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The SportsXchange

The Sports Xchange's PGA Tour rankings, selected by TSX Golf Staff, based on performance in 2013-14.

1. Tiger Woods, United States -- On his way home from the Omega Dubai Desert Classic, Woods stopped off in India to play an 18-hole exhibition match at Delhi Golf Club, for which he reportedly was paid a seven-figure appearance fee. Pawan Munjal, chief executive officer and managing director of Hero MotoCorp, paid the fee and played alongside Woods with Shiv Kapur and Anirban Lahiri, two of India's better pro golfers. Sharmila Nicollet, the top woman golfer in India, also played a few holes, as did other dignitaries. Tiger reportedly donated a portion of his fee to Indian charities. ... Woods is off to the worst start of his pro career, tying for 80th in the Farmers Insurance Open to miss the secondary cut and tying for 41st in Dubai. Even though it wasn't a tournament round, he had to be pleased to play the tight Delhi course in 9-under-par 63, carding only a single bogey, at No. 11, in front of a crowd estimated variously at between 2,000 and 5,000 people. Munjal and Woods teamed against Kapur and Lahiri for a skins game on the last three holes, with the No. 1-ranked golfer in the world winning the final hole with his 10th birdie of the day to halve the match. ... Woods' play was a continuation of his finish in Dubai, where he birdied the last three holes. He then returned to his home in Jupiter, Fla., where he will continue working on his game. Woods will return to the PGA Tour in two weeks at the Honda Classic after skipping the Northern Trust Open and the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, which has won three times.

2. Adam Scott, Australia -- Scott has two more weeks off before he plays in the Honda Classic, and he will follow that up by playing the next week in the WGC-Cadillac Championship, which is expected to be his final event before he defends

the Masters title at Augusta National. He went to a shorter schedule a few years ago in order to concentrate on the majors, and it has paid off with seven top-10 finishes, and 10 in the top 25, in the Grand Slam events the past three seasons. Last year, after becoming the first Aussie to win the Masters, he tied for third in the Open Championship at Muirfield and tied for fifth in the PGA Championship at Oak Hill. ... Scott is not playing in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship next week because he does not like the Golf Club at Dove Mountain. He was knocked out of the event four times in the first round and once in the second since the tournament moved there in 2009. He and several others players said they hope a new course is found for the tournament after the contract runs out this year. The Aussie finished in the top 20 all five times he played in the Accenture at La Costa Resort and Spa in Carlsbad, Calif., in the early 2000s. ... Scott, whose official residence is Crans-Montana, Switzerland, last week put a home he owns in Abu Dhabi on the market. Asking price for the Mediterranean-style villa on Saadiyat Island, which fronts on the golf course and a lake with views of the ocean, is $7 million. Scott, who recently sold a property in Surfers Paradise, Australia, for $1.94 million, is throwing in a round of golf on a course to be chosen by the buyer.

3. Henrik Stenson, Sweden -- The big Swede is one player from the top five in the World Golf Rankings who is not going to skip the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship next week, even though he was knocked out in the first round in his only four appearances at the Golf Club at Dove Mountain. He has good memories from the Gallery at Dove Mountain next door, where he won the title in 2007 and finished third as the defending champion, losing to Tiger Woods in the semifinals. ... Stenson will be trying to find the form he possessed late in 2013, when he was the best player in the world over the last several months, winning the FedEx Cup on the PGA Tour and the Race to Dubai titles. After a disappointing start to 2014 on the Middle East Swing of the Euro Tour, where he failed to crack the top 25 in three events, he will play three consecutive weeks on the PGA Tour, also teeing it up in the Honda Classic at PGA National and the WGC-Cadillac Championship on the new Blue Monster at Doral. ... Henrik also committed to play in the Volvo World Match Play Championship, a European Tour event celebrating its 50th anniversary, when it was announced last week that the tournament that dates to 1964 will return to England and its traditional October dates this year. The tournament, which once drew the best players in the world and was won by the likes of Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Gary Player, Seve Ballesteros, Nick Faldo and Greg Norman, was played in Spain and Bulgaria in recent years. Stenson played in the event at all three countries.

4. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland -- Halfway through a two-week break, McIlroy is scheduled to make his debut on the PGA Tour this year when he plays next week in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship near Tucson. That will be the start of a three-week run on the circuit, as he also will tee it up in the Honda Classic at PGA National and the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, the first two events of the Florida Swing. ... McIlroy won the Honda two years ago but walked off the course midway through the second round last year, originally blaming a toothache. He was fighting through problems with his swing and the switch to Nike clubs at the time, and he was roasted in the media for simply quitting. Rory later apologized, and when he committed to the Honda recently, he basically said he had some making up to do with the tournament and its fans. ... Even though he faded with a 2-under-par 74 in the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic when he had a chance to win, his tie for ninth was the sixth time in his last eight events around the world that he cracked the top 10. That includes a victory in the Australian Open, where he beat Adam Scott with a birdie on the last hole, and a tie for second in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship, in which he was hit with a two-stroke penalty after round three for taking an improper drop. Had things gone a little differently, he could have won each of his last three outings. Regardless, McIlroy obviously is close to the form that took him to No. 1 in the World Golf Rankings two years ago.

5. Phil Mickelson, United States -- As it turned out, Mickelson could have challenged for his fifth victory in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday, but he struggled to a 2-over-par 74 in the chilling conditions and slid 14 spots down the leaderboard to a tie for 19th. After tying for second in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship last month to start the new year, he could not break into the top 10 in any of his first three events on the PGA Tour. ... After playing four consecutive weeks, although he withdrew midway through the Farmers Insurance Open because of a back injury, Lefty will take two weeks off, skipping the Northern Trust Open and the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. His children go to different schools and will be on spring break, so he is going to be spending time with the family before returning for the Honda Classic at the start of the Florida Swing and also playing the next week in the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral, where he won in 2009. ... Mickelson got off to a promising start in the final round last week with a birdie on the second hole, but that was the only one he would record all day. He also got off to a quick start the day before at Spyglass Hill with birdies on the first two holes, but he again took a goose egg the rest of the way while posting a 71. Mickelson opened with a bogey-free 66 at Monterey Peninsula, but he shot above 70 in each of his last three rounds. His 73 on Friday at Pebble was marred by a double-bogey 7 on the second hole.

6. Zach Johnson, United States -- One of the shorter hitters among the best players on the planet, Johnson stands at No. 6 in the World Golf Rankings thanks to sticking to his game plan, although he admits he lost his way for a while. After getting back to his bread-and-butter, Johnson reeled off five consecutive top-10 finishes in the middle of last year before winning the BMW Championship during the PGA Tour playoffs. Then he tied for seventh in the Tour Championship to start another run of five top-10s in seven tournaments, including victories in the Northwestern Mutual World Challenge in December and the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in 2014. ... Despite the hot streak, Johnson needed some time back home with his family in St. Simons, Ga., and he will be returning to the PGA Tour next week for the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship after a four-week break. He is returning to the Golf Club at Dove Mountain even though he is another player who has struggled there, failing to get out of the second round in any of his five appearances on the course. ... Johnson, one of the most consistent players on the PGA Tour, fell into a perplexing slump early last year, failing to finish in the top 10 for 12 consecutive events. Turned out he was trying to hit the ball higher and farther, against everything that lifted him into golf's elite, so he went back to instructor Mike Bender, who got him back on track. Seems he forgot that he was the guy who laid up on all 16 par-5 holes and played them in 11 under par while winning the 2007 Masters.

7. Jimmy Walker, United States -- Although it wasn't as easy as it should have been, Walker held on to claim his third victory of the 2013-14 season by winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. He blew all but one shot of a six-stroke lead and had to hole a 5-foot par putt on the final hole to survive, closing with a 2-over-par 74 that included four bogeys in a back nine of 39. Still, a 35-year-old who was winless on the PGA Tour until last October now has virtually wrapped up a spot on the U.S. Ryder Cup team. ... Walker, the runaway FedEx Cup leader at the moment, has played eight times already this season and is going to keep going this week when he tees it up in the Northern Trust Open for the eighth time. His best finishes at Riviera were ties for fourth in 2011 and 2012. Three years ago, he posted bookend 3-under-par 68s to finish four strokes behind winner Aaron Baddeley of Australia, and a year later, he shot 66 in round two and 69 in round four to wind up two shots out of the playoff in which Bill Haas turned back Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. A year ago, he tied for 16th. ... Walker built his lead last week with rounds of 66 at Pebble, 69 at Spyglass Hill and 67 at Monterey Peninsula, carding his only bogey in 54 holes at No. 5 on Saturday. He seemed in control through 10 holes in the final round, at 1 under, before the wheels started coming off. His one birdie on the back, at No. 11, and the gutty par save at the last hole proved to be the difference.

8. Justin Rose, England -- As he continued to rehab from tendinitis in his right shoulder and work on his game as the weather heated up last week in Central Florida, Rose committed to play this week in the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, which will be his 2014 debut. His planned start in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and the Farmers Insurance Open was scrubbed because of the injury, and from there he planned to skip the rest of the West Coast Swing. ... The Englishman played in the Los Angeles-area event eight times previously, recording his best results in his last two appearances. In 2011, he started 69-69 and played the weekend in 70-70 to tie for ninth. Two years ago, it was very similar, as he opened with 70-70 and finished 71-71 to wind up in a tie for 13th. He skipped the tournament last year. He is undecided on the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship but is expected to play three times on the Florida Swing. ... Rose hasn't been sitting around the house in Lake Nona, Fla., because of his injury. A few weeks ago, he took his wife Kate to Aspen, Colo., although he stayed in the lodge while she did the skiing. He also made an appearance in the TaylorMade booth at the PGA Merchandise Show in Orlando, and he played soccer with his son, although he was happy that Leo called it football, as the English do. He also took Kate to New York for the Super Bowl, with side trips to Madison Square Garden for a Knicks game and a shopping trip to Tiffany and Co.

9. Matt Kuchar, United States -- After a four-week break following the two events in Hawaii, Kuchar is returning to the PGA Tour this week for the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, where he is playing for the eighth consecutive season and the ninth time overall. His start to the year in the islands was typical for a guy who has 50 top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour since 2008, as he tied for sixth in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions and tied for eighth in the Sony Open in Hawaii. He has finished in the top 10 in each of his past five tournaments, and that does not include teaming with Harris English to win the Franklin Templeton Shootout in December. ... Even though Kooch obviously enjoys playing Riviera, he has never finished in the top 10 in the Los Angeles-area event, but to his credit he is going to keep trying. His best finish was a tie for 14th in 2008, when he closed with a 4-under-par 67. He recorded his best score on the classic George C. Thomas course last year when he opened with a 64 to take the lead, but he could not break par the rest of the way and tied for 38th. His closing 66 in 2010 left him in a tie for 20th, his second-best result. ... Kuchar broke 70 in 11 of his 12 rounds on the PGA Tour during the 2013-14 schedule, including when he tied for seventh in the McGladrey Classic in October near his home of Sea Island, Ga. The only time he didn't was round three of the Hyundai, when he shot 2-over-par 75 to virtually take himself out of the running for the title. His scoring average of 69.22 is third on the PGA Tour.

10. Brandt Snedeker, United States -- Snedeker still wasn't playing his best golf, but he seemed to be on track to make the cut in his title defense at the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, but he shot 5-over-par 77 in round three at Pebble to miss the 54-hole cut by five strokes. He missed the cut for the second time in his last three outings, the other coming in the Farmers Insurance Open. He still is searching for the form that made him the best player on the PGA Tour in the first two months of last season. ... Sneds has teed it up for four consecutive weeks and five times in all since the start of the new year, so he is taking a pass this week and skipping the Northern Trust Open before playing for only the third time next week in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship near Tucson. It is not such a surprise that he isn't in the field this week at Riviera because he missed the cut in three of his five appearances in the Los Angeles-area event. ... Snedeker carded seven bogeys in his first seven holes in round three last week at Pebble before making a futile rally with three birdies in the last four holes. It was the second consecutive week he finished with a big number, as he shot 8-over 79 in the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open to wind up in a tie for 61st. He opened with 72s at Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula but was out of position most of the time in the wet and windy weather because he hit only a little more than half the fairways.

11. Jason Dufner, United States -- Following a two-week break after he tied for 29th in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters, Duf is back on the PGA Tour this week to play in the Northern Trust Open at Riviera for the fifth time. Last year after tying for ninth both in Qatar and in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Classic on the Middle East Swing of the European Tour, he said he lost his swing in the windy conditions and it took him a few months to get it back. Obviously, he had it back when he captured the PGA Championship, his first major title, at Oak Hill in August. ... Dufner is considered one of the better ball-strikers on the PGA Tour, so Riviera should suit his game, but surprisingly he has never broken into the top 25 on the classic course. He shot 73-73--146 to miss the cut by three strokes in 2007, and also missed the weekend in 2010 at 71-74--145, falling short by one shot. In 2011, he played the weekend in 68-69 to tie for 29th, but in 2012 he could not even equal the par of 71 in any of his four rounds and finished in a tie for 52nd. ... Counting his victory in the PGA, Dufner finished in the top 10 in four of his last six tournaments before he became sick at the Sony Open in Hawaii. After opening with three rounds of 67 or better at Waialae, he closed with a 70 that dropped him to a tie for 29th, and he later learned he had pneumonia and bronchitis. Duf was good enough to go to Qatar, but he should be back to full strength this week at Riviera.

12. Jordan Spieth, United States -- Spieth wasn't the first player to get blown away by the wind at Pebble Beach, and he certainly won't be the last. He struggled to a 6-over-par 78 on Saturday, when it was so windy that play was stopped for more than two hours, and it kept him from having a chance to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am on Sunday. He closed with a 67 on the same course, but in different conditions, and wound up tied for fourth, his second top-five finish of the new year. ... Seemingly recovered from a right ankle injury that hampered him in the last two rounds of the Farmers Insurance Open, Spieth is going to play in the Northern Trust Open for the second time beginning Thursday. Last year as a rookie, he posted a score of 76-71--147 at Riviera and missed the cut by two strokes. A week later, he will play for the first time in the WGC-Cadillac Championship, and it will be only the second World Golf Championships event for which he qualified. Last November, he finished 17th in the WGC-HSBC Champions in China. ... Spieth played the front nine in his 78 at Pebble in 4-over 40, including a double-bogey 6 on the ninth hole, where he needed three shots to reach the green and three-putted from 19 feet. He hit his approach shot to within 3 feet and made birdie on the same hole the next day. He holed a 17-foot eagle putt on No. 2 while touring the front in 33 Sunday. The 20-year-old, who tied for 22nd last year in his first trip to Pebble, shot 67-67 the first two days at Spyglass Hill and Monterey Peninsula.

13. Dustin Johnson, United States -- Despite starting the final round six strokes behind leader Jimmy Walker, DJ almost had a chance to win the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am for a third time. He closed with a 6-under-par 66 and finished in a tie for second, one stroke back, when Walker holed a five-foot putt for par on the final hole to shoot 74. In his only other start this year, DJ tied for sixth in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. ... Before teeing it up at Pebble Beach, Johnson was off for four weeks, so he is going to play at least the next two weeks, in the Northern Trust Open and the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He will be playing at Riviera for the seventh consecutive year and has shown that a big hitter can play well on the tight fairways in Pacific Palisades. DJ opened with a 7-under-par 64 in 2010 and closed with a 66, but a 74 in round three relegated him to a tie for third, three strokes behind winner Steve Stricker. In 2012, he shot par or better every day and tied for fourth, two shots out of the playoff in which Bill Haas beat Phil Mickelson and Keegan Bradley. He also tied for 10th in 2009. ... Looking back, it was a 2-over-par 73 on Friday at Monterey Peninsula, considered the easiest course in the Pebble Beach rotation, that might have cost Johnson the title. He carded only one birdie, at No. 6, and took a double-bogey 6 at No. 1. In the final round, Johnson holed out from 18 yards for an eagle on the second hole and added seven birdies.

14. Webb Simpson, United States -- By winning the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open in October early in the 2013-14 season, Simpson said he had the luxury to take extra time off at home with his family in Charlotte, N.C., during the West Coast Swing. It appeared he was going to pass on the Northern Trust Open and return next week in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, but he made a late commitment to play at Riviera this week. ... Webb will tee it up in the Los Angeles-area event for the third time, and he had a chance to take home the trophy last year. He was tied for second, three strokes back, after playing the middle rounds in 66-68, but shot even-par 71 in the final round to tie for sixth. In 2010, he played the weekend in 69-65 and tied for 15th. He has shot par or better in seven of his eight rounds at Riviera. ... Simpson's victory in Las Vegas was his first since he captured the 2012 U.S. Open at the Olympic Club in San Francisco, and he said it was frustrating not winning because he felt he continued to play well. He recorded five finishes in the top 10 and 19 in the top 25 during his winless drought and knew he simply had to be patient and his fourth victory on the PGA Tour would come soon enough. Simpson nearly broke through last year in the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head, where he lost in a playoff to Graeme McDowell. His current hot streak began when he finished fourth in the Tour Championship last September. Since winning the Shriners, he has added four more top-10 results.

15. Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland -- Even though he didn't win, it was a gratifying return to Pebble Beach for McDowell, where he captured the 2010 U.S. Open. He got to play alongside his father, Kenny, in the pro-am and tied for fifth in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. It was a good start to the new year for a guy who was off for nearly two months, and he saved the best for last, closing with a bogey-free 5-under-par 67. ... After getting a late start to his season, G-Mac is going to tee it up four times in five weeks. He is skipping the Northern Trust Open this week at Riviera, but he will play in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship before starting the Florida Swing with the Honda Classic and the WGC-Cadillac Championship. After that, he probably will skip the Valspar Classic before playing for the sixth consecutive year in the Arnold Palmer Invitational, which is a home game for him since he lives in Central Florida. ... McDowell started with 71-71-72 last week in the AT&T, and it was enough for him to escape the secondary cut by two strokes so he could make his move in the final round. He played Pebble the last two days and needed birdies on the 14th and 15th holes on Saturday to get into the final round. Once there, he rattled off seven birdies, including three in the first six holes and four in a span of five holes through No. 16. McDowell was mostly solid the other three days but managed a total of only nine birdies in those 54 holes.

16. Patrick Reed, United States -- Continuing his hot streak that dates to winning the Wyndham Championship last August, Reed closed with a 3-under-par 69 to wind up in a tie for 13th in his first appearance in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am. It wasn't quite as good as his victory in the Humana Challenge last month, but if not for the three victories by Jimmy Walker, this guy would be the surprise story of the PGA Tour. ... Even though he has played four times in the last five weeks, missing the Farmers Insurance Open only because of a rib injury, Reed was planning to tee it up again this week in the Northern Trust Open. However, he might have gotten a little tired at Pebble, and he decided to take the week off ahead of his first appearance in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship in Arizona. In his first appearance at Riviera last year, he shot 73-73--146 to miss the cut by two strokes. ... The 23-year-old started with a 3-under-par 69 last week at Spyglass Hill, considered the most difficult of the three courses in the rotation. If not for a 75 in the third round at Pebble, where he drove into an unplayable lie and took a double-bogey 7 at No. 18, he might have been right there at the end. He also took three shots to reach the fifth green on Sunday and carded a double-bogey 5. Those four lost shots cost him a top-five finish. Reed had eight birdies in the final round, but only nine more in the other 54 holes.

17. Jason Day, Australia -- Day carded a birdie on his final hole of the third round to shoot 1-under-par 71 at Spyglass Hill in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am and sneak inside the 54-hole cut on the number, but he missed the secondary cut by one stroke. It does not go down as an official missed cut, and he still made money by tying for 64th, but only the top 60 professionals and ties play in the final round of the tournament on the Monterey Peninsula. ... Despite having played only twice in 2014 on the PGA Tour, Day is skipping the Northern Trust Open and will tee it up next week in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, in which he finished third last year. As for not playing this week, he missed the cut in two of his three previous appearances at Riviera, in addition to tying for 62nd in 2012, and he has not broken the par of 71 in any of the eight rounds he played at the classic course they call "Hogan's Alley." ... The Aussie opened with a 3-under 68 last week at Monterey Peninsula Country Club, starting at No. 10 and wrapping up his back nine with three consecutive birdies, but in the long run, a 5-over 77 in the wind and rain at Pebble Beach on Friday kept him from playing the final round. He was even par through 11 holes at Pebble before carding three straight bogeys through No. 5 and making a double-bogey 6 at the ninth while finishing on the front side. Day, playing for the second time this year, wasn't nearly as sharp as he was in a tie for second in the Farmers Insurance Open.

18. Sergio Garcia, Spain -- Garcia's victory in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters gave him at least one title in each of the past four years after he went winless in individual events during the 2009 and 2010 seasons, when he struggled through a mid-career slump. There is no denying his talent -- the 34-year-old Spaniard has collected 26 victories around the globe -- and perhaps he has gained some maturity that was lacking earlier in his career, so he might still reach some of the heights that were projected for him. His victory total includes eight titles on the PGA Tour and 11 on the European Tour. ... Sergio should arrive at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championships next week with plenty of confidence since he won two of his last three outings, also taking the title in the Thailand Golf Championship in December. He finished in the top 20 in each of his past nine tournaments, dating to a tie for fourth in the Deutsche Bank Championship during the PGA Tour playoffs last September. ... Garcia is second in the Race to Dubai standings, but since this is a Ryder Cup year, the team standings mean the most to him. He is second behind Henrik Stenson on the World Points list and eighth on the Euro Points list, so he figures to be a key figure for captain Paul McGinley's team against the Americans at Gleneagles Resort in Scotland come September. Garcia was a force for the Euros in six Ryder Cups, although he missed making the team during his slump in 2010.

19. Keegan Bradley, United States -- Bradley is anxious to get back on the horse this week in the Northern Trust Open after being thrown by a 9-over-par 80 to miss the cut by five strokes in the Waste Management Phoenix Open. That came after he opened with a 66 at TPC Scottsdale. Before that week, he finished in the top 20 in 11 of his last 12 tournaments dating to last season. This probably is nothing more than a minor bump in the road for the 2011 PGA champion. ... Keegan is playing at Riviera for the fourth consecutive year and seems to have figured out the classic course after shooting 74-72--146 to miss the cut by one stroke the first time he played there in 2011. Two years ago, he shot 66-69 in the middle rounds and capped an even-par 71 on Sunday with a 10-foot birdie putt on the final hole of regulation to get into a playoff with Bill Haas and Phil Mickelson. Haas won it with an improbable 46-foot birdie putt on the second extra hole. Last year, Bradley equaled or broke par every day on the stingy course and wound up in a tie for 16th. ... According to the schedule page at keeganbradley.com, he is going to stick with the same events he played last year at this time. That means he will play four weeks in a row, following with the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, the Honda Classic and the WGC-Cadillac Championship. After being eliminated in the first round of the 2013 Accenture, he reeled off four consecutive top-10 finishes, so why change?

20. Luke Donald, England -- Following a 12-year run at what is now the Northern Trust Open at Riviera, Donald is skipping the tournament this week and will make his 2014 debut on the PGA Tour next week at the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He has been working on his game in South Florida, with instructor Chuck Cook on the full swing and Pat Goss, who was his coach at Northwestern, on the short game, and he hopes to rebounds from a slow start to the year in two events on the European Tour. He tied for 57th in Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship and tied for 37th in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. ... Donald's precise game would seem to be a perfect fit for Riviera, but he recorded only three top-10 finishes there. In 2010, he played the weekend in 66-66 to finish second, two strokes behind winner Steve Stricker. He also had bookend 3-under-par 68s in 2008 and tied for third, five shots behind winner Phil Mickelson, and tied for sixth in 2009, when he carded four scores in the 60s. ... Donald said one reason he opened his season with two events on the Euro Tour was to put himself in good position for the Race to Dubai and not feel as if he had ground to make up late in the year. However, he did not do too much to help himself in that regard, and he is not in very good shape on the Ryder Cup lists for the European team, either. Luke is 13th in the World List and 31st on the European list, with work do so he doesn't have to rely on Paul McGinley to make him a captain's pick.

Others receiving consideration: Ernie Els, South Africa; Jim Furyk, United States; Lee Westwood, England; Bubba Watson, United States; Bill Haas, United States; Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa; Hunter Mahan, United States; Ryan Moore, United States; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Harris English, United States; Ian Poulter, England; Scott Stallings, United States; Graham DeLaet, Canada; Kevin Stadler, United States.

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