The Golfers You Should Be Watching in 2023
LIKE it or not, we have to accept that Tiger Woods’ best days are behind him. And so the search continues for the next superstar in the world of professional golf.
Of course there are no guarantees, but we have attempted to identify 10 golfers whose progress is definitely worth keeping an eye on during the 2022-23 season on both the PGA and DP World Tours.
Sahith Theegala - PGA Tour
Theegala was born on December 4, 1997 in Orange, California. He completed his maiden season on the PGA Tour in 2021-22 and made a huge impact. He was tied second at the Travelers Championship and tied third at the Phoenix Open and made it all the way to the Tour Championship. In 32 starts he made 26 cuts, enjoyed five top-10 finishes and an impressive 11 top-25 finishes. His first victory will surely follow in 2023.
Justin Suh - PGA Tour
Suh was born in San Jose in June 1997 and enjoyed a stellar amateur career, topping the world rankings in 2018 and 2019. He could be the real deal and is worth keeping an eye on during 2023. In 2022, he posted eight top-10 finishes and 14 in the top-25 this in his first 22 starts on the Korn Ferry Tour. He then won the Korn Ferry Tour Championship and finished the season on top of the rankings, gaining full exemption for the PGA Tour season. He was also voted Korn Ferry Tour player of the year.
Robby Shelton - PGA Tour
Shelton represented the USA at the Walker Cup in 2015, after which he turned professional. As an amateur he finished third at the 2015 Barbasol Championship, so there was no doubting his pedigree. It hasn’t all been plain sailing since then. He won twice on the Korn Ferry Tour in 2019, securing his PGA Tour card. But he failed to keep it and returned to the Korn Ferry Tour. But two victories in 2022 have seen him join the elite again - and this time the story could have a happier ending.
Carl Yuan - PGA Tour
Yuan Yechun, also known as Carl, was born in China in March 1997, and represented his country at the Olympic Games in 2021. He has a swing that is all his own, but here’s the thing - it works! He turned professional in 2018 and joined the Korn Ferry Tour. He had two runner-up finishes in 2020 and another in 2021. And in 2022 he won the Louisiana Open and gained his PGA Tour card for 2023.
Will Gordon - PGA Tour
Born on July 26, 1996 in North Carolina, Gordon secured a return to the PGA Tour via the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. He was the points leader among the 25 players who earned cards via The Finals 25 off the strength of his win at the Albertsons Boise Open, but finished behind Justin Suh on the Korn Ferry Tour Finals Eligibility Points List. Closed the regular season with back-to-back fifth-place finishes. He finished tied third at the Mayakoba Championship and clearly means to keep his card this time, having failed to do so in 2020-21.
Nathan Kimsey - DP World Tour
Kimsey had a year to remember on the Challenge Tour in 2022, winning the Rolex Challenge Tour Grand Finals and topping the season-ending rankings. He was a top amateur, representing GB&I at the Walker Cup in 2013 before turning pro later that same year. He made it to the DP World Tour in 2018 but lost his card. There is a widespread feeling that he has now served his apprenticeship.
Jeremy Freiburghaus - DP World Tour
The Swiss golfer won the English Trophy on the Challenge Tour in October 2022 on his way to gaining full playing rights on the DP World Tour for 2023. He also had two runner-up finishes and twice finished fourth in what was a memorable season.
Alexander Knappe - DP World Tour
The German has been around for a while. He was born on March 1, 1989 and turned pro in 2011. He won three times on the Pro Golf Tour and has four Challenge Tour victories to his name, with two of those coming in 2022. He also won the Dimension Data Pro-Am on the Sunshine Tour in February 2022.
Robin Sciot-Siegrist - DP World Tour
Joined the paid ranks after a promising amateur career, where impressive performances in the Arnold Palmer Cup and the Amateur Championship made him the World Amateur Number 22. Won numerous tournaments at the University of Louisville where he had the best career stroke average in the University's history. Won his first title as a professional at the 2017 Galgorm Resort & Spa Northern Ireland Open presented by Modest! Golf on the Challenge Tour. Bounced back from the disappointment of finishing 16th on the 2019 Road to Mallorca Rankings, one spot outside the automatic promotions spots, when he secured his 2020 European Tour card at European Tour Qualifying School Final Stage. Lost his card but has regained it.
Tom McKibbin - DP World Tour
And last, but by no means least…it is just possible that McKibbin could be the next big thing in European golf. He learnt his game at Hollywood Golf Club. If that sounds familiar, it should do - it’s where a certain Rory McIlroy played during his teenage years. McKibbin enjoyed a storied amateur career before gaining his DP World Tour card for the 2022-23 season and in only his second start, at the South African Open, he recorded a hole in one. He finished in a tie for 18th place at the Joburg Open in his first appearance.
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