Golf Channel's second (not-so-annual) draft

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When we held our first Golf Draft back in 2012, Tiger Woods was the No. 1 overall pick and Yani Tseng was the first LPGA player off the board.

Our latest edition proves a lot can change in two years - and a lot of us needed a mulligan.

Choosing golfers based on – as the initial guidelines stated – “earning potential, major championship promise and whom we’d most like to have on our ‘teams’ for years to come,” this year’s Golf Draft has a decidedly different look from the original.

Our art is mirroring life, as Woods relinquishes the top spot to Rory McIlroy, just as he once did on the world ranking.


Photos: Golf Channel's 2014 draft in images


Four players (Tseng, Luke Donald, Martin Kaymer and Bud Cauley) selected in the top 10 of the first draft were bypassed this time. A total of 16 players – half of the entire list – is a turnover from two years ago, with 17-year-old Lydia Ko rightfully becoming the highest-ranked player who was previously left off, moving up to sixth after three LPGA wins.

Of course, it remains an inexact science.

Among those still available for a hypothetical second round are PGA Tour champions Hunter Mahan, Webb Simpson, Seung-yul Noh and Brandt Snedeker, and young up-and-comers Matthew Fitzpatrick and Patrick Rodgers. But for now, let’s focus on those who were selected rather than those who weren’t.

Thirty-two Golf Channel staffers. Thirty-two draft picks. Let the debate begin … 

Who

Pick

Notes

1. Ryan Reiterman

Rory McIlroy

At 25, he’s halfway to the career Grand Slam. When he’s on, no one can touch him.

2. Tripp Isenhour

Jordan Spieth

Spieth and Tiger are only two players to start year with no status and end at the Tour Championship. Enough for me.

3. Ryan Lavner

Lexi Thompson

Awesome power, improved putter, closer’s mentality and fiercely competitive. Nice combo.

4. Jay Coffin

Tiger Woods

I get him here? My guy makes money just by showing up. I win.

5. Ben Daughan

Jason Day

At 26, he has at least a 10-year window to win multiple majors.

6. Jason Crook

Lydia Ko

Just turned 17 and is a rare teen phenom who will actually exceed the hype.

7. Randall Mell

Bubba Watson

We’re going to have fun with the biggest-hitting, most eccentric star in the game.

8. Todd Lewis

Adam Scott

His game suits every major venue even if one is ever played on the moon.

9. Ryan Burr

Patrick Reed

Has never blown a 54-hole lead, a trend that will serve him well the next few years.

10. Mercer Baggs

Michelle Wie

Picked her two years ago. Not passing her now that everything seems to be back on track.

11. Joe Posnanski

Dustin Johnson

May never harness all the talent but has a lot of it. He’s a good high-risk, high-reward choice.

12. Rex Hoggard

Inbee Park

Remember her? At 25 already has nine LPGA victories and won three-fifths of a single season slam.

13. Jerry Foltz

Stacy Lewis

Not motivated by money, but has earned a ton. A fierce competitor with all the tools needed to stay on top.

14. Whit Watson

Matt Kuchar

Young enough to contend for a long time and knocking on the door at majors. Top-10 machine.

15. Gary Williams

Justin Rose

With a major on his resume and consistent production every year, he’s a clean-up hitter in my lineup.

16. John Feinstein

Erik Compton

When he wins it’ll be the best story in the history of golf.

17. Charlie Rymer

Rickie Fowler

So much talent and his best years are all ahead of him.

18. @GCTigerTracker

Cheyenne Woods

Understandably, my meal ticket was gone early, so I have to keep it in the family.

19. Brandel Chamblee

Hideki Matsuyama

Will be the first Japanese player to win a major and, at 22, he will have that powerful, beautiful move for decades.

20. Al Tays

Kiradech Aphibarnrat

The Round Mound of Keeping it in Bounds is my favorite type of player – a heavy dude who can play.

21. Geoff Russell

Zach Johnson

Creeping up on 40 but he has another major in him and a legit shot to get into the Hall of Fame.

22. Kristi Setaro

Harris English

At 24, the Bulldog is just beginning to make his mark. He’s smart with the right demeanor and talent to add wins.

23. Bailey Mosier

Gary Woodland

He’s healthy, working with Butch Harmon, recently engaged and proved last year he’s just getting warmed up.

24. Matt Ginella

Brooks Koepka

Known for being Peter Uihlein’s roommate on Euro Challenge Tour. Within the next year roles will reverse.

25. Alan Robison

Phil Mickelson

Who’s more likely to win a major: Phil or most of the names in the previous eight spots on this list?

26. Scott Rude

Sergio Garcia

Has earned over $100 million off course with nine top-5s in majors. More maturity now after a humbling 2013.

27. George Savaricas

Victor Dubuisson

Just turned 24 and finished sixth last year in Race to Dubai. Could become the first Frenchman to win a major.

28. Damon Hack

Chesson Hadley

Already a PGA Tour winner with a terrific attitude and tons of upside.

29. Jason Sobel

Matteo Manassero

Took him in this draft two years ago and I’ve had no regrets since. Sticking with him.

30. Steve Burkowski

Peter Uihlein

Former No. 1-ranked junior and amateur, Rookie of the Year on Euro Tour, inside top 100 in the world.

31. John Hawkins

Scott Stallings

Any three-time Tour winner under age 30 available this late, you take him. Unless it’s Anthony Kim.

32. Will Gray

Keegan Bradley

Took him at 13 when we did this two years ago, so there’s certainly value at the 32nd pick. He’s only 27.