Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Power Rankings - RBC Canadian Open

If you go to any non fantasy-centric site this week, there's a good chance you'll be hearing about how Rory McIlroy is ready to dominate again. In fact, I'm sure several have him pegged to win this week's RBC Canadian Open from his couch (or whatever a 25-year-old multi-millionaire sits on). Some of his competitors from The Open, however, are out this week, grinding for another win and trying to peak at the right time for the year's last major, the PGA Championship at Valhalla. True to the summer segment, there are some pretty weak fields between the majors, so knowing who's who among the middle and lower tiers is where you can make up ground if, like your occasionally not-so-bright writer, you did something like not start McIlroy last week and fell behind.



In this week's edition of the Power Rankings, and those going forward, I'll be listing the Top-15 with their Total Aggregate (TA), a number that combines recent performance with course history and some select other metrics, and the change (CHG) from the last tournament they participated in. Total Aggregate is out of 100, with a lower number indicating a better ranking, as described in Movers and Losers.
  1. Dustin Johnson - TA: 19.83, CHG: (+0.4) - DJ placed T2 here last year, primarily on the merit of a 63 in the third round after opening with a 75. He's still playing excellent golf, following a T12 at The Open, and hasn't finished worse than 31st in his last four start. Currently sits about $200,000 away from having his best money year on TOUR. 
  2. Graeme McDowell - TA: 23.67, CHG: (+10.6) - A benefactor of my adjusting for European Tour results, McDowell has a win and two top-10s in his last three starts, including a T9 at The Open. Finished 74th here last year in his only career start.
  3. Jim Furyk - TA: 23.75, CHG: (-0.4) - Furyk hasn't finished outside the Top-20 in his last three starts, and with a history at the Canadian Open that includes two wins, it's hard to pick against this tournaments all-time money leader. He's coming off a fourth place finish at The Open and had a T9 here last year.
  4. Brandt Snedeker - TA: 26.92, CHG: (+8.4) - He's finally stringing cuts together again, and though he finished 58th last week, he's got a Top-10, Top-15, and Top-25 in the three weeks prior. Snedeker won this tournament last year, and while the course is different, he also placed 34th the year prior.
  5. Carl Petterson - TA: 35.42, CHG: (+13) - Even removing the fact that he won here in 2010, Petterson has been playing well enough recently that he would still qualify for my Power Rankings. He's on a string of five made cuts that includes a third place and a Top-10.
  6. Charley Hoffman - TA: 37.33, CHG: (-5.8) - Returning to North America might benefit Hoffman after a rough week at The Open. Finished third at the John Deere Classic and managed a T16 at the tournament last year. Hasn't missed a cut in 12 starts.
  7. Bo Van Pelt - TA: 37.75, CHG: (+1.4) - With a T7 and T6 in his last two starts at the Canadian Open, Van Pelt clearly doesn't mind travelling north of the border. He's coming in rested after a T7 at the John Deere Classic and hasn't missed a cut in 7 starts. That's three 7's in three lines of text, might be lucky, if you're in to that sort of thing.
  8. Matt Kuchar - TA: 38.33, CHG: (-9.4) - You know a player is playing well this year with the biggest concern with him is that he hasn't had a Top-10 in his last five starts. With Kuchar, they're expected, considering he leads the TOUR with 9. Kuchar tied for second last year, so expect him to find his tenth this week.
  9. Chad Campbell - TA: 42.33, CHG: (+7) - Coming back rested after a T13 at the John Deere Classic, Campbell also has a Top-10 at The Travelers to boost his confidence. Campbell tied for 16th at the RBC Canadian Open last year.
  10. Retief Goosen - TA: 43.42, CHG: (-4.4) - The Goose is on a made-cut streak spanning back ten tournaments, starting with a T7 at the Shell Houston Open. While his play in the latter part of that stretch hasn't been as hot as the start, consistency counts for a lot in a weak field full of question marks. Tied for 10th in his last start at the RBC.
  11. Charl Schwartzel - TA: 43.5, CHG: (+8.2) - He might be topping this list if he was making cuts with a little bit more consistency. In his last five starts, Schwartzel has two missed cuts, but three finishes of 11th or better. Placed 28th here last year.
  12. Ben Crane - TA: 46.33, CHG: (+12.6) - Four straight made cuts, including a win. Crane tied for 29th in his last appearance here and should be relatively well rested despite making the trip to England and not playing as the first alternate for The Open.
  13. Heath Slocum - TA: 46.33, CHG: (-4.4) - Slocum appears to be finding his footing after a rough start to the year, riding a streak of six made cuts. None of his finishes in that stretch have been exemplary, ranging from a low of 55th to a high of 30th. Tied for 48th in his last start here, he should be a solid choice for Group D in Golf Channel leagues.
  14. Aaron Baddeley - TA: 46.33, CHG: (-14.2) - Baddeley missed the cut in his last start but had been playing excellent just prior, including a Top-5 and a Top-25. Tied for ninth at the tournament last year, and, as a side note, is second in strokes-gained putting behind Graeme McDowell.
  15. Jerry Kelly - TA: 47.42, CHG: (+19.4) - Tied for third at the John Deere Classic before breaking a week for The Open. Comes in rested to the Canadian Open with four consecutive made cuts. 
Kyle Donovan

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