Greatest golfers in 2021: Jon Rahm, Collin Morikawa headline record of 5 most significant gamers this 12 months

The previous 12 months in golf has been utterly insane. A lot has occurred, so many issues that had been forgotten to time. Some that wanted to be forgotten to time but in addition so much that wanted to be remembered. Foremost amongst these is a listing of the 5 finest gamers of the final calendar 12 months.

Skilled golf has traditionally lacked a unified “this is who truly mattered in a given 12 months” record. Maybe this solely issues to me, however once I look again on a given 12 months, I wish to know who performed the very best and most significant golf. Who had the very best 12 months on the highest degree of the game. An All-NBA staff of kinds, if you’ll.

There are, after all, 1,000,000 methods to find out this utilizing myriad standards and parameters. And whereas I am only one author — one shopper of golf — I do have a reasonably good grasp in regards to the breadth of what occurred throughout the final 12 months. When you would possibly disagree about the way in which I went about figuring out it, and a part of me hopes you do as a result of that is half the enjoyable!, I narrowed down my record of the 5 golfers who performed the very best and most significant golf of 2021.

These usually are not essentially the strokes-gained heroes, though a few of them thrived in that statistical class. Nor are they the gamers with probably the most victories (as a result of not all victories are created equally). No, they’re the 5 guys who, after we look again 25 years any more golf in 2021, we are going to keep in mind as a mix of a very powerful and finest during the last 12 months.

Right here they’re.

1. Jon Rahm

He was the simplest participant to incorporate. His record of accomplishments is ridiculous, however even his win whole — solely that U.S. Open victory in June — belies how good he was. It is vital to notice that Rahm led the Memorial Event in June by six earlier than having to withdraw following Spherical 3 after testing constructive for COVID-19. He additionally completed T1 on the Tour Championship if you happen to have a look at who took the fewest strokes all through that week and do not consider gamers’ beginning scores.

Rahm’s 2.28 strokes gained was the very best on this planet in 2021, simply forward of Patrick Cantlay’s 2.14 and properly forward of Daniel Berger — who completed third — at 1.85. Rahm additionally had the very best share of high 10s (62%) throughout all occasions worldwide and the bottom cumulative rating of the golfers who made the minimize in any respect 4 main championships. At these 4 majors, he completed T5-T8-1-T3. He beat or tied 539 of 552 (97.6%) of golfers on the 4 most vital occasions. And if all of that wasn’t sufficient, he was one in all simply three golfers to win greater than a single level for Europe on the 2020 Ryder Cup at Whistling Straits.

2. Collin Morikawa

The one different lock for me. Whereas his strokes-gained quantity was not as spectacular as Rahm’s (Morikawa completed tenth on this planet in strokes gained), he received a serious, had the second-highest top-10 share behind Rahm and took the Race to Dubai by successful the DP World Tour Championship. He was additionally a nightmare for Europe on the Ryder Cup. Morikawa is an amazing instance of strokes gained not telling the whole story. In accordance with Knowledge Golf, although he ranked tenth general in strokes gained for the 12 months, he ranked third once you have a look at the ninety fifth percentile of gamers’ rounds. In different phrases, his finest stuff was higher than the very best stuff of everybody apart from Patrick Cantlay and Rahm.

3. Jordan Spieth

I do know everybody can be shocked that I included Spieth, however his case is pretty hermetic. He completed fourth in strokes gained on the 12 months, received the Texas Open and legitimately blended it up at each the Masters and Open Championship. He might have pretty simply received both a type of. Moreover, he amassed the fifth-most OWGR factors behind Morikawa, Rahm, Viktor Hovland and Sam Burns. You might have made a compelling argument that, for many of the first half of 2021, Spieth was as soon as once more the very best golfer on this planet.

4. Patrick Cantlay

This would possibly shock you, however Cantlay was truly troublesome for me to incorporate on right here. He was not excellent on the main championships (finest end was T15 on the U.S. Open), however he was excellent in every single place else and received two big-time occasions at Memorial (though Rahm in all probability ought to have received) and that epic playoff on the BMW Championship over Bryson DeChambeau. Finally, the truth that he was the one golfer apart from Rahm to high 2.0 strokes gained on the 12 months received me over, however I strongly thought of throwing Brooks Koepka or Louis Oosthuizen into this spot.

5. Hideki Matsuyama

One other participant who will not win any statistical wars however did win maybe the 2 most significant event of the season. First, he turned the primary golfer from Asia to win the Masters in April, after which he received in his house nation of Japan on the Zozo Championship within the fall. The remainder of his 12 months was pretty tepid — top-five finishes on the Olympics and in Memphis on the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational — however any record of the very best and most vital golfers in 2021 has to have Matsuyama on it.

The hardest golfers to go away off the record had been Louis Oosthuizen, Bryson DeChambeau, Brooks Koepka and Phil Mickelson. All of them had fascinating instances to make, however in the end did not win sufficient, weren’t constant sufficient or did not play sufficient high-quality golf all year long to warrant inclusion.

Mickelson is very intriguing as a result of I feel after we look again on 2021, his PGA Championship victory can be one of the vital memorable moments. However he was so unhealthy the remainder of the 12 months that it made it unimaginable to incorporate him. He misplaced strokes over the course of the whole 2020-21 PGA Tour season and didn’t rank within the high 150 on this planet in strokes gained. He did not have one other high 10 worldwide apart from that PGA win, which by some means makes the PGA win much more spectacular but in addition signifies that he falls in need of making this record.

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