Ranking the 10 best PGA Tour golfers less than one month before start of The Masters

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It was a wild a week at The PLAYERS Championship as Scottie Scheffler scored a 17-under par and cruised to a 5-shot victory over Tyrell Hatton on Sunday at TPC Sawgrass in Ponte Vedra Beach, Fla.

The 5-shot victory for Scheffler, which is his sixth win in 392 days dating back to last year’s WM Phoenix Open for his first PGA Tour title, is the largest margin of victory at The PLAYERS Championship since 2006 when Stephen Ames won by six strokes.

For the first time ever, there were three hole-in-ones on No. 17, the par-3 island green this week at The PLAYERS Championship.

Hayden Buckley got the first ace during the opening round. Aaron Rai captured the second during Saturday’s third round and Alex Smalley carded a one on the scorecard during the final round. Smalley’s ace was the first hole-in-one on a Sunday at The PLAYERS Championship since 1997.

In addition to Rai nailing a hole-in-one, Saturday’s third round saw a picture-perfect day of golf with hardly any wind, especially compared to Friday’s second round having to be suspended and moved to Saturday morning due to inclement weather.

More history was made on Saturday at The PLAYERS Championship as the perfect golfing conditions gave way for Tom Hoge, who recorded a 10-under 62 third round for the new course record as he finished at 10-under par and tied for third place.

Sunday at The PLAYERS Championship marked one month until the green jacket will be awarded at the Masters, the first major of the season.

Here are the top 10 players on the PGA Tour four weeks ahead of Masters Sunday.

10. Sahith Theegala

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Last year Sahith Theegala was one of the top rookies as he was coming up just short at multiple events, similar to the likes of Will Zalatoris. Theegala, who is still looking for his first PGA Tour win, has five top 10s this season with his most recent coming at The Genesis Invitational last month.

Theegala is fourth this season in total birdies and seventh with 11 consecutive cuts made.

9. Xander Schauffele

xander schauffele
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Xander Schauffele has three top 10s this season as he is looking to peak as the season progresses. Schauffele, who is considered as one of the best players to currently not have a major victory under their belt, tied for third at The American Express that was primarily fueled by a final round 62 and the longest hole out of the season from 226 yards.

Schauffele, who leads the PGA Tour with 19 consecutive made cuts dating back to last season, is currently ninth in strokes gained approach the green as he is No. 6 in the OWGR.

8. Tom Hoge

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Tom Hoge, who found success in his first tournament at TPC Sawgrass, has played well this season with three top 10s. That included a third-place finish at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, the first designated event this season.

Hoge also has a fourth-place finish at the Shriners Children’s Open in October as he is first in strokes gained approach the green and fourth in proximity to hole.

7. Chris Kirk

chris kirk

Chris Kirk won The Honda Classic a few weeks ago for his first PGA Tour victory in eight years. During that time, Kirk was able to turn around his alcoholism and is now two years sober, which has also led to success on the course, especially mentally.

Kirk, who is seventh in the FedEx Cup standings with three top-10s, leads the PGA Tour in 3-putt avoidance, is second in approaches from 125-150 yards and is 17th in total strokes gained.  

6. Jason Day

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Jason Day has started to get it going as of late, recording four of his five top-10 finishes in four consecutive starts. He tied for seventh at the Farmers Insurance Open, fifth at the WM Phoenix open, ninth at The Genesis Invitational and 10th at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. His other top-10 came at the Shriners Children’s Open.

All of Day’s made cuts have seen him finish at 21st or better, showing the opportunity to compete each week. Day, who is currently 20th in the FedEx Cup Standings, is second on the PGA Tour in scrambling and bogey avoidance while being sixth in strokes gained total that has rejuvenated the Aussie to be in a possible winning situation later this season.

5. Keegan Bradley

keegan bradley
Ray Acevedo-USA TODAY Sports

Despite missing the cut last week at The PLAYERS Championship, Keegan Bradley has had a quiet rise to being one of the best players this season. Bradley, who won the ZOZO Championship during the Fall Swing, has four top-10s this season, including a second-place finish at the Farmers Insurance Open in January.

Bradley also has a fifth-place finish at the Sanderson Farms Championship to kick off his season that was fueled by a third round 64 for his lowest round this season. Last week at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, Bradley tied for 10th, recording a final round 67 as all seven of his final rounds that he has appeared win has been at or below 70.

4. Rory McIlroy

rory mcilroy
Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Rory McIlroy has not played in as many events compared to Max Homa, Scottie Scheffler and Jon Rahm this season but has been in the discussion for World No. 1.

After his win at The CJ CUP in South Carolina, McIlroy has a couple finishes around 30th at both the WM Phoenix Open and at The Genesis Invitational. He was able to rebound by finishing tied for second at the Arnold Palmer Invitational but missed the cut this past week at The PLAYERS Championship.

McIlroy, who has been a vocal leader for the PGA Tour, leads the Tour in driving distance and inside the top 10 in strokes gained total tee-to-green, off-the-tee and approach the green as he hovers around the No. 10 spot in the FedEx Cup Standings and looks to win his second straight and fourth overall FedEx Championship in August to conclude the 2022-23 PGA Tour season.

Related: How the PGA Tour should feel that all four majors will accept players from LIV Golf

3. Max Homa

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Reinhold Matay-USA TODAY Sports

Max Homa has had a solid 2022-23 season that has included two wins, in addition to his performance for the U.S. in the Presidents Cup a week after winning the Fortinet Championship.

During The PLAYERS Championship, Homa had an opportunity to contend on Sunday, but he landed in the water on the par-3 No. 17 to prevent any chance of placing higher as he finished part of the handful at 8-under par, tying for sixth.

Homa, who currently remains No. 2 in the FedEx Cup standings after The PLAYERS Championship, is tied with Day with five top-10 finishes this season, which only trails Scheffler and Rahm. He is currently third in strokes gained total and is inside the top 10 in strokes gained tee to green and strokes gained approach the green.

2. Jon Rahm

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David Yeazell-USA TODAY Sports

Jon Rahm had it going on as he was able to get back to World No. 1 in the OWGR with three victories in a span of about six weeks.

In addition to leading the PGA Tour in strokes gained total, Rahm is also first in birdie or better conversion percentage, birdie average and strokes gained total.

Over the last few weeks, Rahm has been enduring the challenges of a long PGA Tour season by his withdrawal this week in addition to his tied for 39th finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational, ending his stretch of eight top-10 finishes in nine starts dating back to the FedEx St. Jude Championship during last year’s FedEx Cup Playoffs.

1. PLAYERS Championship winner: Scottie Scheffler

scottie scheffler

The battle for the top spot was a tight one but came down to play over the last few weeks, despite Rahm recording one more victory over Scottie Scheffler this season. This comes after Scheffler tied for fourth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

With his win this week, Scheffler returned to World No. 1 in the OWGR while earning $4.5 million and 600 FedEx Cup points, which moved him up one spot to No. 3, only behind Homa and Rahm.

So far this season, Scheffler trails Rahm for the top spot in scoring average, strokes gained total and leads the PGA Tour in greens in regulation percentage and bogey avoidance.

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