Golf Power Rankings: Jason Day takes No. 1 spot from Dustin Johnson

The first FedEx Cup Playoff event is in the books, and it resulted in a big shakeup at the top of this week’s power rankings. This might be the first time this season we have had a takeover of the No. 1 spot from a non-winner the week before (more on that in a minute). First, let’s look back at the parameters of the exercise.

  1. Scope is last two months of tournaments
  2. We value different things but will take into account wins, top 10s and
  3. If you haven’t played, you don’t get ranked (i.e. Tiger Woods)
  4. Recency matters
  5. PGA Tour will be main focus but bigger European events will be factored in

1. Jason Day (3): Day somehow willed himself to a top four finish at The Barclays despite basically only using his putter to score with. He raised his strokes gained putting number to an even more outrageous number than it was at before the week started and has officially taken the Tiger Woods role of contending in every tournament he plays in no matter how well he’s hitting it. Official World Golf Ranking: 1

2. Dustin Johnson (Last week: 1): Johnson finished in the top 20 last week at The Barclays but never really scared the leaders. His reign atop our power rankings is over with his missed cut at the PGA Championship and T18 at The Barclays. OWGR: 2

3. Jordan Spieth (4): Spieth banged out another top 10 at The Barclays and could have finished a lot higher if not for a double bogey that unwound him on the 17th hole on Saturday. I’m bullish on his FedEx Cup Playoffs future over the next month. OWGR: 3

4. Henrik Stenson (2): Stenson is in trouble after The Barclays because of a knee injury that caused him to withdraw. The rest of the FedEx Cup Playoffs and (even more importantly) Ryder Cup could be up in the air. OWGR: 4

5. Patrick Reed (8): Reed is having himself a nice late summer push. Four top 13s in five events coming into The Barclays before holding Rickie Fowler at arm’s length for his fifth (!) PGA Tour title by the age of 26. Heady stuff from one of the anchors for the U.S. Ryder Cup team. OWGR: 9

6. Phil Mickelson (5): Mickelson and New York crowds were made for each other. He clearly loves playing Bethpage and responded with a T13 finish last week. His commentary on Justin Rose putting with his gold medal on was even better. OWGR: 13

7. Sergio Garcia (6): Garcia did not play The Barclays last week. OWGR: 12

8. Brooks Koepka (7): Koepka narrowly made the cut at Bethpage and then did nothing after that with a pair of 73s. I can’t knock him too much over a single tournament, but you certainly want to see your presumable Ryder Cup studs showing out before Hazeltine. OWGR: 18

9. Justin Rose (13): Rose gets bonus points for putting a freaking gold medal around his neck to putt out with at Bethpage. I’ll bump him three slots just for that! OWGR: 10

10. Matt Kuchar (10): Kuchar shot three rounds over par and a 69 at The Barclays. One of those rounds was a 76. Not great timing for somebody needing a Ryder Cup captain’s pick. OWGR: 15

11. Rory McIlroy (12): New putter, same story for McIlroy. He finished No. 77 (of 79) in putting at Bethpage for The Barclays. If he finds a stroke it’s game, blouses. But that’s the biggest “if” of the golf season so far. OWGR: 5

12. Russell Knox (11): A T60 from Knox to follow up his Travelers Championship win. To make matters worse, he got left off the European Ryder Cup team on Tuesday despite being inside the OWGR top 20. OWGR: 20

13. Emiliano Grillo (NR): Grillo is a flat-out stud. Top 15 at the PGA Championship. Top 10 at the Olympics. Now T2 at The Barclays. As an American, I’m glad he’s not going to be on the European Ryder Cup team. OWGR: 25

14. Jimmy Walker (14): Walker has now missed two straight cuts since winning the PGA Championship. OWGR: 19

15. Branden Grace (9): Another MC from Grace. He’s falling rapidly. OWGR: 14

16. Ryan Moore (NR): Moore scored a top 10 at Bethpage after winning the John Deere Classic a few weeks ago. Might be making a last-minute bid to get on the Ryder Cup squad. OWGR: 43

17. Jim Furyk (17): Furyk finished T41 at The Barclays with zero rounds in the 60s. He will still likely receive a Ryder Cup pick. OWGR: 22

18. Si Woo Kim (18): Kim narrowly missed the cut at The Barclays following his Wyndham win. No surprise there. There is a lot that goes on after a win that drains you emotionally and physically. He should rebound next week at the Deutsche Bank Championship. OWGR: 62