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Top 10 PGA Players Seasons in Review - 2013

With the PGA Tour on break for the next month until the Hyundai Tournament of Champions kicks off in Maui on January 3, here's a review of the 2013 seasons of the Top 10 players in the world according to the World Golf Rankings.

10. Brandt Snedeker, USA: Wins: 2; Top 10 Finishes: 9; Best Major Finish: The Masters (T-6th).


It was hard to think of a golfer who started 2013 hotter than the US' Brandt Snedker. By February 10, he had played in five tournaments and had a win, two second-place finishes and one third.

He started the year by finishing third with a 10-under 209 at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions, and three weeks later finished tied for second at the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines.

 After finishing second to Phil Mickelson at the Phoenix Open, he headed to the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.

Firing a first-day 66 got him a share of the lead, and he never relinquished it, finishing off the tournament with a 65 to take a two-stroke win over Chris Kirk, finishing 19-under par at 66-68-68-65--267.

Snedeker's season turned erratic from there, as he missed his next two cuts, then rallied to finish tied for sixth at the Masters and tied for eighth at The Players Championship.

He missed another two cuts after that, but bounced back in fine fashion during the summer, tying for 17th at the US Open, finishing eighth at the AT&T National and tied for 11th at the British Open.

Snedeker's second title of the year came at the RBC Canadian Open in late July. In the middle of the pack after two rounds, he electrified the gallery with a third-round 63 to take command of the leaderboard, hitting six birdies in his first nine holes and finishing at 16-under to win by three strokes.

He had only one top 10 finish the rest of the year, tying for eighth at the BMW Championship, the third stop of the FedEx Cup.



9. Zach Johnson, USA: Wins: 1; Top 10 Finishes: 8; Best Major Finish: British Open (T-6th).

To have watched the first four months of Zach Johnson's 2013 season, you would never have believed he finished in the Top 50, much less the top 10.

Between January and mid-May, Johnson missed two cuts, only finished inside the Top 20 once and was a distance 35th at the Masters, and 65th at the Wells Fargo Championship.

He turned things around with a tie for 19th at The Players Championship, then fought his way to third with a 12-under 268 at the Crowne Plaza Invitational. Just when it seemed he had turned his season around, things went south again as he finished 71st at the Memorial, finishing +13, then missed the cut altogether at the US Open.

Two weeks later, he finally found his stroke, racing to second at the John Deer Classic at 19-under, then duking it out until the end at the British Open, eventually settling for a tie for sixth at 2-over par.

In total, Johnson finished the regular season with five straight Top 8 finishes, tying for eighth at the PGA Championship and tying for fifth at the Wyndham Championship. After his streak was broken at the Deutsche Bank Championship to begin the FedEx Playoffs, he put together his best tournament of the year at the BMW Championship in Chicago.

Facing the best field of the season to date, Johnson fired a blistering 64 on the first day and a 65 on the fourth to finish 16-under and win the tournament and the corresponding $1.44 million by two strokes.




8. Steve Stricker, USA. Wins: 0; Top 10 Finishes: 7; Best Major Finish: US Open (T-8th).

Winning isn't everything when it comes to having a great season in the game of golf. Steve Stricker's 2013 is a testament to that. Stricker finished second four times in his 13 tournaments of 2013, and finished in the top 10 seven times.

He missed the British Open, but finished tied for eighth at the US Open, tied for 20th at the Masters and tied for 12th at the PGA Championship.

His string of seconds started with the beginning of the season as he finished at runner-up in the Hyundai Tournament of Champions by four strokes to Dustin Johnson and at the WCG-Cadillac Championship by two strokes to Tiger Woods.

A final round 75 sunk his chances of a Top 10 finish at the Masters, and a final round 76 saw him fall out of contention at the US Open after he played the first three rounds 6-under.

He saved his best golf for last, racking up a ton of points and price money during the FedEx Cup playoffs, finishing second at the Deutsche Bank Championship, tied for fourth at the BMW Championship and second again at the TOUR Championship, all after missing the Cup's first event at the Barclays.



7. Matt Kuchar, USA. Wins: 1; Top 10 Finishes: 7; Best Major Finish: The Masters (T-8th).

Matt Kuchar turned in plenty of great scorecards in 2013, he just had trouble stringing success together.

The 35-year-old American would dominate one tournament, then wind up in the middle of the pack in the next two.

This happened time and again throughout his season. He started the year with back-to-back Top 10 finishes, including a tie for 5th at the Sony Open in which he had rounds of 66, 63 and 65.

After that, he backslid to 38th at the Northern Trust Open and 35th at the Cadillac Championship, then rallied back to form at the Masters.

His second-round 75 did the most damage to his bid for a title as he finished 3-under. The inconsistency returned as he averaged 38thplace over his next three starts, then shifted back into overdrive with a second-place finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational before winning the Memorial, firing a 12-under 68-70-70-68 - 276.

He added a second-place finish at the RBC Canadian Open, then got no higher than a tie for 19th in his next three outings before capping the season by tying for fourth at the Deutsche Bank Championship in the second round of the FedEx Cup playoffs.



6. Rory McIlroy, Northern Ireland. Wins: 0; Top 10 Finishes: 4; Best Major Finish: PGA Championship (T-8th).

The 24-year-old Northern Irishman learned the hard way in 2013 that once you've been ranked No. 1 and won a couple of Majors, everyone wants to know what's wrong with you when you don't keep doing it.

What would have been a very strong year for any other player under 30 was instead one full of worry for McIlroy, whose play was often erratic hole to hole and round to round.

He started the year off strong with a tie for eighth at the Cadillac Championship and a runner-up spot at the Valero Texas Open.

He was in the mix early at The Masters until bombing out with a third-round 79 lowlighted by three bogies, a double bogey and a triple bogey, that took him from 2-under to 5-over.

He rebounded for top 10 finishes at the Wells Fargo Championship and The Players Championship, but was a non-factor at the US Open (tied for 41st) and shockingly missed the cut at the British. He wound up eighth at the PGA Championship, then fizzled out in the FedEx Cup, failing to qualify for the final event.



5. Phil Mickelson - Wins: 2;  Top 10 Finishes: 7; Best Major Finish: British Open (1st).

Just when it looked like Phil Mickelson's reputation was being cemented as the heartbreak kid of the US Open, Lefty shocked the world and won the British Open - his first Major win there.

After a sluggish first month of the season, Mickelson won the Waste Management Phoenix Open in early February with an impressive 28-under 60-65-64-67 -- 256.

He was third at the Cadillac Championship, but missed the cut at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

Boasting of new equipment he was instead a non-story atThe Masters, finishing with a 9-over 297.

He fired back in a hurry to take third at the Wells Fargo championship. He finished at the St. Jude Classic and was seven under through 72 holes of the US Open before a final-day collapse saw him tumble all the way down to third.

When he missed the cut at the Greenbrier Classic, pundits began to wonder if the psychological effect was finally wearing hin down.

But proving them all wrong, Mickelson came from behind on the final day to win the British Open, the only man finish under par for the tournament with a 69-74-72-66 - 281.

Mickelson's 66 on the final day was the low round of the tournament, and he closed that round with birdies on 13, 14, 17 and 18.

He had just one more Top 10 finish, that tying for sixth at the Barclays, and also finished tied for 12th at the Tour Championship.



4. Justin Rose, UK. Wins: 1; Top 10 Finishes: 7; Best Major Finish: US Open (1st).

Tennis and golf are two of the UK's biggest pride points among sports.

The country has Justin Rose and Andy Murray to thank for giving it one heck of a month, as Rose became the first British man to win the US Open since 1970 and Murray the first to win Wimbledon since 1936.

Rose was perhaps the most consistent golfer in the Top 10 on the season, starting his season with three straight Top 10 finishes - tied for fourth at the Honda Classic; tied for eighth at the Cadillac Championship and second overall at the Arnold Palmer Invitational.

He fired an 11-under at the Palmer, including an opening-round 65, but was two strokes behind Tiger Woods at the end of the day.

Rose was 3-under through two rounds of the Masters, but 5-over the rest of the way, leading to his only slump of the season, as he missed the cut wrong, Mickelson came from behind on the final day to win the British Open, the only man finish under par for the tournament with a 69-74-72-66 - 281.

Mickelson's 66 on the final day was the low round of the tournament, and he closed that round with birdies on 13, 14, 17 and 18.

He had just one more Top 10 finish, that tying for sixth at the Barclays, and also finished tied for 12th at the Tour Championship.



3. Henrik Stenson, Sweden. Wins: 2; Top 10 Finishes: 8; Best Major Finish: British Open (2nd).

Among the normal names atop the leaderboard during 2013, there kept on being one that nobody knew, that few had seen play, but who kept hanging around week after week, round after round.

 And by the end of 2013, Henrik Stenson had become a coach's dream, getting better and better each week until suddenly he was dominant when it mattered most at season's send.

The 37-year-old Swede won the FedEx Cup title and the $10 million purse that goes with it by taking first at two of the four playoff tournaments - the Deutsche Bank in Boston and the Tour Championship in Atlanta.

 He also finished in the Top 3 of the last two majors, setting himself up as a major force for the 2013-2014 PGA season.

Stenson's season got off to anything but a quick start as his first two tournaments resulted in a missed but and a tie for 39th.

He then finished in the top 8 of three of his next five tournaments, including a tie for second at the Shell Houston Open and a tie for fifth at the Players Championship.

He was good but not great at the first two Majors, finishing around 20th, but then turned things on in the late summer, starting with an even-par finish at the British Open, shooting three 70s, to finish second behind Phil Mickelson. He was tied for second at the Bridgestone Invitational, then finished third at the PGA Championship (7-under) to put himself in position to contend for the FedEx title.

He stumbled straight out of the gate and was tied for 43rd at the end of the Barclays, but came out gunning at Boston, firing a 67-63-66-66 -- 262 to defeat Steve Stricker by two strokes.

He was perhaps even more impressive at the Tour Championship, 6-under after a day and 13-under for the tournament to defeat Stricker and Jordan Spieth by three strokes.




2. Adam Scott, Australia. Wins: 2; Top 10 Finishes: 6 Best Major Finish: The Masters, (1st).

Fair or not, the image most fans draw then you mention an Australian man and a Major golf tournament is that of Greg Norman falling apart late in a round.

In 2013, 33-year-old Adam Scott destroyed that image. He became the first Australian to win The Masters in its 77-year history.

Prior to his win at Augusta, Scott had two top 10 finishes on the season - 10th at the Northern Trust Open and tied for third at the Cadillac Championship.

In a tightly-knit field, he and Angel Cabrera were deadlocked at 9-under after 72 holes, but Scott birdied the second playoff hole to take the most prestigious title in sports.

Turning into a true big-tournament player, he didn't have another Top 10 finish until the British Open, at which he tied for third by shooting 1-over.

Hs next Top 10 was tying for fifth at the PGA Championship, which led to his second win of the year, a nail-biting11-under at the Barclays in the first week of the FedEx Cup playoffs. With the best golfers in the world competing for a massing jackpot, 12 men finished within five strokes of the lead, but Scott's matching 66s on Friday and Sunday propelled him to a one-stroke win over the likes of Justin Rose and Tiger Woods.



1. Tiger Woods, US. Wins: 7; Top 10 Finishes: 13; Best Major Finish: The Masters.

Tiger Woods ended 2013 the same way he started it, still four majors short of Jack Nickalus' record 18.

But while Woods is still shy on progress on the record that a time it appeared he would blow the doors off, he was still far and away the best golfer in 2013, winning seven tournaments and finishing in the Top 13 times.

Woods won four of the first six tournaments he competed in during 2013 - taking titles at the Farmers Insurance Open, the Cadillac Championship, the Arnold Palmer Invitational and The Players Championship, all four with ridiculously low scores: -14 at Farmers; -19 at Cadillac and -13 at the other two.

He also finished fourth at The Masters in that time frame, hurt by a late-assessed penalty stroke that was put into action after a fan watching the tournament on TV called in to note the rule break.

After slumping to a tie for 32nd at the US Open, Woods was back to his old tricks with a tie for sixth at the British open, followed by a win at the Bridgestone Invitationl which featured a second-round 61.

He tied for fourth again at the PGA Championship and was in first place heading into the FedEx Cup, and seemingly on his way to the $10 million purse when he started off with a tie for second at the Barclays.

But while others, notably FedEx winner Henrik Stenson, kept getting stronger at year's end Woods tailed off, tying for 6th at Deutsche Bank, 11th at the BMW Championship and 22nd at the TOUR Championship, leading some to speculate that he might have overdone it in an attempt to regain the No. 1 spot in the world. Only time will tell.

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