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Do You Think These Are Future World Number One Golfers

By: | Thu 31 Aug 2023

Golf is such a turbulent sport that it is ridiculously difficult to predict anything that may happen in the professional game.

The margin between winning and losing can sometimes be less than a yard, and as golfers we know how difficult it is to control that tiny white ball.

However, there are a collection of players who demonstrate that they are supremely skilled at this sport and they just might know what they’re doing.

Below, we examine eight characters who we believe have the potential to become world number one in the future - do you agree with any of our predictions?

Collin Morikawa

Highest Ranking: 2

It isn’t worrying but perhaps interesting that Collin Morikawa has failed to replicate his glorious campaign of 2021. A World Golf Championship, The Open Championship and the DP World Tour Championship headed back home with Morikawa, who must have thought that the world stopped during that frantic year. He managed to rise as high as second in the world on October 24, 2021. November will mark 24 months since his last victory, but this man is definitely cut from the cloth expected from any world number one.

Viktor Hovland

Viktor Hovland

(Image Credit: Kevin Diss Photography)

Highest Ranking: 3

Viktor Hovland joins Morikawa in being a very likeable character who you can’t help but root for. Not only that, but the Norwegian has gone from the smiley character to a cheerful assassin, having won some monumental titles in recent history, including the FedEx Cup. Since recording his first PGA Tour victory in 2020 - which seemingly felt like it was never coming - he has won on five more occasions, including the alluring Memorial Tournament, BMW Championship and Tour Championship. Two DP World Tour victories have come since 2020 too, as Hovland showcases he can mix it anywhere on the planet. Hovland is a fantastic golfer but seems to be an even better person.

Xander Schauffele

Highest Ranking: 4

Xander Schauffele is approaching his 30th birthday, but after a good amateur career, will he be content with his performances as a pro so far? It’s a really difficult question to provide an answer for; on one hand, he has racked up seven PGA Tour victories and two DP World Tour wins, but that elusive major championship remains just that… elusive. Of course, winning the Olympic gold medal will always be a special part of his journey, but would he swap that for a green jacket? Only the Californian will know. He enjoyed a good campaign last year, winning three times and his first in Scotland, but it’s been a fairly lacklustre year from the American so far.

Cameron Smith

Highest Ranking: 2

Cameron Smith is a difficult golfer to predict as a future world number one purely due to the haziness of the Official World Golf Rankings. If LIV Golf receives similar ranking points, then surely Smith is a shoo-in to climb back up the ladder and sit comfortably at the top. Conversely, if players are free to move between tours then he’ll qualify for the ranking points that currently only the PGA Tour are enjoying. If we know one thing, it’s that Smith is a very, very good golfer who has the most envious short game of arguably anyone who is currently active.

Tommy Fleetwood

Highest Ranking: 9

No-one has recorded more PGA Tour top 5s without a win than Tommy Fleetwood. No-one in the entire history of the PGA Tour, which was founded in 1929. What can we take away from this? Has Fleetwood been awfully unlucky or does he lack the killer instinct needed to beat the very best of the best? Five victories on the DP World Tour would indicate it’s the former, but there’s no denying that there’s more pressure on the PGA Tour. Nevertheless, Fleetwood has won the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on two occasions, and that event typically produces a stellar field. If the Englishman can just win once in America, it could very well open the floodgates - and we’re here for it!

Charley Hull

Highest Ranking: 9

Charley Hull had the entire nation of England supporting her efforts at Walton Heath for the AIG Women’s Open in August. Sadly, it was not meant to be as Lillia Vu recorded her second major victory of the campaign, but Hull is certainly trending in the right direction. When the Englishwoman broke onto the scene in 2013, she was immediately awarded Rookie of the Year on the Ladies European Tour and scooped her inaugural professional win only one year later. Success in America would have to wait, but two titles since 2016 shows progression has been made. Remarkably, Hull is still only 27 years old; can she become the most successful Englishwoman of the modern era?

Minjee Lee

Highest Ranking: 4

How cool would it be to have a brother and sister leading the Official World Golf Rankings for the male and female game? Well, that exact scenario can play out if both Minjee and Min Woo Lee live up to the potential they seemingly have. Minjee Lee enjoyed a career high ranking of 4th last year, but she has dropped steadily and currently occupies the 12th position. The two-time major winner has bragging rights over her brother for now, but she will be disappointed with her major finishes this year - failing to break the top 10 in any event. The moment the Australian returns to the lethal form she’s known for, it could be the moment Australia have their first ever women’s world number one golfer since the rankings were introduced in 2006!

Leona Maguire

Highest Ranking: 11

Whilst Charley Hull has remained in the top 100 since her first year as a professional, Leona Maguire has taken a vastly different journey. The Irishwoman did not break the top 100 until 2021 - which was three years after making her pro debut back in 2018. The 28-year-old has enjoyed her time in American thus far, winning last year before replicating that feat for this campaign. However, after two top 10 finishes in major championships last year, she failed to breach the same category in five attempts for 2023. No matter what happens now, Maguire will always be the first Irish woman to win twice on the LPGA, but we believe there’s plenty more success around the corner for this impressive golfer.

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What do you think? post your thoughts and feedback on the Golfshake Forum: https://forum.golfshake.com/

Tags: PGA Tour lpga LIV Golf LET FedEx Cup european tour dp world tour daily picks

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