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2022: Who Are The Biggest Winners And Losers in Golf

By: | Thu 22 Dec 2022

This has been a year that we will not forget in a hurry. 2022 was the year when LIV Golf arrived, many of the world’s best players defected after being given massive signing-on cheques and were suspended by the PGA Tour.

Legal battles lie ahead, and there will be further defections to LIV Golf. Here, we take a look at some of golf’s biggest winners and losers in 2022.

WINNER - Rory Mclroy

Rory McIlroy won the Canadian Open and the Tour Championship, claimed the FedEx Cup and won the DP World Tour’s Race to Dubai, only the second golfer to claim both titles. And he reclaimed the top spot in the world rankings for good measure. On top of that, he spoke a huge amount of common sense about LIV Golf and everything it stands for.

Rory McIlroy

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

LOSER - Rory McIlroy

I know what you are thinking. BUT…for all the success he achieved, McIlroy will reflect on yet another year without adding to his tally of four majors. His last such success came in 2014. He finished second at The Masters, the one title he needs to complete the career grand slam. And he had the Claret Jug snatched from his grasp by Cameron Smith. For a player of his ability to have won “only,” four majors is a serious under-achievement.

WINNER - Ryan Fox

The New Zealander has always been known as a big hitter, but 2022 was the year he moved to a new level. He made 24 starts, winning twice, finishing second four times and third once. And he finished the season second in the DP World Tour rankings and 29th in the world rankings, guaranteeing his place in all four majors in 2023. He is also a thoroughly likeable individual.

Ryan Fox

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)


LOSER - Phil Mickelson

Lefty went from hero to zero in 2022. Having won the US PGA Championship against all the odds in 2021, he finished the year on a high. But then LIV Golf came along. Mickelson accused the PGA Tour of greed and then, in an unguarded moment, described his new Saudi paymasters as “scary mother******s”. And his form went through the floor.

WINNER - Matt Fitzpatrick

Matt Fitzpatrick has become a serial winner on the DP World Tour. He clearly had the game to win on the PGA Tour and came close several times. And then came the US Open. Fitzpatrick beat a world-class field to claim his first major. He will be a key member of Europe’s Ryder Cup team in 2023, where he will be looking to secure his first point.

Matt Fitzpatrick

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)


LOSER - Greg Norman

The Australian is LIV Golf’s chief executive. He is, no doubt, being handsomely rewarded for his efforts but he has become a divisive figure within the sport. Rory McIlroy has said that the only way there can be peace is for Norman to stand aside, and Tiger Woods has also joined the debate, telling Norman that he should resign. For his part, Norman says that he pays no attention to the criticism. But rumours persist that he is going to be replaced in 2023. Watch this space.

WINNER - Scottie Scheffler

He finished 2021 still looking for his first victory but had made his Ryder Cup debut for the USA. His pedigree was in doubt but he was still looking for his maiden PGA Tour success. There was a sense that the floodgates would open when he won for the first time - and that’s exactly what happened. His first win came at the Phoenix Open in February. He followed it with another victory at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and then added the WGC Dell Technologies and crowned it all by winning The Masters in April. He also topped the world rankings. A year he will never forget.

LOSER - Sergio Garcia

Oh Sergio! The Spaniard has always divided opinion but he surpassed himself in 2022. Before defecting to LIV Golf he was quoted as saying that he couldn’t wait to leave the DP World Tour. After The Open he announced that he was going to remain a member of the tour because he still harboured hopes of playing in an 11th Ryder Cup. But then came the BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth. After a poor opening round, he climbed on a flight back to the USA. He was subsequently fined, is no longer a member of the DP World Tour and has fallen out of the top 100 in the world rankings.

Sergio Garcia

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

WINNER - PGA Tour Members

The arrival of LIV Golf has seen a number of high-profile defections from the PGA Tour. It has torn the professional game asunder, and it was clear that something had to be done. Jay Monahan and the PGA Tour responded by increasing prize money, introducing a series of tournaments with massive prize funds and announcing a new strategic alliance with the DP World Tour.

LOSER - Henrik Stenson

Being named captain of Europe’s Ryder Cup team should have been the crowning glory of Stenson’s distinguished career. He made all the right noises when given the job but then announced that he was joining LIV Golf and was promptly sacked and replaced by Luke Donald. It is a sad end for a man whose victory in The Open inspired so many people.

WINNER - Seasmus Power

When the Irishman won the Barbasol Championship in 2021 there was a sense that it was a freak result. He was no spring chicken and had been scraping a living together for several years. But then he went out and added the Bermuda Championship as the new 2022-23 season got underway. He also finished in a tie for third at Mayakoba and tied for fifth at the RSM Classic and ended 2022 in first place in the FedEx Cup standings.

LOSER - Lee Westwood

Westwood has won 25 times on the DP World Tour and twice on the PGA Tour. In 2021 he finished second in successive weeks at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and the Players Championship and qualified for an 11th Ryder Cup. He was widely touted as a likely candidate to captain Europe in Italy in 2023 but ruled himself out, saying that he wanted to play in one more match. But then he made the move to LIV Golf. He has now fallen outside the top 100 in the world rankings.

WINNER - Sepp Straka

The year might have begun with people asking “Sepp who?” Well, they know who he is now. In 2020-21 he finished 106th in the FedEx Cup standings to retain his PGA Tour card. But then came a new season. It began with a series of missed cuts for the Austrian. But then he won the Honda Classic and followed it by finishing joint third at the RBC Heritage and second at the FedEx St Jude. He ended up finishing seventh in the FedEx Cup standings and began the new season with second place at the Sanderson Farms Classic.

LOSER - Tiger Woods

His victory in The Masters in 2019 remains one of the great comeback stories. But then came his car crash in 2021. He returned to play in The Masters in 2022 and surprised everybody, including himself, by making the cut. But he was a shadow of the man who won 15 majors. He also made the cut at the US PGA Championship but was forced to withdraw as the physical effort was simply too much for him. He teed it up at The Open at St Andrews but failed to make the cut. Perhaps we now need to accept his days as a winner are finally over.

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Tags: view from the fairway PGA Tour LIV Golf dp world tour

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