10 Golfers to Follow in 2022
Golf is hard but the world’s best portray it as an effortless activity repeatedly throughout the year.
Considering that men's tour golf has seldom been this competitive in the history of the sport, winning and securing or maintaining touring cards has never proved to be so challenging.
Below, we note ten golfers who we believe will come good for the year 2022 and ones that you should definitely keep an eye on for the impending season.
2021 Wins: 2
Since the arrival of autumn, Rory McIlroy has evidently been a completely different golfer and one that is oozing confidence and class. There’s no denying that he is starting to emerge from a turbulent period of time and his reignited partnership with swing coach Michael Bannon appears to have lifted the Northern Irishman.
Quite simply, when you’re Rory McIlroy, every single major championship should be targeted for victory. Considering he is major-less since 2014, they will undoubtedly be the priority as we head into the new year. For a long time, McIlroy has been his own worst enemy but for the first time in perhaps years, he appears to be handling the mental aspect of the game more efficiently - ignoring his outburst at the DP World Tour Championships. Every writer/tipster says it every year, but next season could finally bring an end to that unwanted hiatus of seven years without a major…and counting!
2021 Wins: 3
To win three golf tournaments in a calendar year is impressive - even more so with the strength of a standard professional field during contemporary times. However, when you realise that the three events that Morikawa has won include a World Golf Championship, an Open Championship and the European Tour’s concluding championship, it reflects as a pretty successful year for the 24-year-old(!)
If we’re being brutally honest, there isn’t much more Morikawa can improve on. He’s already the best iron player on tour and his driving accuracy is something the majority can only dream of. It’s not solely inevitable that he’ll continue to build his major collection, but he’ll also go to world number one within a few months too. While he is yet to completely blow a field apart, his relentless pursuing of those ahead grinds down his competitors, which allows him to breakthrough typically during final rounds. Everyone associated with the player has nothing but positive things to say, but his mean streak on the course is what will engrave his legacy into the sport of golf - and he’s going to leave quite the mark!
2021 Wins: 1
It’s very easy to get overexcitable about the prospect of Morikawa and his limitless potential to dominate the sport of golf throughout his career. However, once you start to peruse other golfers, you begin to realise that golf has not been this competitive perhaps ever in its history. While we all expect Morikawa to obtain top spot in the rankings, Jon Rahm is another name that holds the possibility of chasing down all of the records within the sport.
With just one win to his name - and another cruelly stolen from him due to COVID-19 - Rahm could reflect on this season as disappointing, especially by his standards. However, if that sole win wasn’t his inaugural major championship, then there might be scope for criticism but considering that the first one is now out of the way, and that he recorded 15 top 10 finishes on the PGA Tour last season, it has been a rather successful season for the 27-year-old. Similarly to McIlroy, major championships will define what sort of legacy Rahm leaves behind but his unyielding scoring capabilities are unmatched through both premium tours.
2021 Wins: 1
There aren’t many golfers who are establishing their careers at the age of 20, but Rasmus and Nicolai Hojgaard are not your standard golfers. These boys were always going to be good and Rasmus’ honours during his amateur career would have always indicated that there was a clear route into professionalism, having won the Danish International Amateur Championship, the McGregor Trophy and finished third in the European Boys’ Team Championship - all in the space of a matter of weeks!
Following his first victory, he became the first player to be born in the 2000s to win on the European Tour, aged 18 years and 271 days, and became the third youngest winner in European Tour history. His latest triumph, the OMEGA European Masters, required the Dane to produce a dazzling final round of 63 to post the clubhouse lead and take subsequent victory after a poor finish from Bernd Wiesberger. Rasmus undoubtedly has a glittering career ahead of him and the Europeans will be hoping he’s the next Ryder Cup weapon!
2021 Wins: 1
Nicolai Hojgaard shares similar success as his brother through his amateur career, although he did manage to win the 2017 European Boys Team Championship at the expense of Spain in the final. When he turned professional, he featured on the Nordic Golf League - which is recognised by the European Tour - and won once in 2018. This victory issued him an invite for the Open Championship of the same year where he missed the cut.
The start of 2019 almost produced instant success as Nicolai finished runner-up at the KLM Open, a single shot behind Sergio Garcia. His one and only European Tour victory came at the Italian Open after he bested both Tommy Fleetwood and Adrian Meronk by one-shot. His brother had won the week prior which means that the twins became the first brothers to win in successive weeks on the European Tour. Considering they are both still only 20 years of age, there is no ceiling for their potential and they must surely both have their sights set on Rome in 2023.
2021 Wins: 1 (Olympic Games)
Xander Schauffele is an interesting golfer who is overwhelmingly talented yet hasn’t quite produced the results when needed. The Tokyo Olympics should provide the optimum platform to push on to further success but his record in majors is excellent - finishing in the top 10 at every single one. As each year passes, a lot of talk is directed to Schauffele and if this is the year ‘he can push on’. Securing the Olympic gold medal is certainly a start but he’ll need a major championship if he wants to reach the next level.
When he burst onto the scene in 2017 and was awarded Rookie of the Year after winning both the Greenbrier Classic and the Tour Championship, he was tipped to win all of the accolades in golf. However, that potential has failed to come to fruition as of yet, but as aforementioned, victory in one of the four annual majors will propel his career to the next stage and provide a platform to craft unprecedented success. He’s certainly got the game but does he have the mindset?
2021 Wins: 1
Have you come across a single golf fan who isn’t a supporter of Tony Finau? No, neither have we! Arguably the most likeable guy on tour, everyone wants Finau to do well so when he finally recorded his second PGA Tour victory after five years in August, the golf world was ecstatic for him. Having lost his previous three playoffs, the victory over Cameron Smith would have instilled a bit more confidence for the next time a shootout is required.
Finau is another example of a player who has recorded a top 10 at every major, which should be applauded and highlighted. The problem is, however, is that he won’t be remembered for those top 10 finishes and he too needs to push on to record his maiden major. It’s still unfathomable that Finau has only recorded three wins in his professional career but the following year could be the long overdue breakout that the world of golf is screaming for.
2021 Wins: 2
Of everyone on this list, Sam Burns is quickly becoming a favourite of mine purely because his determination refuses to wane. He is going to be a very special golfer and his two PGA Tour victories this season - the Valspar Championship and the Sanderson Farms Championship - could have been even sweeter if it wasn’t for his playoff loss to Abraham Ancer at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational.
At the age of 25, he is clearly special and if it wasn’t for Morikawa, perhaps he would be the prospect that the golf world would speak so highly of. Unlike a few others on this list, I don’t think it’s imperative that he records a major championship immediately, he’s got plenty of time and I also expect him to add multiple PGA Tour titles to his resume next season. Keep your eye on Burns, the boy has it all.
2021 Wins: 2
It does not feel as long ago as 2019 when Max Homa secured his maiden PGA Tour title, but I guess time flies when on tour, right? His most impressive victory was the Genesis Invitational which was acquired in February 2021. With a packed out field, at a course he dreamed of playing as a boy, he was awarded the trophy by none other than his childhood hero: Tiger Woods. Another victory, which followed at the Fortinet Championship, pushed his overall PGA Tour tally to three - but his major record is less than promising.
Of course, still at the age of 31, there’s plenty of time for Homa to carve his name in golfing folklore and win one of the four annual prizes. Nevertheless, if he can continue the grind into and start the new year well, he may play himself into scintillating form and peak at the right time. While there remains a plethora of players to win their inaugural major ahead of him, he’s got the swing - and humour - to cause an upset of his own.
2021 Wins: 0
The only player on this list not to have won a single event throughout 2021, so why is he present here? We all know how good the 30-year-old is, that’s common knowledge, but his struggles this year have been troubling to witness and he remains winless since 2019.
The term ‘form is temporary but class is permanent’ comes to mind when referring to his recent form but Fleetwood is the only one who can dig himself away from the rut he finds himself in. He has come so close to winning a major championship, even closer to triumphing in a regular PGA Tour event that he certainly has what it takes to get over the line. The initial win on American soil could break the duck and launch his career upwards - and there would be no more deserving recipient than Fleetwood.
There’s ten golfers who we fancy to have a promising 2022, providing they break some unwanted records that they currently own!
What do you think of our picks? Is there anyone who you’ll be tracking next season?
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