Rookie Russell Henley's great win at the Sony Open wasn't a flash in the pan. The Georgia grad has only played in six tournaments and, other than a cut at the Northern Trust Open, he's been competitive in all of them, including an underrated T13 finish at the Honda Classic last weekend in which he only carded one round over par.
It's safe to say that after the first two months of the PGA season that Henley is the leader in the clubhouse to win 2013 Rookie of the Year honors. But after playing in only six tournaments, it's hard to rank him above the rest of the golfers who have already proven themselves on the PGA Tour.
If Henley continues to play as well has he has through the rest of the Florida tournaments, it's a safe assumption that he'll be moving up the power rankings quickly.
The age old question is upon us this week: is it better for your power ranking to play tournaments and play at a mediocre level (see: Tiger Woods at the Honda Classic) or to skip tournaments altogether and leave it up to the imagination of the blogger making the power rankings (namely: me) what could have been?
Matt Kuchar, Jason Day, and Hunter Mahan tested that theory last weekend and I rewarded them handsomely this week with a bump up in the rankings. This was mostly due to the fact that the golfers ahead of them (Woods and Louis Oosthuizen) faltered in Florida.
Now, I'm not suggesting golfer should skip every tournament to keep their power ranking (that would be highly unprofitable and extremely stupid), but I am saying they should pick their spots.
Unfortunately, this lends itself to only the bigger-name guys being included in the power rankings. Golfers like Scott Piercy, Chris Kirk, and Charles Howell III can't afford to skip tournaments. They're trying to qualify for majors and rack up as much cash and as many OWGR points as they can.
And when you play every week, it becomes extremely difficult to play at a top 10 pace consistently, and thus be included in the rankings.
Take Charles Howell for example. He's played in seven of the nine tournaments this year and, despite a crazy hot start, I can't include him in our rankings because he's had a cut and a T29 in two of his last three weekends.
Compare that to Matt Kuchar. Kuchar has only played in five tournaments but he has two top 10s and a win. And he's playing better golf than Howell right now.
Here are the full rankings.