Ranking top 50 golfers: Nos. 30-21

Sergio Garcia can't believe he's not higher on this list. (USATSI)
Sergio Garcia can't believe he's not higher on this list. (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. Today we continue with Nos. 30-21.

These are the guys that are elite but not part of superstardom. Most are headed in opposite directions. Hideki Matsuyama, for example, is probably ticketed for the top 20. Luke Donald and Lee Westwood, not so much.

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. 30-21:

21 Sergio Garcia: The Spainard has competition from countrymen Gonzalo Fernandez-Castano and Miguel Angel Jimenez but he had maybe his most efficient season ever in 2013 (no missed cuts). As good as he has ever been.
22 Jim Furyk: Missed the cut at the both Opens then finished second at the PGA Championship before shooting 59 at the BMW Championship and then missing the Presidents Cup team. Still great but no longer part of the upper crust.
23 Charl Schwartzel: He might have my favorite swing in golf. I think he has at least two more major wins in him.
24 Luke Donald: Donald frustrates me. It feels like he should be a lot more prolific than he actually is. Still, I can't drop him outside the top 25.
25 Lee Westwood: Speaking of players who frustrate me ... I'm just going to keep citing his two career PGA Tour wins until it changes.
26 Hideki Matsuyama: How's this for impressive? He finished T10 at the US Open, T6 at the British Open and T19 at the PGA Championship consecutively.
27 Jamie Donaldson: One of my favorites on the European Tour. Five top eights in his past six events. I think that's good.
28 Graham DeLaet: Had about as good a year as a golfer can have without winning. Over 100 spots between him and Canada's second-best. Two hundred between him and Canada's third-best. And 400 between him and Canada's fourth-best.
29 Thomas Bjorn: Was as low as No. 93 in the world this summer but has now won two of his past eight events. There's a great stat floating around out there about most starts at a major without winning. Westwood, I believe, has the most with 63, Sergio has 61, Bjorn has 50.
30 Ernie Els: Look at the Big Easy just hanging around. He actually rose to as high as No. 13 in the world this summer but fell off a bit at the end. As smart and competitive a golfer as there is.

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CBS Sports Writer

Kyle Porter began his sports writing career with CBS Sports in 2012. He covers golf, writes poetry about Rory McIlroy's swing, stays ready on Tiger watch and loves the Masters more than anyone you know.... Full Bio

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