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After a month filled with exhibitions, fun and family events, the PGA Tour returns this week as 2023 kicks off with the Sentry Tournament of Champions. In what is the first of 13 elevated events on the playing calendar, many of the world's best are lining up to take their crack at reigning supreme in Maui, Hawaii, making it the perfect time to reintroduce The Power 18 golf rankings.

We left off at the St. Jude Championship at the onset of the 2022 FedEx Cup Playoffs. To say plenty has changed since would be an understatement. New stars have emerged and old stars have left the PGA Tour, yet the talent pool remains as deep as ever.

This past season on the PGA Tour saw many players experience significant runs of quality. From Scottie Scheffler in the spring to Xander Schauffele in the summer to Tony Finau in the latter stages of the year, big name after big name produced when the lights were the brightest.

One of those big names, Rory McIlroy, will be missing from the field this week at Kapalua, but the Northern Irishman nevertheless finds himself atop The Power 18. Enjoying the best statistical season of his career, will 2023 finally be the time for the four-time major champion to add a coveted fifth?

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

McIlroy hasn't finished outside the top 10 in a tournament since the last edition of The Power 18, which came out prior to the St. Jude Championship. Since then, all the world No. 1 has done is win the FedEx Cup, DP World Tour Championship and CJ Cup in South Carolina -- his lone start of the 2023 PGA Tour season. Not yet a cut above the rest of the world of golf, McIlroy is beginning to approach such territory. In 2022, the 33-year-old averaged a career best +2.61 strokes gained per round. For reference, that's even better than 2012 when he won five times and 2014 when he won his last two major championships. Major championships ... that's all McIlroy will be judged on moving forward (fair or not) as he has remained on No. 4 for nearly a decade. Let's see if that changes in 2023. Previous rank: 1
Statistically, Rahm's sixth year on the PGA Tour was actually a down campaign as he averaged +2.20 strokes gained per round and underperformed compared to his three prior seasons. A boggling statistic to wrap your head around, the Spaniard was still able to win three times worldwide, including the DP World Tour finale to cap off his year. Four additional top-five finishes accompanied his triumphs with runner-up efforts coming at the Tournament of Champions and the BMW PGA Championship. HIs short game was dormant for much of 2022, but the good news is he made significant strides, particularly with the putter, during the FedEx Cup Playoffs. This led to a fast finish to his year, and potentially, a fast start to 2023. Previous rank: 10
The world No. 4 was held without a solo victory for much of 2022. Losing in playoffs at the WM Phoenix Open and RBC Heritage, Cantlay added another runner-up finish to Finau at the Rocket Mortgage Classic before breaking through in the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Becoming the first man to successfully defend a postseason event, Cantlay got the better of Schauffele and Scheffler at the BMW Championship. Playing only once in the swing season, the 30-year-old arrived on the 72nd tee of the Shriners Children's Open tied for the lead with Tom Kim before an unfortunate triple bogey led to another runner-up effort. I have him pegged for a four-, maybe five-, win season in 2023, and I think it starts at the Tournament of Champions. Previous rank: 3
In a young man's game, Finau continues to reinvent the wheel. Employing a new putting technique and adding an off-speed pitch off-the-tee to consistently find fairways, the 33-year-old finds himself firmly among the game's elites. Just a little more than a year removed from being in a five-year winless drought, Finau has now captured four wins in his last two years. This includes his current stretch of play that features three victories in seven starts with his latest victory coming at the Houston Open to end his 2022. Lapping the field and ultimately cruising to victory, Finau displayed a different gear that may drive him to further distances in 2023. Previous rank: 6
Over his last 50 rounds, Schauffele ranks third in the world in total strokes gained. Capturing seven top-five finishes during this 13-event stretch, the 29-year-old has parlayed his impressive consistency with new hardware and plenty of big checks. Schauffele finished solo fourth at the Tour Championship before playing alongside his friend, Cantlay, at the Presidents Cup. Similar to Cantlay, Schauffele played only once during the PGA Tour's swing season with it resulting in a T9 effort at the Zozo Championship. He has since collected a solo fourth-place finish at the Hero World Challenge and arrives at Kapalua for the Tournament of Champions high on the lists of many. Previous rank: 4
Since missing the cut at the St. Jude Championship, Scheffler has teed it up six times to varying results. Squandering his 54-hole lead at the Tour Championship, the Texan went onto lose his world No. 1 status two months later to the same man who got the better of him at East Lake. A switch back to his old putter over the weekend at the World Wide Technology Championship saw him finish T3 before a T9 result at the Houston Open to cap off his 2022 PGA Tour year. With a chance to momentarily regain the title of world No. 1, Scheffler came up just short to Hovland for the second straight time at Hero World Challenge. He entered 2022 winless and with plenty to prove. Now, 12 months later, his floor and ceiling may never be higher, and anything short of a multiple-win season may be considered a disappointment. Previous rank: 5
Sneakily one of the best limited-field, no-cut event players on the PGA Tour, Thomas has a prime opportunity to kick off his 2023 in style at this week's Tournament of Champions. Twice a winner at Kapalua, the 29-year-old enters the calendar year hoping for his first multiple-win season since 2020. His iron play was slightly below historical norms in 2022, and with a resurgence from the putter early last year, the PGA Championship winner appeared as dangerous as ever. Experiencing some regression on the greens over the last six months, Thomas is without a top-10 finish in a full-field event since the Canadian Open in June. Previous rank: 8
The kid wins. With seven worldwide victories since February 2020, Hovland comes into 2023 looking to add a higher quality to his triumphs. Successfully defending his Hero World Challenge title in early December, the 25-year-old returns to action at another coastal, resort-style course in The Plantation Course at Kapalua. He hasn't done much here in the past with finishes of T30 and T31, but improvements to his short game since the Scottish Open have been apparent. If those persist, the Norwegian's stock will only continue to rise. Previous rank: 16
The Englishman has been one of the more active players since the FedEx Cup Playoffs. Losing in a playoff to Robert MacIntyre at the Italian Open, Fitzpatrick entered the DP World Tour Championship with a chance to win the season-long race in Europe. Leading the tournament at the halfway point, he ultimately fell off the pace to finish T5 on the week and second to McIlroy on the season. Despite this disappointment, 2022 can be chalked up as a success as Fitzpatrick broke through for his first professional victory on American soil at the U.S. Open. Putting his new-found distance on full display, this added skillset should pay dividends once again in 2023. Previous rank: 7
Will there be a sophomore slump for Young? That is the question one has to ask as the reigning PGA Tour Rookie of the Year was simply terrific in his first campaign on tour. Collecting seven podium finishes including a T3 at the PGA Championship and runner-up at The Open, he appeared to run out of steam throughout the FedEx Cup Playoffs. His father (and swing coach) has left his post at Sleepy Hollow to travel with him full time, and perhaps that will be the difference between winning and coming up just short in 2023. Previous rank: 11
His fellow countryman, Kim, took the world by storm at the end of 2022; however, for my money, Im remains the best South Korean player in the world. The 24-year-old possessed a share of the lead at the Tour Championship late on Sunday, and if not for a costly double bogey on his 14th hole, could have conceivably won the FedEx Cup. He has since added a solo seventh at the Shriners Children's Open in a title defense and a T8 at the Hero World Challenge. Im enters 2022 with only two wins to his name, but is an ideal candidate to follow in the footsteps of Scheffler and Cameron Smith in breaking out in a major fashion. Previous rank: 14
In the 2021 season, Homa won his hometown event. In the 2022 season, he won twice, finished top five at the Tour Championship and competed for Team USA at the Presidents Cup. Already in the 2023 season, he has successfully defended his Fortinet Championship title and looks to be a candidate to make yet another leap forward. His ball-striking is top notch and he continues to make strides with his short game thanks to putting coach Phil Kenyon and the implementation of Aim Point. Previous rank: 17
Winless worldwide in 2022, Morikawa has gone searching for answers. The two-time major champion is leaving no stone unturned and even hired a putting coach of his own towards the end of the year. Despite the lack of new hardware, Morikawa's 2022 season (+1.41 strokes gained per round) was the exact same as his 2021 when he won three times including The Open. If he stays on this course and continues to lean on his world-class iron play, the rest will come. Previous rank: 18
And just like that, Kim has risen to 15th in the OWGR. Since breaking through at the Wyndham Championship, the 20-year-old has added another victory at the Shriner Children's Open and stole the show at the Presidents Cup. Unlike most modern players, Kim isn't impressively long and this may hinder his chances at certain golf courses as he progresses throughout his career. Still, the start has been nothing short of stellar and I am more than happy to be along for the ride. Previous rank: NR
Zalatoris is officially back (no pun intended). Capturing his first PGA Tour victory at the St. Jude Championship, he was forced to withdraw during the BMW Championship due to a slipped disc in his back. Forgoing the Presidents Cup and delaying his timetable for return -- he was originally set to play at the Hero World Challenge -- the 26-year-old is likely to show some competitive rust at Kapalua. Once he overcomes this, he will return to the top of leaderboards with consistency as he finished his 2022 posting +1.06 strokes gained approach per round, tops on the PGA Tour. Previous rank: 7
Burns is following a similar path to Thomas in that he fell flat in the latter stages of 2022. Winning three times in the 2021-22 campaign, his season as a whole was a success, but the current state of his game may be up in the air. In his last 20 rounds, Burns ranks 111th in strokes gained tee to green and 127th in strokes gained approach. He remains one of the best putters in the world, and while this club may be able to carry him some weeks, it is clear why he has been going through some struggles as of late. Previous rank: 13 
The burly Irishman went through his 2022 PGA Tour season without a win before rectifying the situation in Europe. Winning a shortened BMW PGA Championship, Lowry successfully fended off McIlroy and Rahm to win the DP World Tour's flagship event. This past year was statistically the best season of his career as he posted +1.48 strokes gained per round and notched 12 top-20 finishes in 25 starts. If he continues to play like this, Lowry should have plenty of opportunities in 2023 to win on American soil for the first time since 2015. Previous rank: 15
Spieth is one of the most intriguing players in 2023. A winner the past two seasons, the three-time major champion has climbed out a hole and returned to relevance on the PGA Tour. The next step for Spieth is to claim an elevated event or perhaps even another major championship. Over the last 12 months, the Texans ranks inside the top 35 in the world in each tee to green metric. The outlier? His putting, which ranks 118th. If that club becomes a friend in 2023, Spieth will inch towards his pre-2018 self. Previous rank: 9