Golf may be you vs. the course, but the end result is you vs. everyone else. That is why we are starting up Devil Ball Power Rankings, a glimpse at who is currently hot on tour, that will run every three weeks during the PGA Tour season. These are the top 10 golfers currently playing, with nothing factoring in except the present golfing world.
1. Ian Poulter: The Englishman has played in two tournaments on the PGA Tour this year, winning the bigger one (Accenture) and keeping himself afloat in the other (Waste Management) with a second round 63. He admitted to getting tired toward the end of last week, but with rest he will be a serious contender at Augusta, where he has finished in the top-25 the last three years.
2. Camilo Villegas: A missed putt from making the finals at Accenture, Villegas has finished in the top-10 in both starts this year. He was a contender at TPC Scottsdale until a third round 71, but still carded a tie for eighth thanks to an opening 62, tying the low score ever on Thursday at the Phoenix Open.
3. Hunter Mahan: Nothing coming into this week at the Waste Management suggested a win. Mahan was bounced in the first round of the Accenture, and hadn't finished in the top-27 all season, but a couple of 65s over the weekend without a bogey has Mahan with his second trophy of his career.
4. Steve Stricker: Atop the inaugural Power Rankings after his win at the Northern Trust, Stricker got bounced in the first round of the match play and didn't play at TPC Scottsdale. He still has three top-10s in four starts, but his play of late has dropped him a few spots.
5. Dustin Johnson: The big-hitting Johnson was third to Stricker at the Northern, and won at Pebble Beach, but also couldn't get out of the first round at the Accenture. No worries, he still leads the FedEx Cup point standings, but hasn't shown much the last couple of weeks.
6. Rickie Fowler: Two top-5s in his last four starts, Fowler's rookie season is off in Tiger-like fashion. At 21, Fowler is making waves, and if you combine his start this season with his three tournaments in '09 coupled with Q-School, he might be playing the most consistent golf over the last five months.
7. Robert Allenby: Another week, another top-10 for Allenby. He has played five events this year, finishing in the top-27 in all of them, including three top-10s and a second.
8. Paul Casey: Casey has played only two times on the PGA Tour this season, but was in the top-10 in both, including a runner-up finish to Poulter at Accenture.
9. Tim Clark: Talk about a quietly good start to his 2010. Clark has played five events, has been in the top-30 in all of them, including three top-10s. His second place finish at the Bob Hope was a month ago, but he faired well at the match play like he always does.
10. Alex Prugh: Two rookies in the top-10 = good for the PGA Tour. Prugh was second on this list last time, and only dropped spots because others have played so well. The rookie has three top-10s in five starts, has yet to miss a cut and is 23rd on the money list, very much in line to get a card for 2011.