Golf Rankings for Transitions Championship
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Golf Rankings for Transitions Championship

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Following several weeks of tournaments that featured fully stocked fields, this week's Transitions Championship is a lighter but still top heavy thanks to four of the top-10 players in the world competing. The event is played on the Copperhead Course at Innisbrook Resort and Golf Club in Palm Harbor, Fla. Copperhead features unusual elevation changes for its location and plays very short, leaving driving distance as a secondary skill to succeed.

1. Justin Rose [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #11

Coming off a T5 in The Honda Classic and the biggest win of his career in last week’s WGC- Cadillac Championship, Rose jumped from 22nd to seventh on the OWGR board. Since 2008, Rose has made three starts at Copperhead, all top-15 results, and finished a career-best T5 a year ago. Rose currently sits fourth in scoring average and 12th in All-Around Ranking.

2. Charl Schwartzel [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #17

Dating back to last year, Schwartzel owns seven top-fives and 11 finishes of 17th or better in his last dozen worldwide starts. Despite never competing at Copperhead the South African enters with a T5 at The Honda Classic and a T4 in last week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship. Over those last seven rounds Schwartzel is a combined 21-under par.

3. Luke Donald [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #29

Following a disappointing T56 showing at the Northern Trust Open and an early exit in match play, Donald rebounded with a T6 in last week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship. The Brit ended 2011 on fire and was top player on the OWGR charts until being dethroned recently by Rory McIlroy with a win at the Honda Classic. Donald’s last start at Copperhead came in 2010 with a T6 result.

4. Webb Simpson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #27

Overall in his last four stroke play events this season, Simpson has two top-10s and has not missed a cut. Simpson has made three straight starts at Copperhead, finishing T13 in 2010 and was the runner-up last year. Simpson currently ranks fourth in birdie average and sixth in greens in regulation percentage.

5. John Senden [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #54

Senden finished T15 at Copperhead last year, his best result at the site since finishing with a share of second in 2007 and 08. The Australian has recorded top-10 finishes in two of his last three stroke play events, including last week at Doral. Senden ranks first in birdie average, sixth in greens in regulation percentage, seventh in total driving, eighth in scoring average and sixth in All-Around Ranking.

6. Matt Kuchar [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #6

After failing to record a top-20 in his first three starts of the season, Kuchar finished T5 in match play and T8 in last week’s WGC-Cadillac Championship. Kuchar finished T12 at Copperhead in 2009, but skipped the event the last two seasons. Kuchar has made 12 straight cuts, tied for sixth on Tour, and currently ranks 13th in scrambling.

7. Nick Watney [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #49

Last week’s T17 is Watney’s best result in stroke play since a T12 in the season opening Hyundai Tournament of Champions. All told, it’s been a disappointing start to 2012 for last year’s regular season leader in FedExCup points even though he’s made each cut thus far. Copperhead could offer a chance to turn things around. Watney owns three straight finishes inside the top-15, highlighted by a solo fourth in 2010.

8. Peter Hanson [Yahoo Class C] - World Ranking: #73

Following an impressive showing in match play, Hanson backed it up with a T4 last week at Doral. Last year the Swede finished T15 at Copperhead, his best result in a dozen Tour starts. Hanson ended 2011 with six finishes of 11th or better in seven starts overseas and has continued to impress this season.

9. Bo Van Pelt [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #106

With T8 finishes in each of his last three stoke play events, Van Pelt looks like a safe option this week despite skipping Copperhead last year. BVP ranks sixth in birdie average, ninth in total driving, 14th in strokes gained – putting and fifth in All-Around Ranking. While he rarely challenges for a win, Van Pelt has a knack for strong and consistent finishes on a nearly weekly basis.

10. Brandt Snedeker [Yahoo Class A] - World Ranking: #20

Snedeker opened the season with a T8 at the Humana Challenge and won the Farmers Insurance Open. He struggled last week, finishing T45 at Doral, but was dealing with food poisoning. Snedeker finished a career-best at Copperhead last year with a solo fourth and is currently 21st in All-Around Ranking.

11. Zach Johnson [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #12

In his last four stoke play events Johnson has recorded one top-10 and three top-20 finishes. ZJ finished T20 at Copperhead last year, his best result at the site since a T14 in 2007. Johnson is good for 14th in birdie average, 17th in scoring average and 13th in All-Around Ranking.

12. Bryce Molder [Yahoo Class B] - World Ranking: #169

While Molder has missed the cut each of the last two years at Copperhead and struggled for most of 2011, he’s been a much different golfer since last October. Molder collected one win and three finishes of 11th or better in his Fall Series events. He’s gone on to tally four finishes of 17th or better in his six events of 2012. Molder ranks third in scrambling, the best among this week’s field.
 

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