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Golf rankings, player capsules

The SportsXchange

The Sports Xchange's 2013 PGA Tour rankings, selected by TSX Golf Staff, based on 2012-2013 performance.

1. Tiger Woods, United States -- In a pattern that has developed in the majors over the last few years, Woods put himself in position to make a run at the U.S. Open title with an even-par 70 in round two, then fell away to a tie for 32nd by shooting 76-74 on the weekend at Merion. He has failed to break 70 in his last 12 rounds on the weekend in the Grand Slam events, and he's shot in the 60s in only three of his last 22 weekend rounds in majors since Y.E. Yang took him down in the final round of the 2009 PGA Championship at Hazeltine ... After the second major of the year, Woods is going to take only one week off before teeing it up in the AT&T National at Congressional, an event that he hosts and which benefits the Tiger Woods Foundation. He's won the tournament twice in four appearances, including last year. Tiger has done well in events that he hosts, also having won the World Challenge at Sherwood Country Club in Thousand Oaks, Calif., a record five times. ... Woods' third-round score at Merion equaled the highest of his career in a major, when he shot 76-76 and missed the cut in the 2006 U.S. Open at Winged Foot. It seemed he might be primed for some weekend magic when he holed a twisting, downhill birdie putt on the first hole of the third round, but that was the only birdie he recorded all day while ringing up seven bogeys. The worst came the next day, when he hit his tee shot out of bounds en route to a triple-bogey 8 on the second hole. His ball-striking was OK, but he struggled with his chipping and putting, averaging 32.0 putts per round.

2. Justin Rose, England -- The world has been waiting for Rose to arrive as a major champion since he chipped in for birdie on the final hole to tie for fourth in the 1998 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. That remained his best finish in the Grand Slam events until a tie for third in the PGA Championship last year at Kiawah Island, but he finally broke through last week at the age of 32 to win the U.S. Open by two strokes over Phil Mickelson and Jason Day at Merion. ... Rose is going to make it a three-week run on the PGA Tour, playing this week in the Travelers Championship followed by the AT&T National. He will tee it up this week at TPC River Highlands for the eighth time, but the first time since 2010. His best finish in the event was solo third in 2005, when he opened with 65-63, but he could not keep up that pace and played the weekend in 70-69 to finish one stroke out of the playoff in which Brad Faxon beat Tjaart van der Walt. Rosy opened the final round with a four-stroke lead, but he played the first 12 holes in 1 over par before three birdies down the stretch left him just short. He also tied for ninth in 2007 and 2009. ... Rose became the first Englishman to capture a major since Nick Faldo won the 1996 Masters and the first to win the U.S. Open since Tony Jacklin in 1970 at Hazeltine. To do it, he had to stare down four-time major champion Mickelson, whom he also beat last year in Sunday singles to help the Europeans retain the Ryder Cup at Medinah. Rose held on with pars on the last two holes to close with an even-par 70 as the East Course beat up the best players in the world.

3. Matt Kuchar, United States -- Another player who was on the short list of favorites in the U.S. Open but never in the discussion once the tournament started, Kuchar couldn't even equal the par of 70 in any of his four rounds at Merion and finished in a tie for 28th. He has finished in the top 10 only once in 11 appearances in the second major of the year, when he tied for sixth in 2010 at Pebble Beach. ... After playing 15 times this season on the PGA Tour, including five of the last six weeks, Kooch is going to take something of a summer break. He is passing on the Travelers Championship this week, even though he tied for eighth last year at TPC River Highlands, his first finish in the top 30 after missing the cut four times in six previous appearances. There is no indication when he might play again, but last year the Travelers was his only appearance between the U.S. Open and the Open Championship. ... Kuchar stumbled out of the blocks in the first round last week at Merion, getting his only birdie on the sixth hole while opening with a 74. He was never under par in the tournament. In fact, he carded only six birdies in 72 holes, playing the last three rounds in 73-72-73. Matt had a chance to break or at least equal par on the final day, but he took bogeys on three of his last four holes. He hit 38 of 56 fairways but only 41 of 72 greens in regulation while averaging 30.3 putts per round.

4. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland -- McIlroy was in position to make a run on the weekend in the U.S. Open at Merion when an even-par 70 on Friday left him only four strokes out of the lead, but he closed with 75-76 and skidded to a tie for 41st. He has two top-10 finishes in his five appearances in the second major of the year, including his victory in 2011 at Congressional, but has struggled otherwise, missing the cut in 2010 at Pebble Beach and last year at the Olympic Club. ... McIlroy is headed back to Ireland hoping that some home cooking will get him going, and he will play next week in the Irish Open at Carton House Golf Club in Maynooth, County Kildare. Even though the tournament has been without a sponsor the last few years, McIlroy and the other top Irish players, including Graeme McDowell, Padraig Harrington and Darren Clarke, have pledged to continue supporting their national open. ... It appeared that McIlroy might be in for a good week at Merion when he carded two birdies in his first seven holes, but he didn't have another the rest of the way and opened with a disappointing 73. He started with birdies on his first two holes the next day but had only one more on his best day of the tournament before the wheels came off on the weekend. It got so bad that Rory bent his wedge in frustration after taking a quadruple-bogey 8 on the 11th hole on Sunday by hitting two balls in the creek. He was among the leaders by hitting 42 of 56 fairways, but he found only 42 of 72 greens and averaged 30.3 putts per round.

5. Adam Scott, Australia -- There has been a lot of talk that Scott was ready to win multiple majors after becoming the first Aussie to capture the Masters, and it certainly could happen, but he wasn't close to his best in his first Grand Slam tournament as a major champion. He was unable to match the par of 70 in any of his four rounds in the U.S. Open at Merion and finished in a tie for 45th. A tie for 15th last year at the Olympic Club remains his highest finish in the second major of the season. ... Scott, whose abbreviated schedule of eight tournaments so far this year has led to a strong season, including his victory in the Masters, is going to take only one week off before playing in the AT&T National at Congressional for the fourth time. He finished third in the tournament last year and tied for third the year before, when it was played at Aronimink Golf Club near Philadelphia. The AT&T National might be his final appearance before the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield, Scotland, on the third week of July. ... Scott's best golf last week at Merion came when he carded four birdies in his first 11 holes in the first round, but he recorded three bogeys and a double-bogey 6 on the 15th hole coming home and opened with a 72, his best score of the tournament. He played the last three rounds in 75-73-75, recording 22 bogeys or worse over his 72 holes. He finished near the bottom of the field by hitting only 32 of 56 fairways and learned the hard way that you can't play the East Course out of the heavy rough.

6. Phil Mickelson, United States -- Like Arnold Palmer and the PGA Championship, perhaps Lefty is destined not to win the U.S. Open. The tournament appeared to be his for much of the way last week at Merion, but he made three bogeys down the stretch and tied for second, two strokes behind Justin Rose. He has four major titles, but he extended his record of runner-up finishes in the second major of the year to six and wound up second in a Grand Slam event for the eighth time. ... Mickelson apparently is taking two weeks off before playing for the third time in the Greenbrier Classic, even though he missed the cut in each of the last two years on the TPC Old White Course. He and his family enjoy the week at the resort in White Sulphur Springs, W.Va., because of all the activities, so it's something of a working vacation, much like the RBC Heritage at Hilton Head. He's also committed to the Aberdeen Asset Management Scottish Open at Castle Stuart the week before the Open Championship next month. ... Mickelson took 36 putts in the final round on the East Course at Merion, several of them that looked good but somehow stayed out of the hole. However, it seemed the golf gods were with him on his 43rd birthday Sunday when he holed his second shot from the fairway for an eagle on the 10th hole to regain the one-stroke lead he had taken after 54 holes. However, he admittedly made miscues with a wedge in his hand on the 13th and 15th holes to fall behind Rose, then failed to make what would have been a miracle chip from below the 18th green, where he carded his final bogey.

7. Luke Donald, England -- With much less pressure than in his last two U.S. Opens, when he was the No. 1 player in the World Golf Rankings, Donald was in the hunt for three rounds at Merion, starting the final round in a tie for fifth, two strokes out of the lead. However, his chances disappeared quickly on Sunday, when he carded five bogeys and a double-bogey 6 while shooting 42 on the front nine on his way to a 5-over-par 76 that left him in a tie for sixth. It was little consolation that it was his first top-10 finish in the second major of the year, besting his tie for 12th at Winged Foot in 2006. ... According to the schedule page at lukedonald.com, Luke is taking two weeks off before returning to the European Tour for the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National outside Paris, where he tied for 11th in his only previous appearance in 2010. That will be the first of three events in three countries, followed by the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield, Scotland, and the RBC Canadian Open at Glen Abbey in Oakville, Ontario. Royal Bank of Canada is one of his sponsors. ... Donald could have been in the lead heading to the final round on the East Course had he finished the first and third rounds a little better. He made bogeys on the 16th and 18th holes on Thursday to wrap up a 2-under-par 68, and he finished bogey-double bogey when he held the lead on Saturday and shot a 71. Donald finished second in the field by hitting 41 of 51 greens, but he managed to hit only 44 of 72 greens in regulation and averaged 29.3 putts per round.

8. Brandt Snedeker, United States -- After making the cut on the number by earning a par on the difficult 18th hole Friday, Snedeker rallied with 70-72 on the weekend and climbed into a tie for 17th in the U.S. Open at Merion. It came after he had missed the cut in his previous two tournaments and four of the seven he played since he returned from a strained intercostal muscle, so maybe he is ready to regain the form he displayed when he was the best player in golf during the first six weeks of the season. ... Snedeker is taking a week off after the second major of the year but hopes to regain his early-season form when he plays on consecutive weeks in the AT&T National at Congressional for the first time since 2010 and the Greenbrier Classic on the TPC Old White Course. According to the schedule page at brandtsnedeker.com, those will be hast last two outings before the third major of the year, the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield, Scotland. ... Snedeker recorded only one birdie while opening with 74-74 at Merion, and the 70 that was his best score of the tournament could have been much better because the only blemishes on his scorecard were a double-bogey 7 on the second hole and a double-bogey 6 on the sixth. He managed only one birdie in the final round, then had only six for the tournament, but he avoided the big numbers he had the day before. Snedeker hit only 32 of 56 fairways but found 47 of 72 green and averaged 30.5 putts per round.

9. Dustin Johnson, United States -- The short East Course at Merion brought the big-hitting Johnson to his knees, as he could not break 70 in any of his four rounds and wound up 55th. Since imploding with an 82 after taking a three-stroke lead to the final round of the 2010 U.S. Open at Pebble Beach, he has not been in the conversation at the tournament in the last three years, also tying for 23rd the following year at Congressional and missing the cut last year at the Olympic Club. ... DJ has become one of the most active travelers among the American players in recent years, and this week he is off to play in the BMW International Open at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried in Munich, Germany. He is playing in the tournament for the second time, having closed with a 5-under-par 67 two years ago to finish in a tie for 18th. Johnson was scheduled to play in the Ballantine's Championship, another European Tour event, earlier this season in South Korea but decided not to make the trip because of political unrest in the region. ... Johnson started the opening round last week at Merion on No. 11 and birdied his third hole of the day, but that was the only time he was under par all week. He carded four bogeys while finishing a 71 on the front nine on Thursday and followed with rounds of 77-75-74. He did not card a birdie in round two, making the cut right on the number by closing with four consecutive pars. It doesn't matter how far DJ can drive the ball, as he hit only 30 of 56 fairways and was playing out of the thick rough far too often.

10. Keegan Bradley, United States -- Playing with his big brother figure, Phil Mickelson, didn't help Bradley, as he shot 77-75--152 and missed the cut in the U.S. Open. Since winning the PGA Championship two years ago at Atlanta Athletic Club in his first major appearance, he has finished in the top 25 only once in the ensuing six Grand Slam tournaments, when he tied for third last year in his PGA title defense at Kiawah Island. ... The schedule page at keeganbradley.com indicates that he will play twice more before the Open Championship, this week in the Travelers Championship and in two weeks at the Greenbrier Classic on the TPC Old White Course. This will be his third appearance in as many years at TPC River Highlands, and he's hoping to crack the top 25 for the first time. In 2011, Keegan shot 65-68 in the middle rounds, but all it got him was a tie for 63rd. Last year, he posted three 69s and an even-par 70 in the third round on his way to a tie for 29th. ... Bradley could manage only one birdie in his opening 77 at Merion, at the 13th hole, and the worst came four holes later. He had to take an unplayable lie in a bunker and needed four strokes to reach the green. Following a 3 1/2-hour rain delay, he came back to three-putt for a triple-bogey 7. It wasn't much better on Saturday, when he carded only two birdies and recorded another triple-bogey 7 at No. 11. Bradley was in the rough half the time, hitting only 14 of 28 fairways and averaging 30.0 putts per round.

11. Webb Simpson, United States -- Simpson's title defense in the U.S. Open did not go according to plan, as he could not even equal par in any of his four rounds while finishing in a tie for 32nd. His chances of becoming the first player since Curtis Strange in 1988-89 to repeat in the second major of the year disappeared when he shot 75-75 in the middle rounds. ... His year as reigning U.S. Open champion at an end, Webb isn't taking any time off, teeing it up for the 16th time this season in the this week's Travelers Championship. It will be his sixth start at TPC River Highlands, where he has yet to finish in the top 10, with his best result a tie for 13th in 2011, when he posted four rounds in the 60s but couldn't go low enough to really contend. Last year, he started with three more scores in the 60s to give him eight in a row in the tournament, but he closed with a 1-over-par 71 and slid down the leaderboard to a tie for 29th. ... Simpson got off to a quick start last week at Merion with birdies on the third and fourth holes in the first round, but he could not make another the rest of the way and opened with a 1-over-par 71, his best score of the tournament. He had at least one big number in each of this last three rounds, recording two double bogeys in the second round, a triple bogey in the third and a double on the last day. He was among the leaders by hitting 41 of 55 fairways and 51 of 72 greens but averaged 33.0 putts per round with his belly putter.

12. Lee Westwood, England -- Still searching for his first major championship, Westwood played two solid rounds in the U.S. Open, but that wasn't nearly enough, and he finished in a tie for 15th. He opened with an even-par 70, and it could have been better, but he hit one of the famous wicker baskets atop the sticks at Merion and his ball bounced off the 12th green. The Englishman was tied for the lead at the time at 3 under, but he carded a double bogey and never really got back into it. ... Now that he is living in Florida, Lee won't be heading back to England so soon ahead of the Open Championship next month, sticking around to play the next two weeks in the Travelers Championship and the AT&T National. This will be only his second appearance at TPC River Highlands, where he started with 69-69 in 2005 but played the weekend in 71-70 to wind up in a tie for 51st. According to the schedule page at leewestwood.com, he will then head across the Atlantic to play in the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National near Paris on the first week of July. ... Westwood lost his chance to win at Merion when he recorded a 77 in the second round, spreading seven bogeys and a double bogey across his scorecard, which included only two birdies. His best stretch of golf came in round three, when he bounced back from three early bogeys to hang up four consecutive birdies and five in a span of eight holes through No. 13 on his way to a 69. Westwood stumbled home with four bogeys in his last eight holes to close with a 73.

13. Steve Stricker, United States -- Playing in his 59th major, Stricker had one of his better chances to claim his first Grand Slam title, but it virtually disappeared on one hole Sunday when he carded a triple-bogey 8 with two shots out of bounds on the second hole en route to a 6-over-par 76 that left him in a tie for eighth. It was of little consolation that it was his fourth top-10 finish in the second major of the year, but the first since he tied for sixth at Winged Foot in 2006. ... Stricker, sticking with his plan to play only 11 tournaments this year, will head back into semi-retirement in Wisconsin and probably won't appear again until the John Deere Classic on the second week of July. That's probably his favorite event on the PGA Tour, especially because he won it three years in a row from 2009-11, and he considers it his home event because TPC Deere Run is not that far from his residence in Madison, Wis. ... Strick was tied for second, one shot behind leader Phil Mickelson, entering the final round of the U.S. Open after solid scores of 71-69-70 on the difficult East Course. However, he hit his tee shot out of bounds on No. 2, and after finding the fairway with his second try, he shanked another ball over the fence to the right. Stricker could have had the lead through 54 holes, but he made one mistake Saturday, when he hit his tee shot into the water on the ninth hole and took a double-bogey 5. He hit in the neighborhood of 70 percent of the fairways and greens, but he averaged 31.0 putts per round.

14. Hunter Mahan, United States -- Seeking his first major title, Mahan was tied for the lead with four holes to play in the U.S. Open, but he closed with double bogey-par-bogey-bogey and slid to a tie for fourth, five strokes behind champion Justin Rose. Still, it was his best finish in the second major of the year, beating his tie for sixth in 2009 at Bethpage Black, and he showed that there might be a Grand Slam title in his future. ... Hunter will be playing for the 17th time this season on the PGA Tour when he tees it up in the Travelers Championship, which he won in 2007 for his first victory on the circuit. He opened with an 8-under-par 62 at TPC River Highlands that year and closed with a 65 to finish in a tie with Jay Williamson. On the first playoff hole, Mahan hit his approach to within two feet of the hole, and after Williamson missed his birdie try from seven feet, he knocked in the winning birdie. He again closed with a 65 as defending champion but finished in a tie for second one stroke behind Stewart Cink, who got up-and-down for par after missing the green on the final hole. Mahan also tied for fourth in 2009 and closed with a 61, one shot off the course record, last year to tie for 11th. ... Mahan found the heavy rough on the East Course off the tee on the 15th hole Sunday, and he missed a six-foot putt for bogey. The closing holes tripped him up every day, as he double bogeyed No. 18 on Thursday, made bogey there the next day and bogeyed the last two on Saturday and Sunday.

15. Ernie Els, South Africa -- The Big Easy saved his best golf in the U.S. Open for the final round at Merion, recording a 1-under-par 69 that left him in a tie for fourth. It was his 10th top-10 finish in the second major of the year, including victories in 1994 at Oakmont and in 1997 at Congressional. More important, it was his third top-10 finish in his last five tournaments, which has to give him confidence heading toward his title defense in the Open Championship at Muirfield. ... Els always has followed the example of Gary Player, who has traveled more miles to play golf than anyone who ever played the game, and this week he is off to play in the BMW International Open at Golfclub Munchen Eichenried in Munich, Germany. He is playing in the tournament for the sixth time, with his best result a tie for fifth in 2000, when he closed with 69-66. Ernie also tied for seventh in 2007, when he had bookend 5-under-par 67s, but he missed the cut in 2010, the last time he played the tournament. ... Even though Els recorded a top-10 finish at Merion, he could have been in the hunt at the finish had he not finished poorly each day. He carded three consecutive bogeys through No. 16 and shot 71 in round one. He had two bogeys while finishing on the front nine in a 72 on Friday, bogeyed Nos. 16 and 17 to wind up with a 73 in round three and made bogey at No. 18 in the final round. Even though it was his best round of the tournament, his final round also included a double-bogey 6 on the fifth hole.

16. Bubba Watson, United States -- Watson could equal the par of 70 on the East Course at Merion only in the third round, and he finished in a tie for 32nd in the U.S. Open. Since winning the Masters last year in a playoff over Louis Oosthuizen, he has finished in the top 20 only once in the ensuing five majors, when he tied for 11th in the PGA Championship at Kiawah Island last August. ... Still trying to find the form that took him to victory last year in the Masters, Bubba will play for the 13th time this season in the Travelers Championship. This will be his seventh appearance at TPC River Highlands and the sixth consecutive year in which he will play in the tournament, which he won in 2010 for his first victory on the PGA Tour. Watson posted four rounds of 2-under-par 68 or better that year and beat Scott Verplank with a par on the second hole of a playoff. Corey Pavin was eliminated when he made par on the first extra hole, where Watson and Verplank recorded birdies. Watson started the final round six strokes behind leader Justin Rose, but closed with a 4-under-par 66. ... Watson was in contention through 26 holes last week in the U.S. Open, before he recorded consecutive double bogeys on the ninth and 10th holes and followed with bogeys on the 11th and 12th. He carded only one birdie that day, at No. 16, en route to a 76. Bubba bounced back with his 70 the next day, but he closed with another 76 that again included only a single birdie, at the fourth hole.

17. Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland -- By finishing in the top 20 in each of the previous four U.S. Opens, including a victory in 2010 at Pebble Beach and a tie for second last year at the Olympic Club, McDowell was high on the list of pre-tournament favorites last week at Merion. However, he never was in the conversation once the tournament started, shooting 76-77--153 to miss the cut by five strokes. After finishing in the top 12 in all four majors last year, he has missed the cut in the first two this season. ... Like Rory McIlroy and the other top Irish players, G-Mac is headed home to play in the Irish Open next week at Carton House Golf Club in Maynooth, County Kildare. He will be playing in the tournament for the 12th consecutive year, but he has never finished in the top 10. The following week, he will play in the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National near Paris, two weeks before the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield, Scotland. ... McDowell carded a double-bogey 7 on the second hole in round one, and that started a trend, as he recorded seven doubles over his 36 holes at Merion after making only seven in his first eight tournaments on the PGA Tour this season. He carded doubles on the 11th and 18th holes both days, and started round two with a double at No. 11 before finishing with another at No. 10. G-Mac, who hit 17 of 28 fairways and 22 of 36 greens in regulation while averaging 31.5 putts per round, left saying he was only "temporarily dejected" and would be ready for the Open Championship.

18. Jason Dufner, United States -- Dufner played perhaps his best golf of the season on the PGA Tour, other than one swing, when he closed with a 3-under-par 67 to tie for fourth in the U.S. Open at Merion. It was his best finish of the year on the circuit and came a year after he posted his best result in the second major of the year, another tie for fourth at the Olympic Club in San Francisco. ... Trying keep it going after positing his best finish since a tie for 20th in the Masters, Duf is playing this week in the Travelers Championship for the fourth time and the first since 2008. He has never played well at TPC River Highlands, placing 44th in 2008, tying for 67th in 2008 and missing the cut in 2009, having broken 70 only twice in 10 rounds on the course. Last year, he did not play a single tournament between the U.S. Open and the Open Championship. ... Dufner was rolling along at 5 under par through 14 holes in the final round last week at Merion, leaving him 3 over par for the tournament, and he had commentators saying that if he could par in, he could be a factor at the finish the way the leaders were struggling. Then he hit his tee shot out of bounds at No. 15 and took a triple-bogey 8, the only blemish on his Sunday scorecard. The run actually started after he played the front nine in 6-over 41 on Saturday, when he birdied the 12th and 13th holes before finishing with five consecutive pars to salvage a 73. He played the last 25 holes in 5 under, with the triple bogey his only mishap. Dufner hit 42 of 56 fairways and 50 of 72 greens, and he averaged 30.3 putts per round.

19. Ian Poulter, England -- Another player looking for his first major title, Poulter was in the hunt midway through the third round of the U.S. Open at 1 over par, but, incredibly, he did not record a birdie over his last 28 holes and slid to a tie for 21st. His best result in 10 appearances in the second major of the season remains a tie for 12th in 2006 at Winged Foot. ... Another golfer playing a shortened schedule this season, Poulter will make only his 10th start on the PGA Tour this year in the Travelers Championship. He will be making his third appearance at TPC River Highlands. He finished in a tie for 24th two years ago by recording four scores in the 60s, but he could manage only a tie for 62nd last year. After a week off following the Travelers, Poults is expected to play next in the Alstom Open de France at Le Golf National near Paris, where he tied for fourth last year. It was his fourth top-10 finish in the last six times he has played the tournament. ... Poulter opened with 71-71 last week on the difficult East Course at Merion, carding seven birdies, but he had his only two birdies of the weekend in round three and finished with 73-76. His downfall began with a double-bogey 6 on the 15th hole on Saturday, and he added bogeys at Nos. 16 and 18 before he was done. The final round was a disaster, with the worst coming when he took a triple-bogey 7 on the fifth hole. Poulter hit in the neighborhood of 70 percent of the fairways and greens, but his normally reliable putter let him down, as he averaged 31.8 putts per round.

20. Zach Johnson, United States -- After shooting 77-74--151 to miss the cut by three strokes, the fifth time in 10 appearances that he failed to reach the last two rounds in the U.S. Open, Johnson took a few shots at the USGA as he left. He didn't criticize Merion, saying the course would have been fine if it had not been "manipulated," and said his experience in the second major of the year "enhances my disdain for the USGA and how it manipulates golf courses." ... Zach is playing this week in the Travelers Championship for the eighth time in the last nine years, missing only in 2008. His best result was a tie for third in 2004, the first time he played at TPC River Highlands, where he posted three rounds of 3-under-par 67 or better. However, Johnson shot 73 in the third round and eventually finished one stroke out of the playoff in which Woody Austin beat Tim Herron. Following a two-week break after the Travelers, he will defend his title in the John Deere Classic before heading for the 142nd Open Championship at Muirfield, Scotland. ... Johnson birdied the first hole at Merion on Thursday, but that was the only time he found himself under par for the tournament. He carded only two more birdies in round one, at Nos. 11 and 13, but that came after he recorded five bogeys in a span of eight holes, and for good measure he threw in a double-bogey 7 at No. 17. The second round was worse, as he carded only two birdies and had another double at No. 15, but he still had a chance to make the cut before recording five bogeys in his last eight holes.

Others receiving consideration: Bill Haas, United States; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Sergio Garcia, Spain; Jason Day, Australia; John Merrick, United States; Charles Howell III, United States; Martin Laird, Scotland; Angel Cabrera, Argentina; Kevin Streelman, United States; D.A. Points, United States; Billy Horschel, United States; Russell Henley, United States; David Lingmerth, Sweden; Sang-Moon Bae, South Korea; Boo Weekley, United States; Harris English, United States.
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