Bowditch the latest player outside top 100 to win


Here’s how unpredictable the 2013-14 PGA Tour season has been:

There have been as many top-30 winners (five) as those who were ranked outside the top 100.

Steven Bowditch was the latest, and most unexpected, champion. He entered last week’s Valero Texas Open at No. 339 in the world, shot a final-round 76 and still won his first PGA Tour title, by one.

He was the fifth player to win an event while outside the top 100 in the world rankings, joining Kevin Stadler (127), John Senden (123), Scott Stallings (112) and Russell Henley (110). Three other players – Matt Every, Chesson Hadley and Chris Kirk – were between Nos. 90-100 when they won.

That seems like a big number, but keep in mind: Last year, in the abbreviated 2013 season, 18 players outside the top 100 won an event. 

The PGA Tour’s parity just seems to be more noticeable this season because only one player – Zach Johnson, at the Hyundai Tournament of Champions – has won a Tour event while ranked inside the top 10. One. Last year, Tiger Woods, Adam Scott, Phil Mickelson, Henrik Stenson, Matt Kuchar and Brandt Snedeker all had multiple-win campaigns.

There is still ample time for the stars to come around, of course – we are 20 tournaments deep into the 41-event season and the year’s first major is still a week away. But without a dominant star (Tiger, Phil, Rory, et al), there are more opportunities for lesser-known players to shine.