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. Jim Furyk: A win at the Transitions Championship was much needed for Furyk, who hadn't been at the top of a leaderboard late Sunday since 2007. His play this year has been consistent, not great, but he hasn't missed a cut and has been in the top-25 three times in five tournaments.
2. Camilo Villegas: In his first three events of 2010, Villegas didn't finish out of the top eight, including a great win at the Honda Classic despite a crazy week for the Colombian. He followed up his win with a very respectable 16th place tie at the CA Championship, and he leads the tour in scoring average, a stat that usually tells who is playing the best golf of the season.
3. Steve Stricker: Just another ho-hum top-10 at the Transitions Championship for Stricker, who has been in the top-10 four of six tournaments this year. After the win at the Northern Trust, he hasn't been quite as sharp, but that's like saying a X-Acto knife isn't as sharp after a couple of uses. Don't be surprised if Stricker storms away with the green jacket next month, and puts a chokehold on the FedEx Cup points for the first half of the season.
4. Ernie Els: The last time Els teed it up, he won, and was another to breakthrough in 2010. His 66 in the final round of the CA Championship two weeks ago showed that if Els can get it going, he could again be a factor in major championships. He has the game, and he has played well at Bay Hill, a place he will be at this week.
5. Hunter Mahan: A pretty crummy year can always be turned around by a win, and Mahan did just that at the Waste Management. The 65-65 finish was as impressive a feat as anything in 2010, and he followed that up with a top-30 at the CA Championship.
6. Retief Goosen: Four top six finishes in just six events for Goosen, who had a chance on Sunday to run away with a Transitions title for the second year in a row. The Goose is just outside the top-20 in FedEx Cup points, but that is mainly because he hasn't played in as many events as most near the top.
7. Paul Casey: Four tournaments, four top-10s. Not much more you can say about Casey.
8. Matt Kuchar: It has been a great year for Kuchar, who tends to bring his best play for final rounds. Three top threes, including two weeks ago at the CA Championship, Kuchar is sixth in the FedEx Cup.
9. Robert Allenby: He finished tied for 11th at the CA Championship, making it four times this season he has been in the top-11. Allenby is still searching for his first PGA Tour win since 2001, and it could easily come this season if he keeps up the consistent play.
10. Charl Schwartzel: He's already won twice on the European Tour, but his play stateside has been just as impressive. A top-10 at the Accenture followed with a second place finish at the CA-Championship means Schwartzel is most definitely on watch for "young European who will be in the fight at Augusta all week and most fans won't know who he is."