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Ranking top 50 golfers: Nos. 10-1

By Kyle Porter | Golf Writer

After five victories in 2013, Tiger Woods is on top as usual. (USATSI)
After five victories in 2013, Tiger Woods is on top as usual. (USATSI)

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We started ranking the top 50 golfers in the world with the bottom 10 (though that's a bottom 10 list I would love to be a part of). Then we did Nos. 40-31. Then Nos. 30-21 and Nos. 20-11.

Finally, the top 10.

These are the uber-stars of the sport. The 10 you would hand-select to watch in a 10-person tournament. The best on the planet right now.

A reminder of my criteria: If you took every golfer alive and put them in a simulation where they played a random tournament 1 million times, this is the order they would finish most often.

That is, if every golfer in the world played a massive tournament 1 million times, Tiger Woods would likely finish first most often (I guess I'm giving some of my list away now).

You could say "Well, just take the top 50 in the world golf rankings" and that would work, I guess. But that's kind of boring and I think we can all agree it's a little broken (unless you believe Rory McIlroy was a top-five player for much of 2013).

This is a list for right now, not a rolling list for the past two years.

Here are Nos. 10-1:

1Tiger Woods: He's still the king of this generation. No majors in 2013 but won the "fifth major" in style. I'm fascinated by how long this arc of his career lasts.
2Adam Scott: If he had Tiger's 2000 putting stroke, he would be unbeatable. Could have realistically taken three of four majors in 2013.
3Henrik Stenson: He hasn't hit the ball anywhere but the center of a club since, like, May. The $20 million was nice but the "definitely top five in the world" status is nicer.
4Phil Mickelson: You know how people were shocked by the fact that Jack Nicklaus won the Masters at age 46? Mickelson will be 44 next year; why aren't we awed by what he's doing right now?
5Justin Rose: Went from star with a lot of potential to elite superstar with one smooth 4-iron on the 18th at Merion. He'll be a tough out in majors for the next 5-6 years.
6Jason Dufner: I don't get it, I really don't. You look at him and it's like "this dude?" But nobody hits it better. Put him in the "if he had an elite putting game he would win five majors" category.
7Brandt Snedeker: He was so great all year but couldn't seal the deal on major No. 1. Injuries might not let him stay up here for long but he's the best American under 35.
8Zach Johnson: Might need to start calling him BBJ (think about it) after that performance at Tiger's tournament in December. Johnson had a fantastic second half of the season with top 10s at both the British Open and PGA Championship.
9Matt Kuchar: The only thing left on Kuchar's checklist is a major. He has done everything else and had the most efficient season of his career in 2013.
10Jason Day: The gap between him and my No. 11 (Rory McIlroy) is negligible but Day is swinging it beautifully right now. He has the gumption to match his talent, too. If I had to bet my life on one non-major winner to win a major in the future, it would definitely be him.

For more golf news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnGolf and @KylePorterCBS on Twitter or Google+ and like us on Facebook.

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