RotoWire Partners

Golf Barometer: Is Bubba the Best?

David Ferris

David Ferris

Ferris covers the PGA Tour for RotoWire. He is an award-winning sports writer and a veteran fantasy columnist. He also is a scratch golfer.


UPGRADE

Bubba Watson:
He now has three victories inside of a calendar year, showing his maturation from explosive hitter to dangerous player. Next up is a major: Watson had an undistinguished T38 at the Masters (not his ideal major fit), but he was second, remember, at last year's PGA. Is Watson the best lefty on tour, or the best American? You can build a strong case.

Webb Simpson:
You hate seeing him essentially lose out on a tournament win because of a cheesy rule violation on the green (a ball moved as he grounded his putter), but perhaps that's some sort of karmic payback for using a long putter at such a tender age. Simpson's game is in a good place otherwise - he's banked $1.7 million on the year and made three deep runs (second in New Orleans, second at the Transitions, T8 in Phoenix).

KJ. Choi:
He's having another sneaky but invisible year, which is probably the way he likes it. A T8 at Arnie's Place, a T8 at the Masters, a T3 in New Orleans. Choi ranks just 126th in total driving, but he knows how to navigate a course; he's 17th in scrambling and 25th in scoring.

David Toms:
The timing and confidence are starting to come around - he's grabbed five checks in a row, with four Top 25s and two Top 10s in that mix. Toms is one of the shortest hitters on tour, but he gets high marks for tee accuracy (third) and radar irons (third in GIR).

Greg Norman:
Kudos to The Shark for reaching out and contacting Rory McIlroy after the kid's Masters Meltdown. If there's anyone who knows what it feels like to hand away a tournament in that fashion, it's Norman. You get the idea McIlroy has a stronger stomach than Norman did; forced to pick right now, I'd say McIlroy should win more than the two majors Norman finished with.

DOWNGRADE

Rory Sabbatini:
The PGA Tour typically doesn't hand out a lot of player sanctions, but Sabbatini might be looking at a possible suspension after having a profanity-laced argument with Sean O'Hair last week. It's not hard to imagine the likely genesis of this; Sabbatini is one of the quickest players on tour, while O'Hair is one of the slowest. Heads up, Sabbatini owners.

Sean O'Hair:
O'Hair, of course, is dealing with his own problems. He's fired two caddies in the last two months, and he recently broke away from swing coach Sean Foley. The super-talented O'Hair has missed a shocking seven cuts in 10 starts.

Geoff Ogilvy:
A sore shoulder pushed him out of the loaded field at Quail Hollow, a shame because Ogilvy has been in fine form of late (a T4 at the Masters stands as the highlight, though he's gad other solid events). Push him down a few rungs when we head to Sawgrass.

John Smoltz:
It would be a fun story if he had the stuff to make it on the Nationwide Tour, but an 84-87 last week in South Georgia (finishing last) doesn't inspire much confidence. And remember this isn't some teen up-and-comer; Smoltz is going to be 44 mid-month.