The Golfweek/Sagarin ranking for each player is in parentheses.
Carlos Ortiz (97)
Ortiz’s tie for second on home soil at the Mayakoba Golf Classic was the best of his fledgling career. The 28-year-old shot a pair of 65s in the middle rounds and overcame a double bogey on his opening hole of the final round to shoot 66. Ortiz has been on a roll thanks to a solid all-around game, highlighted by a rank of fifth in SG: Around the Green. He had finished in the top 5 in two of last four starts (Sanderson Farms and Houston Open).
Harris English (68)
English has had an outstanding start to the 2019-20 season after suffering through his worst season last year (No. 149 in the FedEx Cup standings). Playing on a sponsor’s exemption, he finished fifth at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. It marked his Tour-best fourth top-6 finish of the season: T-3 at Greenbrier, T-4 at Houston Open, T-6 at Sanderson Farms. What’s the difference? English said he simply went back to what worked when he was playing his best golf. “Just sticking to that, not trying to reinvent the wheel and just do what I’m good at,” he said.
Kevin Kisner (41)
Kisner has finished T-66 at Zozo, T-28 at the WGC-HSBC Champions and T-76 at Mayakoba. He’s only broken 70 three times in 12 rounds and shot 72, 77 and 74 on Sundays. This week’s RSM Classic is a course he’s won on before so don’t count Kiz out yet.
J.J. Spaun (177)
The San Diego State product is off to an unusually slow start in 2019-20. In six starts, he’s missed two cuts and his best result is a T-36 at Sanderson Farms. At Mayakoba’s El Camaleon, a course where he finished a season-best T-3 last year, he tied for last (T-80). He’s already shot 77 twice and 78 this year, and ranks No. 201 in SG: Tee-to-Green. No bueno.
Tommy Fleetwood (8)
It wasn’t that Fleetwood was having a bad season, more a case of a frustrating one. The Englishman finished runner-up in the Open Championship, one of seven top 10s this year, but that fifth European Tour win seemed like it would arrive in 2020. The Englishman showed his class to come from six shots off the lead to return a closing 7-under 65 and then defeated Sweden’s Marcus Kinhult in a playoff. The 28-year-old led the field in strokes gained off the tee, averaging +1.49 per round. Fleetwood is fourth in greens in regulation on Tour this year, with a 75 percent average. He’s also fifth in scoring average at 69.69 per round. He could do with improving his putter since he’s taking 30.22 putts per round to rank 171st on Tour.
Marcus Kinhult (108)
The 23-year-old Swede ranked third in stokes gained around the green in the Nedbank Golf Challenge. Kinhult averaged +1.46 strokes gained around the greens, which explains why he got into a playoff with Tommy Fleetwood. He was chasing his second victory of the season following the Betfred British Masters, which Fleetwood hosted at Hillside Golf Club. Kinhult moved to 13th on the Race to Dubai, 36 places better than last year’s ranking of 49th. He has one tournament left and no one would be surprised if he finished the year inside the top 10. The Swede got off to a slow start this season, missing six of his first eight cuts. However, he’s become more consistent as the season as wore on. He’s made the cut in his last 10 tournaments.
Lucas Bjerregaard (348)
The Dane needed a good performance in the Nedbank Golf Challenge to move into the top 50 of the Race to Dubai to make the field in this week’s DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. Bjerregaard finished last and dropped from 49th to 53rd. It wasn’t what anyone would have predicted when he began the season by making the semi-finals of the WGC–Dell Technologies Match Play. However, the 28-year-old struggled the rest of the year, missing 12 cuts on both the European and PGA Tours. Bjerregaard struggled with his iron play this year. He hit an average of 66.16 percent greens this year to rank 119th on the European Tour. Last year he was third in that category, hitting 73.50 percent of greens.
Alex Noren (77)
Needed a good finish in the Nedbank to make it into the DP World Tour Championship, Dubai. The Swede finished T-44 and sits 67th on the Race to Dubai. He was sixth last year, eighth in 2017 and third the year before. In 16 European Tour events this season, Noren failed to rack up one top 10. His poor season comes down to struggles with the shortest club in his bag. He was 18th in putts per green in regulation in 2018. This year he ranks 148th. The former Oklahoma State player is one of the hardest workers in the game. He doesn’t have to look too hard to discover what he needs to work on over the winter to try to get back to his best.