We are not having our usual debate on a singular topic this month, but rather have decided to try and select the top five most underrated players on the PGA Tour.
Before I get to those players who I feel go largely overlooked and who I think could blossom into bonafide stars someday, I feel obliged to look at those who I think have been major disappointments, who have not yet reached the potential that so many predicted or expected of them.
Guys who I think have been disappointments include Rickie Fowler, Jason Day, Charles Howell III, Sergio Garcia and Dustin Johnson.
Every one of them came onto the tour with talent dripping from their Footjoys. All were not only expected to win lots of tournaments but multiple majors and thus far the have combined for ZERO majors.
Fowler had an incredible record last year in majors, finishing in the top five in all four and actually had the lowest scoring average for all four combined.
But he did not win any and he still has just one win on his entire resume, which is strange because he is so talented and so locked in. He seemingly has no weakness.
Johnson probably should have won the PGA championship a few years back but mistook a bunker for a bad lie and grounded his club. He, like Fowler has the total package and while he is a multiple winner, he should have more.
Jason Day is always being referred to a sure fire major champion and he’s always in the mix but then always seems to go south on the back nine on Sunday.
Garcia and Howell are both seasoned vets who came on the scene as sure fire major winners and can’t seem to pull it off. At least Garcia has won tournaments and has been a wonderful Ryder Cup player. Howell is an enigma.
Now to the subject of this column, my most underrated.
Instead of five, I have chosen six (sue me) and they are not listed in order.
Sangmoon Bae: As of this writing in mid April he is ranked 81st in the world.
Bae has won twice on tour, but what is impressive is he’s always in the hunt and has a wonderful all around game.
Ryan Palmer: No relation to Arnie, Ryan has been on tour since 2000, has eight wins and is ranked 27th in the world.
Yet he is seldom mentioned as a favorite in any tournament. But he is always in the mix. If he could putt well he might be one of the all time greats.
Kevin Streelman: He has two wins on tour (including last year’s Travelers in Hartford) and is ranked 71st in the world.
I love his game and his attitude. He’s still young and I predict stardom for him.
Hideki Matsuyama: This young Japanese player is going to be a superstar. He is the real deal. In his second full year on tour he has already won the Memorial Tournament and is ranked 15th in the world. He WILL win a major and soon.
Billy Horschel: I love this guy. He’s fiery, he’s talented and he’s really good.
He’s ranked 19th in the world and has three wins, including two last year in the Fed Ex Cup playoffs, en route to winning the Fed Ex title.
Cameron Tringale: This Aussie has a lot of game and is just starting to feel comfortable on tour. He is ranked 76th and has yet to win but he’s always on the leaderboard. Just a matter of time.WHAT'S YOUR REACTION?