Hopefully you brought your appetite because the meat of the golf calendar is upon us. Major championships, designated events, players jostling for playoff positioning have all been served, and the The Power 18 Rankings are here to help you decipher the Cheesecake Factory-like menu.
Last we left off, Jon Rahm had narrowly missed out on his fifth victory before the fifth month of the year when he fell to Tony Finau at the Mexico Open. The Masters champion has remained on just four victories since, and while his play remains among the upper echelon of the game, there are many a players surging into the summer.
Scottie Scheffler is going through a historic stretch of his own. Having finished inside the top 12 in every tournament this calendar year, the Players Championship winner appears to be on the precipice of an all-time run.
Brooks Koepka cemented his name in the history books by notching his fifth major victory at the PGA Championship at Oak Hill. Viktor Hovland claimed a signature win for his résumé, and former world No. 1 Jason Day has returned to the winner's circle. The elites are rising, but this isn't the same crop you might be used to as some have been left in the dust searching for answers.
The Power 18 provides insight as to how golfers are currently performing with benefit given to their play over recent events. It is a wider lens than simply what happened at the last tournament to be played but more narrow than the Official World Golf Rankings, which take into account how more than 2,000 golfers perform across an entire season.
The Power 18
|What more is there to say about Scheffler? After almost stealing the Memorial Tournament with a historic tee-to-green performance, Scheffler now has 15 straight top-12 finishes on the PGA Tour dating back to last fall. He is the only player in the world to be averaging north of three strokes gained per round over the last six months, and with this in mind, it almost feels like he's underachieving. Yes, he has won the Players Championship and the WM Phoenix Open this season, but neutral putting performances at the Memorial (where he lost eight strokes) and the Charles Schwab Challenge (where he lost nearly five) would have doubled his trophy count. Previous: 2|
|The Spaniard has only played twice since his runner-up performance at the Mexico Open, and both starts left plenty to be desired. He battled to make the cut at the PGA Championship and faltered over the last 54 holes at the Memorial to narrowly finish inside the top 20. However, unlike Scheffler, he can be trusted with the putter in hand, and that matters come major championship time. Rahm ranked second in strokes gained approach at Muirfield Village and should relish a return to California for the U.S. Open where he won his first in 2021. He also won earlier this season down the street at Riviera. Previous: 1|
|Despite joining an elite group of men to win five major championships with his triumph at Oak Hill, Koepka remains in the three hole. That has a high chance of changing with the U.S. Open on deck where he claimed two victories between 2014-21, a runner-up, two top fives and no finish worse than T18. He followed up his win at the PGA Championship with a well-known bender and an impressive 14th-place finish at LIV Golf DC. Unlike the first two majors of the season, Koepka will not be teeing it up the week before, which may be something to watch for someone who has been vocal about playing his way into major championships. Previous: 3|
|Hovland finally broke through after knocking on the door the last three months. Getting the better of Denny McCarthy in a playoff at the Memorial, the Norwegian claimed his eighth professional victory (and fourth PGA Tour victory) since 2020. He has now won on the PGA Tour in every season he has been a member and solidified his spot among the game's best. This win followed an agonizingly close call at the PGA Championship where he stared Koepka in the face for 15 straight holes on Sunday. Hovland now looks for major championship redemption where has finished inside the top seven in the last three. Previous: 10|
|McIlroy's season has not been good, for his standards, but the pieces are there for him to pick up. He played in the final pair in the final round at the Memorial and all would have been forgiven if he came through. Still, he has flashed form at three designated events and factored at the PGA Championship with his C game. The driving accuracy is concerning, the wedge is not stellar and putter can run cold. Despite all this, the four-time major champion is still very much a presence to be reckoned with. He is set to defend the Canadian Open before heading to Los Angeles Country Club for the U.S. Open where he has four straight top-10 finishes. Previous: 8|
|The Olympic gold medalist hasn't missed a cut since the 2022 Masters and was recently in with a chance to win at Quail Hollow Club. While the victories haven't stacked up, the 29-year-old has 12 top-20 finishes in 16 starts, half of which were top-five results. The iron play has been laser-like and he's wielding the putter with confidence unseen before. After a poor start to the season with the big stick, Schauffele and his driver are now on good terms, so he's going to win soon. Schauffele's U.S. Open finishes read: T14-T7-5-T3-T6-T5. Previous: 7|
|The fiery Englishman has done everything but win in 2023. Currently amid a stretch of five straight top-20 finishes, Hatton is as well-balanced as they come. Over the last six months he ranks inside the top 45 in the world in each strokes-gained category — a feat no other PGA Tour member can claim. The consistency is nice, the big pay days from podium finishes at the Players Championship and the Wells Fargo Championship are even nicer, but Hatton has eyes on his second PGA Tour victory. Previous: Not ranked|
|His weekend woes at the Memorial put an end to a nine-tournament top-21 streak dating back to the Genesis Invitational. During this run, Cantlay has put together a terrific statistical profile but hasn't really had a chance to win outside the RBC Heritage. Over the last six months, he checks in behind only Scheffler, Rahm and Schauffele in total strokes gained and inside the top 20 in each tee-to-green statistic. The putter has been unusually cool for a while, but maybe a return to his home state of California will change that in a major way. Previous: 4|
|Finau has figured out how to win, but may have sacrificed his major prowess in the process. Since winning the Mexico Open, the 33-year-old has been middling and without a top-20 finish in three starts including a T72 at the PGA Championship. The putter has been the main culprit to which many will point, but the iron play is beginning to trend downwards ever so slightly. He has been extremely hit-or-miss in his U.S. Open career with four missed cuts and three top-15 finishes. Previous: 6|
|The Champion Golfer of the Year is starting to look like the man who ran through the world of golf in 2022. The Australian fell in a playoff to Dustin Johnson at LIV Golf Tulsa, notched a top-10 finish at the PGA Championship and claimed an 11th-place finish at LIV Golf DC (his worst result since the Masters). After admitting to taking plenty of time away from the game during the offseason, Smith is firmly in the thick of the conversation. He isn't afraid of anyone, and another run at a major championship looks to be in the cards. Previous: NR|
|Fitzpatrick has been terrific post-neck injury. The 28-year-old added a top-10 effort at the Memorial to his victory at the RBC Heritage the week after the Masters. He is in the field at the Canadian Open before he is set to defend his U.S. Open crown at LACC. The Englishman should like his chances to go back-to-back and make up for a grueling missed cut at the PGA Championship where he three-putted the 36th hole to miss the weekend by one. Previous: 9|
|Fitzpatrick started the injury portion of the Power 18 with Spieth appearing to be coming out of his. Hurting his back the Monday of the Wells Fargo Championship, the three-time major champion would go on to miss the cut and injure his wrist while playing with his son that weekend. A T29 finish at the PGA Championship saw Spieth rank fourth in strokes gained off the tee. An inauspicious missed cut at Colonial preceded a T5 finish at the Memorial where he ranked fourth in strokes gained tee to green. In his last six starts, he has three top-five finishes and a pair of missed cuts. As it has been throughout his career, anything is on the table any given week. Previous: 5|
|Morikawa checks in at unlucky 13 for good reason. The iron play is beginning to mirror its peak form, the putter was solid at Muirfield Village and his game is tailor made for the U.S. Open. However, the two-time major champion was forced to withdraw before the final round of the Memorial (where he entered two off the lead) due to back spasms. Back injuries — no matter what kind — are always concerning when it comes to golfers. Hopefully it's a one off. Previous: 14|
|It was a poor end to Clark's Memorial, but make no mistake he had legitimate claims to the title entering the back nine on Sunday. This T12 finish comes on the heels of his breakthrough victory at another designated event in the Wells Fargo Championship. He ranks 15th in total strokes gained and 11th in strokes gained approach over the last six months, and the Ryder Cup may be on the 29-year-old's mind. Previous: NR|
|The return to the winner's circle was a long time coming for the former world No. 1. Making birdie on the 72nd hole at the Byron Nelson to raise his first trophy since the 2018 Wells Fargo Championship, Day's march back to relevance was completed. He chose to forgo practice rounds at the PGA Championship, which may have contributed to his missed cut. Day was a weekend omission from the Memorial as well, but these two outings are just speed bumps in an otherwise smooth season. Previous: 17|
|Fowler is been terrific this entire season; he now has 12 top-20 finishes in 17 starts with the latest two at the Memorial and the Charles Schwab Challenge doubling as top-10 efforts. The five-time winner tasted contention on the back nine in Ohio, which should serve him well as he aims to break a four-year winless drought. For his play, he has been rewarded with spots in the U.S. Open field for the first time since 2020 and The Open for the first time since 2021. Previous: NR|
|Homa is close to returning to his early-season form, and it couldn't come at a better time. Top-10 finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship and the Charles Schwab Challenge sandwiched a disappointing T55 at the PGA Championship. The putter is beginning to cooperate again, and if the normally reliable ball striking finds its way back into his bag, it could be party time in his native Los Angeles for the U.S. Open. Previous: 18|
|It's not Justin Thomas, Cameron Young or Sam Burns who rounds out the Power 18, but rather Kim. The South Korean continues to flash quality form with a runner-up effort at the Byron Nelson to Day and a fantastic week at Jack's Place that saw him play in the final group on Sunday alongside McIlroy. Kim ranked second in strokes gained tee to green at Muirfield Village and looks ready to make the major championship leap. Previous: NR|