight year.Why he should rank higher: Very few players combine the mindset, temperament, putting ability and competitive desire that Furyk does. Despite the final-round gaffe at Oakmont, he plays to his strengths better than anyone on tour.Why he should rank lower: He lacks the distance off the tee to post another powerhouse season, which is why he fell from $7 million in 2006 to $4 million in 2007.
Age: 27Joined PGA Tour: 20032007 PGA earnings: $3,413,185 (11)World Rank: 7PGA Tour wins: 5Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesShell Houston Open1Mercedes-Benz Championship2BMW Championship4MemorialT-5PlayersT-6Skill RatingsPower rating: 9.1 Accuracy: 7.3 Short game: 7.0 Putting: 7.1 Scoring: 8.2Defining moment of '07: Scott can win all the Shell Houston Opens he wants, but until he does better in the major championships, he will remain an underachiever, just like the player who missed the cut at the U.S. Open after hitting only 12 greens in two days.Why he should rank higher: The Australian has more natural ability and as beautiful a swing as anyone on tour. Two years ago Scott was third on the money list and fourth on the World Ranking and has done nothing to indicate those levels are now out of reach.Why he should rank lower: Despite a career-best percentage in putts per GIR, he remains a below-average putter. Statistically, Scott made less than the tour average of putts from four-to-eight feet and was T-181 in fourth-round putting average.
Age: 27Joined PGA Tour: 19992007 PGA earnings: $3,721,185 (9)World Rank: 12PGA Tour wins: 6Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesBritish Open 2Players2WGC-CA ChampionshipT-3Tour Championship 4Arnold Palmer Invitational T-5Skill RatingsPower rating: 7.3 Accuracy: 6.8 Short game: 6.9 Putting: 6.9 Scoring: 8.1Defining moment of '07: The British Open. Not only because it was his best-ever finish in a major, but also because of the way he lost it—in a playoff after bogeying the 72nd hole—and for the childish way he reacted in his post-round press conference.Why he should rank higher: Garcia makes the most of his strengths and doesn't worry that he has such a poor driving-accuracy percentage. Plus, the belly putter has improved his putting, and while far from automatic on the short putts, he has gotten to the point where we don't expect him to miss when he lines up a four-footer.Why he should rank lower: He will carry the baggage from Carnoustie with him until he wins a major—and it gets harder to win a title when the memory of giving one away is front and center in your mind.
Age: 44Joined PGA Tour: 19932007 PGA earnings: $4,728,376 (3)World Rank: 10PGA Tour wins: 31Majors: 2000 Masters; 1998, 2004 PGATop 2007 finishesMercedes-Benz Championship 1Arnold Palmer Invitational 1Canadian Open 2Travelers Championship 4FBR Open7Skill RatingsPower rating: 8.3 Accuracy: 6.6 Short game: 6.3 Putting: 6.5 Scoring: 7.7Defining moment of '07: When he won the season-opener at Kapalua, it was surmised Singh was as good as ever. But the tour's top player for the first three months of the year didn't win again after Bay Hill.Why he should rank higher: Singh showed signs of wear last year but maintained a top-five money finish for the 10th straight season. Those who think he will make it to 11 believe the technical changes he tinkered with last summer—he's trying to get into a better position at the top of his swing—are the reason for his demise last fall, and that he'll be the Singh of old in 2008.Why he should rank lower: The Singh of old is an apt description. Now 44, his nine-win season of 2004 is a distant memory. He hit fewer greens—and took more putts when he hit them—than in any of the last five years.
Age: 30Joined PGA Tour: 20012007 PGA earnings: $2,943,203 (14)World Rank: 13 PGA Tour wins: 3Majors: 2006 U.S. OpenTop 2007 finishesWGC-Accenture Match Play 2WGC-CA ChampionshipT-3Barclays T-4PGA Championship T-6Deutsche Bank Championship T-6Skill RatingsPower rating: 8.3 Accuracy: 6.7 Short game: 6.7 Putting: 7.0 Scoring: 7.6Defining moment of '07: Losing to Henrik Stenson in the final of the WGC-Accenture Match Play.Why he should rank higher: He's a prime example of a cooler head prevailing. When Ogilvy first came on tour he was a solid shotmaker whose volatile temper held him back. Now he has one of the best temperaments on tour, to go along with one of the game's smoothest swings. If he continues to keep those emotions in check, he will be contending in majors for years to come.Why he should rank lower: Long considered a threat at the tour's biggest events, Ogilvy didn't show much on the weekend at the majors (scoring average: 75.0). Plus, he'll have two young children at home. Can he, like Woods, maintain his intensity while taking on fatherhood?
Age: 31Joined PGA Tour: 19992007 PGA earnings: $4,550,040 (6)World Rank: 11PGA Tour wins: 4Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesCrowne Plaza Invitational 1MastersT-2WGC-Bridgestone Invitational T-2Barclays 3EDS Byron Nelson, Wachovia T-3Skill RatingsPower rating: 6.8 Accuracy: 6.6 Short game: 6.8 Putting: 7.2 Scoring: 8.2Defining moment of '07: Sabbatini grabbed more headlines for saying Tiger Woods was "more beatable than ever" at Wachovia than for winning at Colonial.Why he should rank higher: Sabbatini is the prototypical momentum player who has a chip on his shoulder and is desperate to prove 2007 was not a fluke. He plays with a little man's passion, not unlike Hall of Famer and fellow South African Gary Player.Why he should rank lower: To take on Woods and the rest of the game's elite, he'll need a little more firepower (he was 1.3 yards better than the tour average off the tee) and finesse (he was below average in accuracy and greens hit). It remains to be seen how much the "shinsplints" he suffered at the Target World Challenge will affect his play in 2008.
Age: 27Joined PGA Tour: 20042007 PGA earnings: $2,705,875 (19)World Rank: 6PGA Tour wins: NoneMajors: NoneTop 2007 finishesWGC-BridgestoneT-2Bob Hope Chrysler Classic 3WGC-Accenture Match Play T-5MastersT-5BMW ChampionshipT-5Skill RatingsPower rating: 6.0 Accuracy: 6.9 Short game: 6.8 Putting: 7.1 Scoring: 8.0Defining moment of '07: He was one stroke back entering Sunday at the Masters (he finished T-5), but taking the European Tour's money title by winning the Volvo Masters in a playoff could be the type of victory that changes Rose's career.Why he should rank higher: He finished 19th on the PGA Tour money list despite missing two months and playing only 16 events. A healthy back and an unusually good performance on the West Coast should spur him to prominence. A solid putting stroke and reasonable length off the tee would keep him there.Why he should rank lower: Rose gives away the first three months of the season. A predictably slow starter (only four of his 23 top-10s have come before April), he builds momentum as the year progresses.
Age: 26Joined PGA Tour: 20032007 PGA earnings: $3,441,119 (10)World Rank: 18PGA Tour wins: 2Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesFBR Open 1BMW Championship 2Deutsche Bank Championship 5WGC-CA ChampionshipT-6WGC-Accenture, MemorialT-9Skill RatingsPower rating: 7.2 Accuracy: 6.2 Short game: 6.6 Putting: 7.2 Scoring: 7.9Defining moment of '07: The third-round leader at the U.S. Open, Baddeley, who played so well under pressure to win a pair of Australian Opens (one as an amateur), buckled under the strain of contending in a major and being paired with Tiger Woods. He shot a final-round 80 to finish T-13.Why he should rank higher: Already one of the tour's best putters, Baddeley became a Stack & Tilt disciple and found the unique swing method to his liking, winning in Scottsdale and finishing in the top five in two PGA Tour Playoff events.Why he should rank lower: He's still learning, which may not be enough for him to maintain top-10 status on tour for two straight years. There also are doubts whether he's a long enough hitter to overcome issues with driving accuracy.
Age: 38Joined PGA Tour: 19942007 PGA earnings: $2,705,715 (20)World Rank: 4PGA Tour wins: 15Majors: 1994, '97 U.S. Open; 2002 BritishTop 2007 finishesVerizon Heritage 2PGA Championship 3Nissan OpenT-3British Open T-4Barclays T-4Skill RatingsPower rating: 8.7 Accuracy: 7.2 Short game: 6.5 Putting: 6.6 Scoring: 7.9Defining moment of '07: The second year back from knee surgery is generally expected to yield improvement from the first, but Els struggled again in 2007 until peak performances in the final two majors, a T-4 at Carnoustie and a third at Southern Hills.Why he should rank higher: Els is now in the middle of a self-proclaimed three-year plan to get back to No. 1 in the world, and the latter portion of 2007 showed marked improvement in all facets of his game. His scoring average of 69.29 was second on tour to Woods.Why he should rank lower: Els has now gone three years without a win on the PGA Tour. He should remedy that, but while we wait for Els' career year, we'll also debate whether or not he has the mental toughness needed to maintain a run to the top of the World Ranking with a reconstructed knee.
Age: 36Joined PGA Tour: 20032007 PGA earnings: $2,658,283 (21)World Rank: 8PGA Tour wins: 3Majors: 2007 BritishTop 2007 finishesBritish Open 1Nissan Open7MastersT-7Tour Championship T-11Honda Classic T-13Skill RatingsPower rating: 7.3 Accuracy: 6.5 Short game: 6.6 Putting: 7.1 Scoring: 7.6Defining moment of '07: The British Open victory wasn't pretty, but Harrington became the first European to capture a major in the new millennium.Why he should rank higher: The Irishman has very few weaknesses, and there aren't many holes in his swing. Once known for his tendency to finish second, the breakthrough major title could be the impetus he needs to jump to the next level. Another major is not unlikely.Why he should rank lower: Harrington's poor driving-accuracy and greens-hit numbers are misleading because he rarely plays the run-of-the-mill PGA Tour events that would boost his stats. His lack of appearances will also affect his earnings ranking and explains why he will never be a big winner in the United States.
Age: 37Joined PGA Tour: 20002007 PGA earnings: $4,587,859 (5)World Rank: 9PGA Tour wins: 6Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishes Memorial 1AT&T National 1Barclays 2Sony Open in HawaiiT-4Pods Championship T-6Skill RatingsPower rating: 5.6 Accuracy: 6.8 Short game: 7.0 Putting: 7.1 Scoring: 8.2Defining moment of '07: Take your pick among his two victories. Jack Nicklaus' Memorial and Tiger Woods' AT&T National both have strong fields and large purses.Why he should rank higher: If the back injury Choi first suffered during the Florida swing and tweaked during the Deutsche Bank is healed, there is no reason to presume the Korean won't produce a record similar to 2007, when he posted his second-straight career low in scoring average (69.61) and nearly doubled his previous best in earnings.Why he should rank lower: After eight years on the PGA Tour, Choi has settled into an American lifestyle, but it's likely he will never be seen as a top-tier player. Chances are history will show 2007 to be the best year of his career.
Age: 40Joined PGA Tour: 19942007 PGA earnings: $4,663,077 (4)World Rank: 5PGA Tour wins: 4Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesBarclays 1Wachovia Championship 2AT&T National 2BMW Championship 3Sony Open in HawaiiT-4Skill RatingsPower rating: 5.0 Accuracy: 7.4 Short game: 7.5 Putting: 6.8 Scoring: 8.4Defining moment of '07: Poor swing mechanics and dwindling confidence made Stricker a forgotten man two years ago. But he repeated as the tour's Comeback Player of the Year in 2007 and finally, FINALLY, won his first tournament since 2001 at the Barclays, a playoff event no less.Why he should rank higher: Before the mid-career swoon Stricker looked like someone who would regularly contend for Ryder or Presidents Cup teams. Now that he's back in form, should we expect anything less?Why he should rank lower: He's not long off the tee or particularly accurate, and some believe Stricker's comparatively modest talents have gotten him as far they can take him. Complacency won't return, but there is a world of up-and-comers gunning to take a bite out of his earnings.
Age: 31Joined PGA Tour: 20072007 PGA earnings: $1,897,554 (40)World Rank: 16PGA Tour wins: 1Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesWGC-Accenture Match Play 1AT&T Classic T-9MastersT-17WGC-CA ChampionshipT-19Arnold Palmer Invitational T-22Skill RatingsPower rating: 8.4 Accuracy: 6.7 Short game: 6.0 Putting: 7.2 Scoring: 7.2Defining moment of '07: Stenson won the WGC-Accenture Match Play over Geoff Ogilvy less than a month after holding off Tiger Woods and Ernie Els to win a Euro Tour event in Dubai.Why he should rank higher: Stenson has the power and composure to keep winning big events and is a good enough putter to overcome poor accuracy and greens-hit numbers.Why he should rank lower: He won a WGC event in 2007 and finished 40th on the money list. If he doesn't win another big event this year, there aren't enough Bob Hope Chrysler Classics on his schedule for him to secure such a lofty rank. He disappeared in the second half of '07 (his wife had their first baby in July), missing the cut in three majors, the Barclays and even the Turning Stone Resort Championship.
Age: 25Joined PGA Tour: 20042007 PGA earnings: $2,858,995 (16)World Rank: 34PGA Tour wins: 1Majors: None.Top 2007 finishesTravelers Championship 1Shell Houston Open T-5Canadian Open T-5Tour Championship T-5British Open T-6Skill RatingsPower rating: 7.5 Accuracy: 7.5 Short game: 6.5 Putting: 7.0 Scoring: 7.7Defining moment of '07: Winning the Travelers Championship highlighted a nine-event summer stretch where he held the first-round lead three times, recorded two top-20s at majors and never finished worse than T-22.Why he should rank higher: Respected swing coaches such as Hank Haney marvel at the prowess of Mahan, who has grown up on tour playing more than 100 events before he turned 25 last May. A fearless, long-ball hitter, Mahan also played well under pressure at the Presidents Cup despite a 2-3 ledger.Why he should rank lower: There's little reason to believe he will, although one would like to see him take fewer putts. Mahan's overall putting average (not just putts per GIR) was 1.639 in 2007 (159th on tour), sustaining a three-year trend.
__ Age:__ 31Joined PGA Tour: 20042007 PGA earnings: $3,922,338 (8)World Rank: 15PGA Tour wins: 3Majors: 2007 Masters__ Top 2007 finishes__Masters 1AT&T Classic 1Tour Championship T-2Verizon Heritage 6WGC-CA ChampionshipT-9Skill RatingsPower rating: 4.5 Accuracy: 7.4 Short game: 6.7 Putting: 6.9 Scoring: 7.6Defining moment of '07: When he held off Tiger Woods, among others, to win the Masters, fans who only get their sports from ESPN asked, "Zach Who?" One month later Johnson won the AT&T Classic, proving the major wasn't as fluky as some proposed.Why he should rank higher: One of the tour's hardest and most competitive workers, Johnson takes nothing for granted and won't rest on the laurels of being a major champion. It's worth noting that he would have set a career high in earnings even if he had missed the cut at Augusta.Why he should rank lower: Having lost 10 yards off the tee from 2005, he makes the most out of laying up, but he will have to keep making putts with that approach and Johnson ranked a career-worst 111th in putts per GIR in 2007.
__ Age:__ 28__ Joined PGA Tour:__ 20062007 PGA earnings: $1,801,647 (46)World Rank: 19PGA Tour wins: 1Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesMercedes-Benz Championship 3WGC-Accenture Match Play 3PGA Championship T-6Arnold Palmer Invitational T-9Wachovia Championship T-14Skill RatingsPower rating: 6.0 Accuracy: 7.4 Short game: 6.8 Putting: 6.6 Scoring: 7.4Defining moment of '07: He may have bogeyed the last three holes of the Nedbank Challenge, but a win is a win, and it means the South African didn't complete the year without hoisting a trophy.Why he should rank higher: The step backward Immelman took in 2007—his scoring average was more than a stroke higher than 2006—was not the result of swing issues. He caught a stomach virus at the Masters and said he wasn't 100 percent until the PGA. Now healthy, he should rebound.Why he should rank lower: He needs to regain his confidence on the greens where he ranked 193rd in putts per GIR and T-183 in average distance of putts made. Unsure of where to turn, he tried a belly putter but called it "a stretch" and even tested the fat grip made popular by K.J. Choi.
Age: 30Joined PGA Tour: 20082007 PGA earnings: $553,270 (NR)World Rank: 21PGA Tour wins: NoneMajors: NoneTop 2007 finishesWGC-Accenture Match Play T-5WGC-CA ChampionshipT-9MastersT-10U.S. Open T-10Arnold Palmer InvitationalT-14Skill RatingsPower rating: 8.0 Accuracy: 7.2 Short game: 5.8 Putting: 7.2 Scoring: 7.5Defining moment of '07: Three strokes off the lead after three rounds of the U.S. Open, Casey shot 76 Sunday to fall out of contention.__Why he should rank higher:__Expected to play more on the PGA Tour than ever before, the Englishman has gone lengths to improve his relationship with American fans. Being more comfortable in the U.S. should give this long hitter even more confidence.Why he should rank lower: The data shows an erratic putter in 2007: Better than most from less than 10 feet, not as good as others from beyond. But he didn't hit many greens and he didn't play a lot of events where putt distances were measured, so the data is a bit skewed. What isn't skewed is a 73.18 final-round scoring average on the European Tour.
Age: 43Joined PGA Tour: 19862007 PGA earnings: $3,114,289 (12)World Rank: 25PGA Tour wins: 5Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesEDS Byron Nelson Championship 1Children's Miracle Network Classic T-3Tour Championship T-5Buick Open T-5Crowne Plaza Inv., U.S. Open T-7Skill RatingsPower rating: 3.3 Accuracy: 7.4 Short game: 6.7 Putting: 6.9 Scoring: 8.2Defining moment of '07: Verplank honored his friend Byron Nelson by winning the late legend's tournament in April.Why he should rank higher: Never underestimate the fact it's a Ryder Cup year when determining the fate of American golfers who grind their way from week to week. Verplank's form--not too long, but very straight--will help him contend in many of the so-called second-tier events he'll play in order to rack up Ryder Cup points.Why he should rank lower: Which Verplank will survive in 2008 and beyond? The one who hit 13 fairways and shot 66 in round two of the 2007 PGA or the one who hit only 15 fairways and 20 greens on the weekend to fall from contention? As the top events continue to be played on longer courses, Verplank's lack of length off the tee may finally hamper him.
Age: 28Joined PGA Tour: 20042007 PGA earnings: $1,664,167 (53)World Rank: 81PGA Tour wins: 1Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesPods Championship T-4Zurich Classic T-8Buick Open T-10John Deere Classic T-11AT&T National, Reno-Tahoe Open T-12Skill RatingsPower rating: 7.6 Accuracy: 7.2 Short game: 6.1 Putting: 7.0 Scoring: 7.9Defining moment of '07: Glover finished T-12 or better in four of six starts leading to his Presidents Cup team selection after the PGA Championship.Why he should rank higher: Making Jack Nicklaus' team and handling the high stakes of playing golf for his country (a 2-3-0 record, but he took Ernie Els to the limit in singles) will make him a better player. He should respond well to the pressure of making the Ryder Cup squad at Valhalla this summer. Because he is a long hitter and a good putter, expect him to jump into the second tier of stars behind the Woods-Mickelson-Furyk stratosphere.Why he should rank lower: To get to that level a bunch of T-10s won't cut it. Glover hasn't won since Disney in 2005 and threw away his only chance at a title in 2007 with a final-round 80 at the Bob Hope.
Age: 43Joined PGA Tour: 19982007 PGA earnings: $2,103,426 (31)World Rank: 33PGA Tour wins: 3Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesChildren's Miracle Network Classic 1WGC-Accenture Match Play T-5Arnold Palmer Invitational T-9U.S. Open T-10Mercedes-Benz Championship T-11Skill RatingsPower rating: 5.7 Accuracy: 7.2 Short game: 6.7 Putting: 6.8 Scoring: 7.5Defining moment of 2007: Ames won the Children's Miracle Network Classic, his first tour title since the 2006 Players, thanks to a stellar bunker shot on the 72nd hole that allowed him to make a three-foot par putt and win by one.Why he should rank higher: Although the swing changes he began working on with instructor Sean Foley after the '06 season didn't produce a victory until the last week of 2007, Ames was solidly consistent all year. He's likely to continue that progress in 2008.Why he should rank lower: For all the adjustments Ames made to his swing, some red flags remain. Of biggest concern is his penchant to give away strokes on Sunday. His final-round scoring average was 72.47 (160th), and he improved or maintained his position in the standings only seven times in 17 starts.
Age: 34Joined PGA Tour: 19972007 PGA earnings: $2,483,146 (25)World Rank: 24PGA Tour wins: 4Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesPlayersT-3Memorial T-5Wachovia Championship T-5British Open T-6BMW Championship T-7Skill RatingsPower rating: 8.0 Accuracy: 6.4 Short game: 6.8 Putting: 6.9 Scoring: 7.8Defining moment of '07: A final-round 66 at the Players helped him climb from T-16 to T-3, but after one of the best winless years in tour history in 2006, much more was expected of Cink in 2007.Why he should rank higher: Cink's fall from 15th to 25th in earnings wasn't that severe. His statistics didn't change dramatically, all that's missing is a victory and it's hard to believe someone with his talent will go another year without capturing some hardware. He'll likely make his fourth straight Ryder Cup team.Why he should rank lower: Cink appeared to have the ignition idling most of this year, occassionally following a slight move forward with a small step back. In a late-year self-analysis he said he needs to work on his short game and his accuracy.
Age: 22Joined PGA Tour: 20072007 PGA earnings: $1,545,195 (60)World Rank: 75PGA Tour wins: NoneMajors: NoneTop 2007 finishesZurich Classic T-3Wachovia Championship T-5Shell Houston Open T-5Nissan OpenT-9Pods Championship T-14Skill RatingsPower rating: 8.8 Accuracy: 6.4 Short game: 6.5 Putting: 6.8 Scoring: 7.7Defining moment of '07: He wore different colored shoes in order to grab attention but became noticed for his play at the Wachovia where he had his third top-five finish in five starts.Why he should rank higher: As confident as anyone in the game, Kim is the complete package: a bomber who hits enough fairways and greens to contend and the owner of a deft touch with the putter. He improved his putts per round as tournaments progressed, averaging almost two fewer putts in round four than round one.Why he should rank lower: Still one of the youngest players on tour, Kim appeared to tire as his rookie year wore on, ending the season without a top-10 in his last 14 starts. Perhaps it's too much to ask of someone whose college class graduated in May to contend regularly in majors.
Age: 34Joined PGA Tour: 20022007 PGA earnings: $2,613,211 (23)World Rank: 45PGA Tour wins: 1Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesVerizon Heritage 1Honda Classic T-2Viking Classic T-3Mayakoba Golf Classic 6PGA Championship T-9Skill RatingsPower rating: 8.6 Accuracy: 7.0 Short game: 6.2 Putting: 6.5 Scoring: 7.2Defining moment of '07: He lost the Honda Classic by missing a three-foot putt and won Hilton Head by chipping in on the 71st and 72nd holes. But he made a bigger splash by getting in contention early at the British Open and late at the PGA.Why he should rank higher: Weekley is loaded with confidence after a year that took him from Scratch Ankle, Fla., to Scotland to China en route to Augusta National in 2008. The fact he thinks he belongs combined with an innate ability to hit shots consistently on the screws make for a player worth watching.Why he should rank lower: All that self-reliance is going to take a hit if he continues to miss short putts. He was T-159 in putting from four-to-eight feet in 2007 and missed 52 measured putts from five feet or less.
Age: 30Joined PGA Tour: 20022007 PGA earnings: $2,190,053 (29)World Rank: 17PGA Tour wins: 2Majors: NoneTop 2007 finishesEDS Byron Nelson Championship 2Sony Open in HawaiiT-2Mercedes-Benz Championship 7Arnold Palmer Invitational 8MastersT-10Skill RatingsPower rating: 4.2 Accuracy: 7.0 Short game: 6.9 Putting: 7.0 Scoring: 7.5Defining moment of '07: Donald followed a T-10 at the Masters with a second-place finish at the Nelson. However, it was his fifth and final top-10 finish of the year.Why he should rank higher: Donald is more talented than many of those who rank ahead of him. His only real weakness is a lack of distance, which he makes up for with accuracy and improved putting.Why he should rank lower: All kidding aside, it was probably coincidence that he didn't have a top-10 finish after he got married in June. Wasn't it? At his age and with his talent, you'd like to see a move to stardom. Instead he began trending downward after the loss to Scott Verplank in Texas with only one score in the 60s in his next 18 rounds following the Nelson.
Age: 25Joined PGA Tour: 20062007 PGA earnings: $1,866,961 (41)World Rank: 56PGA Tour wins: NoneMajors: NoneTop 2007 finishesHonda Classic T-2AT&T Classic T-3BMW Championship T-7Deutsche Bank Championship T-9Tour Championship T-9Skill RatingsPower rating: 7.9 Accuracy: 7.1 Short game: 6.2 Putting: 6.9 Scoring: 8.1Defining moment of '07: Hombre Araña opened the Deutsche Bank with a 63 and had top-10 finishes in the final three playoff events, putting him back into the public consciousness for something other than reading his putts like Spiderman.Why he should rank higher: Villegas should build off his win at Japan's Coca-Cola Tokai Classic in September. A showman who hits the ball a long way, he's also a workhorse who plays many tournaments the big boys sit out. A win or two in those events, plus a strong performance at a major would move him up the money list and the World Ranking.Why he should rank lower: A victory in Japan is not the same as one in the U.S., and the novel way he reads putts has limits: He missed 29 measured putts from less than four feet in 2007.
Age: 32Joined PGA Tour: 20012007 PGA earnings: $2,615,152 (22)World Rank: 29PGA Tour wins: NoneMajors: NoneTop 2007 finishesJohn Deere Classic 2Children's Miracle Network Classic 2U.S. Bank Championship T-2BMW Championship T-5WGC-Bridgestone Invitational T-6Skill RatingsPower rating: 3.8 Accuracy: 7.2 Short game: 7.2 Putting: 7.6 Scoring: 8.4Defining moment of '07: Clark fought back and neck injuries all year but persevered with a fine second half that included three runner-up finishes in second-tier events and a T-7 at the Tour Championship.Why he should rank higher: Clark, the tour leader in putting average and sand saves in 2007, is one of the game's better ball-strikers when healthy, so we're guessing his career-low GIR percentage was a result of his injuries. Even though his best finishes in 2007 were in weak-field events, he does have a major pedigree with a second at Augusta in 2006, a third at the '03 PGA and a T-3 at the '05 U.S. Open.Why he should rank lower: Back and neck pain is notoriously difficult to alleviate, and despite Clark's strong summer and fall run, there's a possibility the injury will resurface.
Age: 31Joined PGA Tour: 20042007 PGA earnings: $1,431,390 (64)World Rank: 22PGA Tour wins: NoneMajors: NoneTop 2007 finishesEDS Byron Nelson Championship T-3Buick Invitational T-9WGC-Accenture Match Play T-9Barclays T-9BMW Championship T-10Skill RatingsPower rating: 4.9 Accuracy: 6.7 Short game: 7.2 Putting: 7.0 Scoring: 8.1Defining moment of '07: There really isn't one moment per se, as the flashy dresser popped up on leader boards throughout the year.Why he should rank higher: He closed the year with a victory at the Dunlop Phoenix and claims he's going to be working hard in the gym this winter with an eye toward Augusta National. Poulter has missed only one cut in a major since 2004 and only five cuts on the PGA Tour the past two years, with 15 top-25 finishes (out of 33 starts). This past year he had bad numbers (for him) in driving accuracy and GIR but still made $1.43 million.Why he should rank lower: Despite owning a home in Florida, the Englishman won't play the PGA Tour full time in 2008, opting instead to play a split schedule in an effort to make the European Ryder Cup team.
Age: 29Joined PGA Tour: 20062007 PGA earnings: $1,654,807 (55)World Rank: 107PGA Tour wins: NoneMajors: NoneTop 2007 finishesShell Houston Open T-2Buick Invitational T-4Zurich Classic T-5U.S. Open T-5FBR Open T-8Skill RatingsPower rating: 9.8 Accuracy: 6.1 Short game: 6.7 Putting: 6.6 Scoring: 7.0Defining moment of '07: You may not know that Watson, the tour's reigning long-drive champ, took the lead in driving distance at the year's second event and never relinquished the top spot all year. But you should remember he was in the top three after each of the first three rounds at Oakmont, before finishing T-5 at the U.S. Open.Why he should rank higher: Someone among the tour's rank and file is going to climb into the top 30 by virtue of some solid play in the Fall Series. Why shouldn't Watson be that player? He's a shotmaker who can go low under the right circumstances.Why he should rank lower: Long drives and victories don't mix. The last time anyone won a tournament and the tour's driving distance title in the same season was 1995 when John Daly won the British Open.