12 Golfers Who Should Have Won More
There are no guarantees of success in sport. Over the years there have been many young prodigies who have been identified as being the next big thing. In golf, we are always trying to find the next Tiger Woods.
Every so often a young star will emerge who appears to have everything needed to succeed at the very highest level. For a plethora of reasons, it doesn’t always work out that way.
Sports Journalist, Derek Clements, lists 12 golfers he believes have underachieved. Some of the names in this list may surprise you.
Lee won the US Amateur Championship when he was just 18. In February 2009, he won the Johnnie Walker Classic in Perth, Australia, a tournament co-sanctioned by the European Tour, Asian and Australasian Tours. He became the youngest winner on the European Tour in the process and only the second amateur winner. He appeared to have the world at his feet. It hasn’t quite turned out that way, however. He won the Greenbrier Classic in 2015 and also has a Nationwide Tour win to his name but he has never lived up to that early promise.
When I watched Schnierjans finish in a tie for 12th at The Open in 2015 while still an amateur I was absolutely convinced that I was watching a superstar of the future. He seemed to have everything - a fabulious swing, a wonderful temperament, a great temperament and movie-star good looks. He is a former world number one amateur and living proof that that counts for nothing in the professional game. He lost his PGA Tour card and is now battling away on the Korn Ferry Tour.
The only man ever to break 60 on the DP World Tour, feat he achieved during the second round of the Portugal Masters in 2018, Fisher was a prodigy of Nick Faldo and was singled out for greatness when he turned professional. He played in the Walker Cup at the age of 16. He won the Czech Open in 2011 but that remains a rare highlight in a career that has been a bitter disappointment that has seen him lose his playing privileges several times.
The Frenchman won the Turkish Airlines Open in 2013. He racked up seven top-10s and finished the year in sixth place int e Race to Dubai. He came to global prominence at the 2014 WGC-Accenture Matchplay Championship when he produced a series of Houdini-like escapes in the final against Jason Day, who was left shaking his head in disbelief. That year he also finished ninth at The Open and seventh at the US PGA Championship. He was also a member of the European team that thrashed the USA in the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles. He won the Turkish Airlines Open again in 2015. But the enigmatic Frenchman was never happy in the spotlight and has struggled to recapture anything like that early form.
Yes, I know that Bradley won the 2022 Zozo Championship but let’s examine the evidence, shall we? In 2011, he won the Byron Nelson Classic and the US PGA Championship - in his rookie season. He followed it with a victory at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational in 2012. He then had to wait until 2018 before taking the BMW Championship, and a further four years before winning the Zozo. He is a notoriously slow player and often gives the impression that his indecision gets in his way. To give him some credit, he had to reinvent himself when the powers-that-be banned anchored putting.
Wise was born in 1996, so there is still time for him to turn things around. But after a sensational start to his PGA Tour career things have gone quiet. He turned professional at the age of 16, won the Air Capital Classic on the Web.com Tour in 2017 and earned his PGA Tour card for the 2018 season. In May 2018, still aged only 21, he won the AT&T Byron nelson in only his 18th start on the PGA Tour, and was later named rookie of the year. But things have since gone pretty quiet for Wise, although he did have a pretty decent season in 2021-22. But that second win remains elusive.
Charles Howell III
The American has defected to LIV Golf, which confirms the suspicion that he has never really been hungry enough. He accumulated an impressive $42m in prize money on the PGA Tour, but won just three times - in 2002, 2007 and 2018. A man with his undoubted talent and skill should have won a bucketful of tournaments. And his performance in the majors was dreadful. His best finish was a tie for 10th at the US PGA in 2003.
Fowler has won five times on the PGA Tour and twice on the DP World Tour, so you may wonder what on earth he is doing in this list. To find the answer to that you need to go back to 2014 when he finished tied fifth at the Masters, tied second at the US Open, tied second at The Open and tied third at the US PGA. He also finished runner-up at The Masters in 2018. But, like so many, he decided to make some swing changes. His most recent victory came at the Phoenix Open way back in 2016. There have been some recent signs of recovery - he finished second at the 2022 Zozo Championship. But Fowler should have achieved far, far more than he has
It is scarcely credible that a man who possessed as much talent as the Wild Thing won only two majors, the 1991 US PGA Championship and the 1995 Open Championship. And he is the only man in history to have won two majors and never to have played in a Ryder Cup. Apart from his two majors, he only won three PGA Tour events. Sadly, Daly possessed a self-destruct button and had a taste for alcohol and gambling.
Weiskopf won 16 times, including The Open at Troon in 1973. He was a hugely gifted golfer. In fact, Gary Player once said that he was a better golfer than Jack Nicklaus. But he threw away many, many golf tournaments as a direct result of being unable to control his temper. Fellow players and the media nicknamed him The Towering Inferno, which tells you everything you need to know about the late American.
In 2016 England’s Matt Wallace won six tournaments on the Alps Tour. The following year he won the Open de Portugal and in 2018 he landed the Hero Indian Open, the BMW International Open and the Made in Denmark. He was widely expected to be given a captain’s pick by Thomas Bjorn for the 2018 Ryder Cup at le Golf National but was controversially overlooked, and he was not happy. He divides his time between the DP World Tour and PGA Tour and has found it a difficult balancing act. There has beneath odd week when he looks like the golfer he was in 2017-18, and he did lose in a playoff to Thriston Lawrence at the Omega European Masters in 2022, but his last win came in 2018.
A two-time Walker Cup player, he seems to have it all, so why on earth is Rodgers still looking for his first victory on the PGA Tour? He won on the Web.com Tour in 2015 but since then there has been nothing. There have been plenty of near-misses, including a tied third at the Travelers in 2016, and the following year he led the Farmers Insurance Open after 54 holes, only to fade in the final round. In 2018 he lost in a playoff to Charles Howell III at the RSM Classic after rounds of 61 and 62 at the weekend. In the 2021-22 season he finished 95th in the FedEx Cup standings.
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