Masters win makes Watson a major mover

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April 10, 2012
Chris Dunham, PGATOUR.COM

Editor's note: PGATOUR.COM will take a look at recent trends in the season-long race for the FedExCup early in each month. This week, we take a look at the stretch of events starting with the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship and Puerto Rico Open and ending with the Masters.

MORE FEDEXCUP: Standings | Who's up, down?? | Weekly leaders | 2012 Winners | Updates, notes

The year's first major and second World Golf Championship have been contested in the five weeks since our last update, meaning big-time FedExCup points have been on the line. In addition to players making big moves up the ranks (more below), 16 players made their way into the FedExCup standings for the first time in 2012. The new group is highlighted by Angel Cabrera (138th) and Fred Couples (147th).

TOP 10 MOVES: Six events have been contested in that timeframe, but only three new faces -- Bubba Watson, Justin Rose and Tiger Woods -- have made their way into the FedExCup top 10.

Here's a look at how the top 10 on March 7 compares to today's top 10:

Top 10 on March 7 Top 10 today
March 7
Rank on
March 7
1. Kyle Stanley 6 1. Hunter Mahan 7
2. Johnson Wagner 4 2. Bubba Watson 25
3. Mark Wilson 8 3. Phil Mickelson 5
4. Rory McIlroy 5 4. Johnson Wagner 2
5. Phil Mickelson 3 5. Rory McIlroy 4
6. Bill Haas 10 6. Kyle Stanley 1
7. Hunter Mahan 1 7. Justin Rose 43
8. Brandt Snedeker 11 8. Mark Wilson 3
9. Steve Stricker 13 9. Tiger Woods 17
10. Keegan Bradley 12 10. Bill Haas 6

TOP PERFORMERS: Watson, a winner at Augusta National, is the TOUR's hottest player. He has made the most significant move up the FedExCup ranks in the last five weeks. He competed in three events over the last five weeks with his worst finish a tie for fourth at Bay Hill. Watson's 1,012 FedExCup points in that span easily makes him the TOUR's hottest player. Justin Rose, who won at TPC Blue Monster and picked up three other top-30 finishes, was the second-best player over that stretch, earning 730 points. Transitions champion Luke Donald and Shell Houston Open winner Hunter Mahan were the only two others to earn more than 600 FedExCup points in the last five weeks.

Top performers: March 7 - April 9
Player Points since
March 7
2. Bubba Watson 1,012 1,322   Three top-5 finishes; won the Masters
7. Justin Rose 730 948   Won the WGC-Cadillac Championship
14. Luke Donald 637 674   Won the Transitions Championship
1. Hunter Mahan 636 1,378   Won the Shell Houston Open
16. Louis Oosthuizen 576 623   P2 at the Masters; 3rd in Houston
9. Tiger Woods 529 875   Won the Arnold Palmer Invitational
20. Graeme McDowell 432 530   Three top-15s; Runner-up at Bay Hill
27. Jim Furyk 348 465   P2 at Transitions; Three top-11s
3. Phil Mickelson 329 1,136   Back-to-back top-5 finishes
29. George McNeill 310 437   Won the Puerto Rico Open
17. Carl Pettersson 300 611   Runner-up finish in Houston

BIGGEST MOVERS: It's not always about the number of points scored when looking at players moving up the ranks. In fact, just three of the top 15 movers from this stretch of events are also featured on our list of the top point-earners.

Luke Donald and Louis Oosthuizen each accumulated more than 500 FedExCup points to charge up the ranks more than 100 spots, but Boo Weekley made a similar jump with a fraction of the points. Weekley, through the first week of March, was ranked No. 209 in the FedExCup standings, without a top-70 finish on the season. He picked up a trio of better finishes, including a T3 in Mexico, to earn 154 FedExCup points and move to No. 106 in the latest standings.

Here's a look at the other players who were making moves in the last five weeks.

Big movers: March 7 - April 9
Player Start Current
Luke Donald 166 14 637 +152
Louis Oosthuizen 153 16 576 +137
Boo Weekley 209 106 154 +103
Ian Poulter 128 41 299 +87
Graeme McDowell 105 20 432 +85
Henrik Stenson 150 66 213 +84
Brian Davis 135 56 238 +79
Jim Furyk 88 27 348 +61
Jeff Overton 100 46 233 +54
George McNeill 83 29 310 +54
Jamie Lovemark 205 155 69 +50
Adam Scott 126 78 148 +48
Ernie Els 85 40 255 +45
Kyle Reifers 172 128 86 +44
Andres Romero T191 150 63 +41
NOTE: Only players who earned FedExCup points prior to March 7 were eligible to be movers in this section.

NOTES: • 231 players have now earned FedExCup points in 2012, up from 215 five weeks ago • Keegan Bradley (No. 11) ranks higher than any player without a victory. He ranked 10th and held this distinction last month. • At No. 51, Pat Perez is the highest-ranking player to not have a top-10 finish. Perez was the highest ranked a month ago at No. 38 • A total of 41 players have competed in 10 or more events this year. TOUR rookie J.J. Killeen leads all players with 12 starts. The 2011 Nationwide Tour graduate is currently on the bubble at No. 125 in the standings. His bets finish of the year thus far is a T14 at the Puerto Rico Open.

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