Most golfers and golf fans know that the PGA Tour is one of the biggest events in the sport. A new season is underway, and a new year is upon us. As a result, many golfers are trying to make their name in the coming months to make a push up the PGA Leaderboards. In this article we are going to look at the top five members of the current PGA Tour Leaderboard and figure out why they should be on your watch list in the coming year.
1. Dustin Johnson
Dustin Johnson is an impressive golfer who got on top of the pile by winning four different tournaments, including The Northern Trust. Though Justin Thomas, who will also be covered in this list, continues to garner a lot of popularity, there is no doubt that Johnson has earned his spot at the top of PGA’s list.
There have been some questionable performances, including a final-round implosion to the WGC-HSBC Champions, and there are a lot of great players on his heels. However, if he continues at his current pace and fixes some minor mistakes there is no reason that he can’t keep his position throughout the season.
2. John Rahm
In his first full season, John Rahm made 21 of 23 cuts and took down Torrey Pines to win the Farmers Insurance Open title. Not only that, but a series of impressive wins throughout the year skyrocketed him from 766th in the world rankings in June 2016 to number 2.
Rahm has a lot of strength to get off the tee and finishes holes strong. That mix, combined with solid putting, puts him far ahead of most of the PGA Tour. As he is so fundamentally sound, Rahm’s goal for 2018 is to simply continue what he’s already been doing. With a little work, he could find himself atop the PGA Championship in August.
3. Jordan Spieth
Number three in the current rankings is Jordan Spieth, a member of the 2011 high school class who continues to get better and better. While he sits below Johnson and Rahm, his numbers are unmatched. He has won 11 times since the start of 2015, with three of the victories coming from majors. He also will go for the career grand slam at the PGA Championship at Bellerive Country Club in St. Louis, August 9th through the 12th.
The 24-year-old has a flair for the dramatic, hitting a wide range of exciting shots in 2017, but he also backs up excited behavior with solid play. He led the Tour in scoring (68.846), birdies per round (4.49), and Strokes Gained: Approach-the-Green (.906).
There is a lot of potential here, and a lot to like. As long as Spieth works on his mechanics, he could become the first player to successfully defend the FedExCup. 2018 is going to be an exciting year for Spieth, and there is a real case to be made that he could return to number 1 by the end of it.
4. Justin Thomas
Justin Thomas is the current FedExCup Champion, which alone shows why he deserves his spot at number four. He won five times in 2017, and shows no signs of slowing down moving into 2018. He got his first win of the new season after beating Marc Leishman at THE CJ CUP @ NINE BRIDGES in Korea.
His strokes gained: Putting numbers were 131st on TOUR in 2016, but they have since jumped up to 47th best. That type of improvement is exactly what somebody with Thomas’ talent needs to keep his impressive pace going. He is one of the most promising players on the Tour, and no doubt will be one of the most fun players to watch in the coming months.
5. Hideki Matsuyama
Rounding out the top five, Hideki Matsuyama is coming off a strong 2016-2017 where he opened with a runner-up finish at the CIMB Classic, won the World Golf Championships–HSBC Champions, was runner-up at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, and won the Waste Management Phoenix Open.
Matsuyama is only 25, but has been playing majors since he was 19. He is currently battling to move further up into the top five, but to do so he is going to have some major competition. As long as he putts well he has a shot at rising and potentially making a splash at the PGA Championship later this year.
The 5 Best in the World
There are many exciting golfers to watch each season, but the above five are at the top for a reason. Though they may well lose their spots as more tournaments occur, they each have sound game and are delights to watch. If you want to see fun, exciting golf, then you should continue to monitor the above players in the coming months.