>>MORE: From the World of Golf

Rank   Team Record   Change   Comment
1 Justin Thomas Justin Thomas -
▲ 2
No stranger to FedExCup formula. Has been more of a grinder in 2018 than explosive. All parts of game are firing. Only his third East Lake start. Second was a year ago, with a $10,000,000 consolation prize.
2 Justin Rose Justin Rose -
Four-foot disease cost him BMW. Game is impeccable, with the occasional lapses on the green. World #1. Only real run at Tour Championship was a three-stroke loss to Brandt Snedeker in 2011.
3 Bryson DeChambeau Bryson DeChambeau -
▲ 17
First player since Vijay Singh to lock up top seed with opening wins in first two playoff events. Putting change after PGA Championship MC gets credit for the run.
4 Tony Finau Tony Finau -
▲ 15
Best year by a non-winner on Tour in 2018. Eleven top 10s, including three runner-up finishes. Fifteen consecutive rounds in the 60s. T7 a year ago at East Lake.
5 Dustin Johnson Dustin Johnson -
▼ 4
Off-course distractions may be greater problem than underperforming putting in recent weeks. Four career top 10s at East Lake, including second in 2016.
6 Brooks Koepka Brooks Koepka -
▲ 2
Needs to pretend that this is a major. Finished sixth in his only East Lake appearance. Last three U.S. wins were all majors.
7 Tiger Woods Tiger Woods -
▼ 1
Tee to green has been good during the playoffs. Putts into contention and treads water once he gets there. Made the final only twice this decade – T8 in 2012. Last win there in 2007.
8 Rory McIlroy Rory McIlroy -
▼ 1
Best driver in the game. Wedge game has cycled up. Makes absolutely nothing on the greens. If the putter is hot, he can still run away from the field. Won three-way playoff in 2016 with a closing 64.
9 Xander Schauffele Xander Schauffele -
▲ 3
Undefeated at East Lake. Finding more fairways since Bridgestone. Feast or famine summer. Starting with The Players: five top 10s and four MCs.
10 Tommy Fleetwood Tommy Fleetwood -
First East Lake start. Hits a lot of greens. Makes a lot of putts. Only one MC on Tour in 2018.
11 Jason Day Jason Day -
▼ 2
Never higher than fourth at Tour Championship. One top 10 all summer. Putter abandoned him at Dell. Tops on Tour for the season.
12 Webb Simpson Webb Simpson -
▲ 9
Fourth in 2014. Been in the top 10 in three of four East Lake starts. Best year on Tour since 2011. The difference has been on the greens.
13 Billy Horschel Billy Horschel -
▼ 13
Knows what it’s like to get hot in the playoffs. In 2014 went from MC at Barclays to T2, win, win to take it all.
14 Keegan Bradley Keegan Bradley -
▲ 3
Quietly had been scaling the ranks prior to BMW. Tee game sets up the rest. Has finally found how to putt without anchoring. Struggled on par 4s all year until Philadelphia. 11-under for the week.
15 Rickie Fowler Rickie Fowler -
▼ 2
Beware the injured golfer. Oblique strain may keep him from being too aggressive. No really good history at East Lake. One career top 10. Last career win Honda in 2017.
16 Phil Mickelson Phil Mickelson -
▲ 2
Despite breaking winless streak, not a strong year. Since the win in Mexico has only posted one top 10. Ran down Tiger with a final-day 65 in 2009.
17 Jon Rahm Jon Rahm -
▼ 6
T7 at East Lake in his rookie debut. Has not had a good playoff run with one MC and no top 20s.
18 Bubba Watson Bubba Watson -
▼ 13
Has never been an end-of-the-year performer. Twice in the top 10 at East Lake. Three MCs in last seven starts. Has found more fairways in the playoffs.
19 Patrick Reed Patrick Reed -
▼ 3
Back in Georgia for the first time since his Masters win. Will be asked more about the Ryder Cup than the Tour Championship. Never been in the top 10 in Atlanta.
20 Patrick Cantlay Patrick Cantlay -
▲ 5
Finished T20 a year ago in his only Tour Championship start. Ranked 99th in the world a year ago. Now sits 24th.
21 Kevin Na Kevin Na -
▼ 21
Gives up a lot of distance off the tee – 154th. Better around the greens than on the greens. Never cracked the top 10 in Atlanta.
22 Paul Casey Paul Casey -
▼ 22
Has had success at East Lake without a win. Finished T5, 4th, 5th in his last three starts there. WD at BMW with back injury. Could be looking ahead to Paris.
23 Cameron Smith Cameron Smith -
▼ 23
Only U.S. win was partner event in New Orleans. Top 3 in the first two playoff events. Not in the top 40 in any statistical category in 2018 but posted seven top 10s. No Australian has won the event.
24 Francesco Molinari Francesco Molinari -
▼ 10
Early-season streak produced major win at Carnoustie. Top 10 at Bellerive and Aronimink. Tour Championship rookie.
25 Kyle Stanley Kyle Stanley -
▼ 25
Doesn’t erase mistakes around the green. Saves are a rarity. Only his second East Lake start. Among the best at finding fairways and greens.

 

Dan Reardon has covered golf for radio station KMOX in St. Louis for 32 years. In that time, he has covered more than 100 events, including majors and other PGA, LPGA and Champions Tour tournaments. During his broadcast career, Reardon conducted one-on-one interviews with three dozen members of the World Golf of Fame. He has contributed to many publications over the years and co-authored the book Golf’s Greatest Eighteen from Random House. Reardon served as Director of Media relations for LPGA events in both St. Louis and Chicago for 10 years.

Photo Credit: Getty Images

* Power Rankings updated monthly.