Golf rankings, player capsules

Tom LaMarre, The Sports Xchange
The SportsXchangeFebruary 18, 2013

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

1. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland -- Following a four-week break since he missed the cut in his 2013 debut at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship using his new Nike clubs, McIlroy plays for the first time on the PGA Tour this season in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He's been off with instructor Michael Bannon working to get the feel of his new sticks, but he had trouble with the Nike Method putter in round one and switched back to his Scotty Cameron model the next day. He also struggled with the Nike Covert driver, so it will be interesting to see what he has in the bag this week. ... McIlroy, who has a first-round date with his friend Shane Lowry of Ireland, has made four previous appearances in the Accenture and last year reached the final before losing to Hunter Mahan, 2 and 1. The kid was favored after getting past Lee Westwood in a tough semifinal match earlier in the day, but Mahan bolted to a 4-up lead through 10 holes and held on down the stretch. McIlroy has a 10-4 record in the event, also having tied for fifth in 2009, when he reached the quarterfinals before losing to eventual champion Geoff Ogilvy, 2 and 1. ... Rory's runner-up finish in the Accenture last year jump-started his season, as he claimed the first of four PGA Tour victories the following week in the Honda Classic to claim the No. 1 spot in the World Golf Rankings. He later captured the Deutsche Bank Championship and the BMW Championship during the PGA Tour playoffs en route to winning the money title and earning PGA Tour player-of-the-year honors.

2. Tiger Woods, United States -- Following two weeks off after his seventh victory in the Farmers Insurance Open to start his PGA Tour season, Woods comes to another tournament in which he has multiple victories, the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. His victory at Torrey Pines gave him his fourth title since the beginning of last year after he had been winless since 2009, and could mean that he is primed to make a run to reclaim the No. 1 spot in the World Golf Rankings from Rory McIlroy. ... At his peak, not only was Woods the best player in the world, he was the best match player. He has captured the Accenture three times, in 2003, 2004 and 2008, in addition to losing to Darren Clarke in the 2000 final. Tiger, who will play his pal Charles Howell III in the first round on Wednesday, has a 33-9 record in the tournament and is 50-16-3 in match play as a pro, but has not advanced past the second round of the Accenture in his last three appearances. Woods has not won the tournament at Dove Mountain, the current venue, with his first two titles coming at La Costa and the other at the Gallery, near the current site in Tucson. ... Until he played golf with President Obama on Sunday, the biggest news considering Woods during his three-week break from the PGA Tour was that he sent his private plane to Austria to give Olympic skiing champion Lindsey Vonn a ride home last week after she tore up her knee in a crash at the World Championships. Vonn and Woods have been linked romantically recently online and in the tabloids, but there has been no confirmation of that, although they do admit to being friends.

3. Brandt Snedeker, United States -- The way he has played so far this season, Snedeker has to be considered among the favorites every time he tees it up, and it would have been that way this week in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, in which he was set to play for the third time. However, he announced early last week, only two days after winning the AT&T Pebble Beach National-Pro Am, that he would not play in the tournament because of soreness in his left ribcage area. ... Snedeker said he sustained a strained rib at the Humana Challenge in January and has nursed it though his last four tournaments, although you couldn't tell because he tied for second in defense of his title at the Farmers Insurance Open and finished solo second in the Waste Management Phoenix Open before winning at Pebble Beach. He expected to take three weeks off to let the injury heal, hoping to return for the WGC-Cadillac Championship at Doral. ... Snedeker, who had surgery on both hips after recent seasons, sustained a cracked rib on his right side early last season and perhaps unwisely tried to play through the pain. That proved to be a mistake as he missed the cut in the Players Championship and was finally forced to stop playing when he withdrew after two rounds of the Memorial early in June. That cost him about two months of the season, including the U.S. Open, and he does not want to make that mistake again. This injury does not seem to be as serious.

4. Luke Donald, England -- Making his first start of the season, Donald opened with 69-66 last week in the Northern Trust Open. He played the weekend in a respectable 70-74 and wound up in a tie for 16th, but might have been in the hunt with all the others down the stretch if not for a triple-bogey 7 on the 12th hole in the final round. That cost him a fourth top-10 finish at Riviera in the last six years. ... Donald, who gets a first-round test from Marcel Siem of Germany, is one of the best match-play golfers in the world and captured the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship two years ago with a 3 and 2 victory over Martin Kaymer in the final. He enters this week with a 16-7 record in the event after being knocked off in the first round of his title defense last year by Ernie Els, 5 and 4. Luke made a run at the 2011 Volvo World Match Play title last year in Spain, but lost in the final to his Ryder Cup teammate Ian Poulter, 2 and 1. He has an 8-4 record in the Volvo event and has been stellar in the Ryder Cup, with a 10-4-1 mark, including 3-1 in singles after beating Bubba Watson last year at Medinah, 2 and 1. ... Donald's trouble at No. 12 at Riviera on Sunday started when he drove into an unplayable lie and had to take a penalty stroke. It took him five to reach the green and missed a 10-foot putt for double bogey. The highlight of his week came in round one at the short par-4 10th, where he chipped in for eagle from 25 yards, and he played the hole in 4-under for the week.

5. Dustin Johnson, United States -- Johnson still is trying to find his game, which he apparently left in Hawaii after he won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, as he shot 76-69 -- 145 last week to miss the cut by one shot in the Northern Trust Open. He also missed the 54-hole cut the previous week in the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, making it the first time he failed to make the cut in consecutive events since 2008, when he did it on four occasions. He missed the cut only once last season. ... DJ is playing in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, where he has a first-round match with Alexander Noren of Sweden, for the fifth time and he finally made some headway last year, when he tied for ninth after losing in round one three consecutive times. After getting past Jim Furyk on the 20th hole and routing Francesco Molinari, 7 and 5, he was knocked off by Mark Wilson for the second consecutive year, 4 and 3. In the Ryder Cup, he has won his two singles matches, beating Martin Kaymer in 2010 at Celtic Manor and turning back Nicolas Colsaerts last year at Medinah, 3 and 2, one of only three Americans to win on Sunday. ... When Johnson started with 76 last week at Riviera, it was the second consecutive round in which he carded only one birdie. He actually didn't play badly overall the next day, when he recorded six birdies, but he got stuck in the rough on the 10th and seventh holes en route to double-bogey 6s. DJ was not sharp in any phase of the game, hitting only 13-of-28 fairways and 20-of-36 fairways while averaging 31.5 putts per round.

6. Phil Mickelson, United States -- Perhaps running out of gas after a busy schedule on the West Coast Swing, Mickelson played really well only when he shot 4-under-par 67 in round two en route to a tie for 21st in the Northern Trust Open. He could not break par in any of his other three rounds at Riviera, where he won 2008 and 2009, and was such an afterthought on Sunday that he didn't show up on the CBS telecast until he putted out at No. 18. ... Having played five consecutive weeks on the West Coast, Lefty is skipping the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for second consecutive year and third time in the last four, as it conflicts with a family vacation. Also, he does not particularly care for the course at Dove Mountain and has not played very well in the tournament. His tie for fifth in 2004 at La Costa was the only time he reached the quarterfinals, where Davis Love III beat him, 1 up. Mickelson's record in the tournament is 16-11, but he is only 5-4 since the event move to Arizona. ... Mickelson's 67 on Friday at Riviera was marred by a double-bogey 6 on the 310-yard 10th hole, which has been called perhaps the best short par-4 in golf by Jack Nicklaus. Phil the Thrill played the short par-5 first hole in 5-under for the tournament, including an eagle on Friday, but was 2-over on the other 17 holes. He has been touting his new driver, which carried him to victory in Phoenix, but he hit only 24-of-56 fairways at Riviera and also averaged 31 putts per round.

7. Justin Rose, England -- Rose is making his latest start on the PGA Tour since 2003, when he also opened with the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, which that year was played on the first week of March. He hopes to pick right up where he left off in his two events on the Middle East Swing of the European Tour, where he tied for second in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship and tied for 13th in the Commercial Bank Qatar Masters. ... The Englishman, who has a first-round match with K.J. Choi in the Accenture, is trying to avoid being knocked out in the opening round for the fifth time in his eight appearances in the event. Last year his Ryder Cup teammate, Paul Lawrie, sent him packing with a 1-up victory, the third time in his last four appearances that he has been one and done. Rose has a 5-7 record in the tournament, with his best result a tie for fifth in 2007, when he beat Michael Campbell, Phil Mickelson and Charles Howell III, before Trevor Immelman of South Africa eliminated him in the quarterfinals, 5 and 4. ... Rose has been much better in match play at the Ryder Cup, with a 9-5 overall record, including a 3-0 mark in singles. Last year at Medinah, he posted a 3-2 record, including a crucial 1-up victory over Mickelson when he holed birdie putts on the last two holes. The first was an incredible 50-foot breaker, before he won the match with a 12-footer that helped the Europeans retain the Cup. Rose has a 2-2 record in the World Match Play Championship in Europe, tying for ninth both in 2007 and last year.

8. Adam Scott, Australia -- Making his 2013 debut, Scott rolled in a 14-foot eagle putt on his first hole of the season, but showed some rust while recording a tie for 10th in the Northern Trust Open, which he won in a playoff with Chad Campbell in 2005. He's apparently planning to stick to the abbreviated schedule he played last year, with only two more stroke-play events, the WGC-Cadillac Championship and the Tampa Bay Championship, on his slate before the Masters in April . ... Scotty, who drew Tim Clark of South Africa in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, has three top-10 finishes in the tournament but all of those came when it was played at La Costa, north of San Diego. He finished third in 2003, losing to eventual winner Tiger Woods on the 20th hole, before beating fellow Aussie Peter Lonard, 1 up, in the consolation match. His record in the tournament is 14-11, but only 2-6 since the event moved to Arizona in 2007, and he has been knocked in round one out four times in the last six years. Scott has a 10-13-1 record in five Presidents Cups, including 2-3 in singles, and figures to be a key player for Captain Nick Price's International team in October. ... Scott's best golf last week came in a 4-under-par 67 in the second round, which included a single bogey on the 14th hole, but he played Riviera in par or better every day. He averaged 26.3 putts over the first three rounds, but needed 32 with his long putter on Sunday.

9. Lee Westwood, England -- Coming back from a tie for 46th at Pebble Beach in his 2013 debut, Westwood was right with the leaders when he started with 68-68 last week in the Northern Trust Open. However, he played the weekend at Riviera in 74-71 to finish in a tie for 21st. The Englishman is only getting warmed up, as he plans to play six more times before the Masters in April, including three times on the Florida Swing after moving to the Palm Beach area. ... Westwood is playing in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for the 13th time and posted his best result when he finished fourth last year, losing to Rory McIlroy in the semifinals, 3 and 1, and again to Mark Wilson in the consolation match, 1 down. He takes an 11-13 record in the event into his first-round match against Rafael Cabrera Bello of Spain. Lee is 6-3-1 in three appearances at the Volvo World Match Play Championship, losing to seven-time champion Ernie Els in the 2004 final at Wentworth, outside London, 2 and 1. He has an 18-13-6 record in the Ryder Cup, including 3-5 in singles after beating Matt Kuchar last year at Medinah, 3 and 2. ... Westy carded four birdies and only a single bogey in each of his first two rounds last week at Riviera, but the classic course beat him up on the weekend, when he could manage only five birdies while recording six bogeys and a double bogey. Considered one of the best ball-strikers in the game, he could hit only about 60 percent of the fairways and greens, and he also averaged 31.8 putts per round.

10. Bubba Watson, United States -- Much like Dustin Johnson, Watson has not played his best since coming down with the flu in Hawaii, where he tied for fourth in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. After finishing 15th in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, he shot 77-71 -- 148 to miss the cut by four shots in the Northern Trust Open. It was the third time he missed the cut at Riviera in seventh appearances and the first time he missed the weekend since the Deutsche Bank Championship last September, one of his three missed cuts in 2012. ... Bubba takes on Chris Wood of England in the first round of the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, in which his best finish in two appearance was fourth in 2011. After beating Bill Haas, Mark Wilson, Geoff Ogilvy and J.B. Holmes, Martin Kaymer defeated him, 1 up, in the semifinals and Matt Kuchar took third by beating him, 2-1. He has a 5-3 record in the event after Kuchar beat him again, 3 and 2, in round two last year. Watson has a 3-5 record in two Ryder Cups and is 0-2 in singles after Luke Donald beat him, 2 and 1, last year at Medinah. He posted a 3-2 record in his only Presidents Cup in 2011 at Royal Melbourne, where Ryo Ishikawa of Japan beat him in singles, 3 and 2, but Captain Fred Couples will be counting on him in October at Murifield Village. ... Bubba did not make a single birdie in his first round last week at Riviera, carded one on the first hole the next day, but had only one more, at No. 17.

11. Webb Simpson, United States -- Simpson had a chance to claim his first victory since the U.S. Open last week in the Northern Trust Open, but could not make a birdie after the ninth hole on Sunday, carding eight pars and a bogey on the back nine to finish in a tie for sixth. That was two strokes out of the playoff in which John Merrick defeated Charlie Beljan, but it was the first top-10 finish of the season for Simpson with two World Match Play Championships coming up in the next three weeks. ... Webb gets a first-round match with David Lynn of England in his second appearance in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, hoping to get to round two after being eliminated on the first day last year by Mateo Manassero of Italy, 3 and 2. He posted a 3-2 record in his first taste of team competition in the 2011 Presidents Cup at Royal Melbourne, but lost in singles to I.K. Kim of South Korea, 1 down. Last year in the Ryder Cup at Medinah, he was 2-2 and lost his singles match to European stalwart Ian Poulter, 2 down, as the Euros rallied to retain the Cup. ... Simpson shot 68-66 in the middle rounds last week at Riviera to put himself in contention, and made a move early Sunday with two birdies in the first three holes before running out of steam, recording only one more. He averaged 27.3 putts per round, but put too much pressure on his short game by hitting only 28-of-54 fairways and 46-of-72 greens in regulation.

12. Jason Dufner, United States -- After playing twice on both major tours to start the season, Dufner has taken two weeks off following a missed cut in the Waste Management Phoenix Open, and will return this week for his second appearance in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. After playing all over the world for years on developmental and mini-tours, the 35-year-old will be playing in all four majors and all four of the World Golf Championships for the second consecutive year. ... Dufner, who plays Richard Sterne of South Africa in round one of the Accenture, was eliminated in the first round last year by Peter Hanson of Sweden, 2 and 1, but that was only his third appearance in the WGC tournaments. Everyone already knew he could stay with the best golfers in the world after he lost in a playoff to Keegan Bradley at the 2011 PGA Championship, but he showed later last year that he has the stuff for the WGC events when he finished seventh in the Bridgestone Invitational and tied for second in the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in Shanghai. ... Duf also got a taste of match play in the Ryder Cup last year at Medinah, posting a 3-1 record in defeat for the United States, including a 2-up victory over Hanson in singles. That made him one of only three Americans to win during the singles collapse that allowed the Europeans to keep the Cup. If he plays the way he has in the last two seasons, Dufner figures to earn a spot on Captain Fred Couples' U.S. team for the Presidents Cup matches in October at Muirfield Village.

13. Ernie Els, South Africa -- After getting off to a slow start to his season on the European Tour, Els played solid golf last week in his first event on the PGA Tour, finishing in a tie for 13th in the Northern Trust Open. He might have been able to make a run on the leaders in the final day if not for one poor round, a 1-over-par 73 on Saturday. ... It's surprising that Els has only a 12-13 record in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship heading into his first round match against Fredrik Jacobson of Sweden on Wednesday, because he has won the Volvo World Match Play Championship a record seven times, all on the West Course at Wentworth, where he owns a home. Ernie has not gotten past the second round in the Accenture since 2009, when he reached the quarterfinals before conceding his match to Luke Donald because of a wrist injury. His best result was fourth in 2001 in Australia, where Pierre Fulke of Sweden upset him, 2 and 1, in the semifinals and he also lost the consolation match to Toru Taniguchi, 4 and 3. Els also has a 3-3 singles record in the Presidents Cup heading to this year's matches at Muirfield Village. ... Els finished at 5-under for the tournament last week at Riviera, and that was his score on the short par-5 first hole, on which he carded three birdies and an eagle on Sunday, holing his chip shot from 19 yards. He hit more than 60 percent of the fairways and greens on the tree-lined course, but continued to struggle with his belly putter, averaging 32.5 putts per round.

14. Louis Oosthuizen, South Africa -- Following a strong start to his 2013 on the European Tour, including the 11th victory of his career in the Volvo Golf Champions in his native South Africa, Oosthuizen will start his third season as a member of the PGA Tour this week in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. Even though he has not played well in the Accenture, he passed up a chance to win the Africa Open for the third consecutive year least week so he could get to Arizona early and improve his chances in the match play event. ... Oosty will tee it up in the first round of the Accenture against Richie Ramsay of Scotland on Wednesday, and hopes to make it past the second round for the first time. In 2009, he lost to Rory McIlroy, 2 and 1, in the first round and he was sent packing on the first day in 2011 by Bo Val Pelt, who scored a 2-up victory. Last year, he finally got out of the first round by beating Gary Woodland, 4 and 2, but then Sang-Moon Bae of South Korea eliminated him, 2 and 1. ... Oosthuizen also did not fare well in his only appearance in the Volvo World Match Play Championship at Finca Cortesin Golf Club in Spain in 2011, losing his two matches to Graeme McDowell and Jhonattan Vegas. He has yet to be a part of the Presidents Cup, being snubbed by Captain Greg Norman for the 2011 matches despite winning the 2010 Open Championship at St. Andrews. Norman made fellow Aussies Robert Allenby and Aaron Baddeley his Captain's picks, but Oosthuizen figures to make the International team on his own merit this year for the matches at Muirfield Village in October.

15. Matt Kuchar, United States -- Coming off a two-week break, Kuchar took the lead by shooting 7-under-par 64 last week in the first round of the Northern Trust Open. However, he could not even equal par the rest of the way and wound up in a tie for 38th, his worst finish in four starts on the PGA Tour this season, and the only one in which he was out of the top 20. ... Kooch, who has a first-round match with Hiroyuki Fujita of Japan in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, could be a factor in the tournament based on his first three appearances, in which he has a 10-4 record. After being eliminated in the second round by Jeev Milkha Singh of India, 1 up, in 2010, he finished third the following year and tied for fifth last year. Luke Donald beat him like a drum, 6 and 5, in the 2011 semifinals, but he bounced back to down Bubba Watson in the consolation match, 2 and 1. Last year, he reached the quarterfinals before eventual winner Bubba Watson routed him, 6 and 5. His record in singles in the team events is 0-3, as he has lost to Ian Poulter (2010) and Lee Westwood (2012) in the Ryder Cup, and Retief Goosen (2011) in the Presidents Cup. ... Kuchar had broken 70 in four consecutive rounds and eight of the last 10 before Riviera wore him out last week. After recording seven birdies and no bogeys on Thursday, he carded only nine birdies, 10 bogeys and three double bogeys the rest of the way. He hit only half the greens and averaged 31.6 putts per round.

16. Ian Poulter, England -- Poulter is a match-play animal, and not only in the Ryder Cup. He's coming off a six-week break into the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, a tournament he won in 2010, and he will by trying to avoid his third consecutive first-round loss against Stephen Gallacher of Scotland. In his only tournament this year, he tied for ninth in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, and he also finished last season strong, capturing the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament in China, his second victory in the World Golf Championships. ... Poults knocked off Justin Leonard, Adam Scott, Jeev Milkha Singh, Thongchai Jaidee, Sergio Garcia and Paul Casey en route to the Accenture title two years ago, going to the 18th hole only when he beat Jaidee, 1 up, and needed 19 holes to get past Leonard. Even though he lost in the first round to Stewart Cink on the 19th hole two years ago and to Sang-Moon Bae in round one last year, 4 and 3, he has an 18-9 record in the tournament. Poulter also won the 2011 Volvo World Match Play Championship in Spain, beating Lee Westwood, Francesco Molinari and Nicolas Colsaerts en route to the final, where he downed Luke Donald, 2 and 1. ... Of course, Poulter's match-play best comes in the Ryder Cup, where he has a 12-3 record, including a 4-0 mark in singles. Last year, he led the Europeans from behind to a dramatic victory at Medinah, posting a 4-0 record, which included beating U.S. Open champion Webb Simpson, 2 up, in a critical singles match. His other U.S. victims over the years have been Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker and Chris Riley.

17. Keegan Bradley, United States -- A year after losing at the Northern Trust Open in a playoff, Bradley played solid but unspectacular golf at Riviera while finishing in a tie for 16th. Still, it was his best result since he tied for fourth in the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions after finishing out of the top 20 in his previous three events. ... Making his second appearance in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, Bradley has a first-round date with Marcus Fraser of Australia. In his tournament debut last year, he beat two-time tournament champion Geoff Ogilvy in the first round, 4 and 3, before being eliminated by Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain, 2 and 1. Playing in his first team competition as a pro last year, Keegan posted a 3-1 record, but lost in singles to Rory McIlroy, 2 and 1. He was left off the United States team for the Presidents Cup two years ago in a bit of controversy after winning the PGA Championship, but figures to be a big part of Captain Fred Couples' team this year at Muirfield Village. ... Bradley could break 70 last week at Riviera only when he shot 2-under-par 69 in the third round, when he carded six birdies but also mixed in four bogeys. He equaled or broke par every day at stingy Riviera, including a 70 on Friday that including a single birdie at No. 9 and 17 pars. Bradley hit only about 60 percent of the fairways and greens while averaging 31.8 putts with his belly putter. After making only five birdies in the first two rounds, he carded 11 on the weekend, but also recorded four bogeys on both days.

18. Steve Stricker, United States -- If anyone was wondering if Stricker was going to stay at home in Wisconsin longer than his announced six-week break from the PGA Tour, he ended the guesswork last week when he committed to the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship. He has not played since he finished second to Dustin Johnson in the season-opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions at Kapalua, where he said he will play in only about 10 tournaments on the PGA Tour this season. ... Stricker, who will turn 46 on Saturday, might be back home by then if it takes him too long to shake off the rust in his first-round match on Wednesday against Henrik Stenson of Sweden. Strick won the 2000 Accenture at Metropolitan Golf Club in Melbourne, the only time the tournament was played outside the United States, when he beat Pierre Fulke of Sweden in the final, 2 and 1. On the way to the final he disposed of Padraig Harrington, Scott Verplank, Justin Leonard, Nick O'Hern and Toru Taniguchi. He has a 14-9 record in the tournament and last year tied for ninth, defeating Kevin Na and Louis Oosthuizen before being ousted by eventual winner Hunter Mahan, 4 and 3. ... Stricker has been a stalwart as the United States has won the last three Presidents Cup matches, posting a 9-5 overall record, although only 1-2 in singles. However, he might have trouble making Captain Fred Couples' team this year because of his abbreviated schedule. Stricker was bitterly disappointed to go 0-4 in the Ryder Cup last year, losing the decisive match, 1 down, to Martin Kaymer in singles as the European rallied to win on Sunday.

19. Hunter Mahan, United States -- Playing his best golf of the season, Mahan had a share of the lead in the final round of the Northern Trust Open last week after carding four birdies in his first six holes and seven in the through No. 14. However, with victory seemingly within his grasp, he took bogeys on three of the last four holes to wind up in a tie for eighth, his first top-10 finish in five events this season. ... Mahan will defend his title this week in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship, beginning with a first-round match against Matteo Manassero of Italy. A year ago, he beat Zach Johnson, Y.E. Yang, Steve Stricker, Matt Kuchar and Mark Wilson en route to the final, where he upset Rory McIlroy, 2 and 1. Hunter, who has a 10-4 record in the tournament, also played in the 2007 World Match Play Championship at Wentworth, outside London, and finished in a tie for third, losing to Miguel Angel Jimenez of Spain in the semifinals, 2 and 1. He has two painful Ryder Cup experiences, losing the deciding match to Graeme McDowell in 2010 and being left off the team last year, but has a 3-2-3 record in the event, including 0-1-1 in singles. His Presidents Cup record is 8-5-1, including a 2-1 singles mark, with victories over Jason Day (2011) and Camilo Villegas (2-0). ... Mahan, seeking his first victory since the Shell Houston Open last April, closed with rounds of 69-68-69 last week at Riviera, and seemed to be the player to beat until his late stumble. He might have won if not for averaging a shade under 30 putts per round, although he did hole a 23-footer at No. 14 in the final round to tie for the lead.

20. Zach Johnson, United States -- One of only seven multiple winners on the PHA Tour last season, Johnson has played nothing like that so far this season. He shot 72-74 -- 146 last week at Riviera to miss the cut by two strokes in the Northern Trust Open. It was his second missed cut in four events this season, in which his best result was a tie for 18th in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions. He missed the cut only once last season, at the St. Jude Classic. ... Johnson is playing in the WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship for the ninth time, starting with a first-round match against Jason Day of Australia, but he has gotten past the second round only once. He finished third in 2004, losing in the semifinals to Davis Love III, 4 and 2, before getting past Tom Lehman in the consolation match, 1 up. Zach has been knocked out in the first round five times, including last year by eventual champion Hunter Mahan on the 19th hole, and he has a 7-8 record in the event. He has a 1-1 record in Ryder Cup singles, with a 2 and 1 victory over Graeme McDowell last year in defeat at Medinah. In the Presidents Cup, he is 0-2 in singles, losing to Tim Clark in 2009 and Adam Scott in 2007. ... Zach came to the ninth hole, his last in round two at Riviera last week, needing a birdie to make the cut. However, he drove into the rough and left his third shot in a greenside bunker en route to a double-bogey 6. That was his second double of the round, as he also made one at the 15th hole. He hit only about half the fairways and greens while averaging 32 putts per round.

Others receiving consideration: Graeme McDowell, Northern Ireland; Martin Kaymer, Germany; Nick Watney, United States; Rickie Fowler, United States; Bill Haas, United States; Charl Schwartzel, South Africa; Sergio Garcia, Spain; Jim Furyk, United States; Carl Pettersson, Sweden; Bo Van Pelt, United States; Peter Hanson, Sweden; Nicolas Colsaerts, Belgium; Ryan Moore, United States; Jason Day, Australia; John Merrick, United States; Charlie Beljan, United States.