The ten most intriguing golfers heading into 2022 embrace Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Bryson DeChambeau

Who’s essentially the most intriguing participant in golf going into 2022? Is it Tiger Woods and his quest for one more comeback in a profession that has been outlined by them? Is it Jon Rahm’s bid to win majors in back-to-back years and avenge a few of his close to misses in 2021? What about Jordan Spieth’s reemergence as a top-20 participant on this planet and whether or not he can proceed enjoying at that clip?

Although golf’s offseason is minuscule, a variety of gamers take off an enormous chunk of the autumn and winter, which offers time to judge the place they’re at of their careers and what they feasibly may accomplish going into a brand new 12 months. That new 12 months is now upon us, which implies it is time to check out the ten most intriguing gamers going into the 12 months.

You may insert any variety of adjectives after “most” (essential, underrated and gratifying to look at are all phrases that come to thoughts), however these are the fellows whose profession narratives are most attention-grabbing. Certain, any person may come out of nowhere – from outdoors the highest 500 on this planet – and win twice in February, and hastily that individual is perhaps on the record. However, for now, we’re speaking stars or not less than golfers who’re star-adjacent going into 2022.

Listed here are my 10.

1. Tiger Woods: After the final month, it might be extraordinarily disingenuous to have anybody else No. 1 right here. If Tiger is energetic, and even remotely wholesome, every part revolves round him, and it all the time will. The truth that his swing pace and ball pace have been each prime shelf on the PNC Championship just a few weeks in the past and that it has been over a 12 months since he performed in an OWGR occasion, he is a straightforward No. 1, particularly with Augusta Nationwide and the Outdated Course at St. Andrews on deck in 2022.

2. Bryson DeChambeau: It is arduous for any person to usurp DeChambeau, and it seems that the most effective participant of all time making an attempt to comeback from the gnarly aftermath of a horrific automobile wreck is the one one who can do it. DeChambeau stays endlessly entertaining, even when he isn’t enjoying nicely. And after a 12 months wherein he did not end within the prime 10 at any of the 4 majors, I am fascinated to see what he does to rectify that.

3. Collin Morikawa: I would not have Morikawa this excessive if not for that Open Championship victory. However now we’re speaking about an historic main tempo — two of his first eight — that hasn’t been achieved in practically a century (Bobby Jones did it within the 1920s). Can he make it three of his first 10? 4 of his first 12? It is a enormous storyline going into 2022, and whereas Morikawa is just not the content material creator the caliber of DeChambeau, his sport is in a extra secure state going into the brand new 12 months and is fascinating to comply with in and of itself.

4. Jon Rahm: He is a mix of the 2 guys forward of him. He says attention-grabbing issues (albeit in a really completely different approach than DeChambeau), and his general sport is healthier than Morikawa’s. Oh, and he is the No. 1 participant on the planet and his win complete in 2021 was not commensurate together with his statistical efficiency. Is there a correction coming? And can any person who has walked in Rory McIlroy’s footsteps as a golf sage at a younger age tackle an excellent greater voice within the sport in 2022 and past?

5. Jordan Spieth: Information Golf posted an interesting statistical comp for Spieth this week (Freddie {Couples}), and it jogged my memory that despite the fact that Spieth made a U-turn in 2021, he nonetheless feels barely erratic going into 2022. I believe we’re getting one other top-10 12 months out of him, however I am much less certain of that than I used to be, say, 4 years in the past. Regardless, he is the uncommon participant who intrigues whether or not it is going rather well or actually poorly. He may additionally transfer into the four-major membership with 29 different males, together with contemporaries Brooks Koepka and Rory McIlroy.

6. Viktor Hovland: He possibly would not be on right here if he was 30, however he is 24 and youth wins out in terms of intrigue. He additionally has three PGA Tour wins and is coming off one other (unofficial) victory on the Hero World Problem in December. I’ve but to fulfill any person within the sport who has something however glowing issues to say about him. Oh yeah, he’s maybe the single best ball-striker on the planet. So I am very intrigued by Hovland in 2022.

7. Brooks Koepka: Talking of golf equipment, Koepka can get to 5 main wins this 12 months, which solely 19 different males have executed and solely 12 have executed since World Struggle II. His golf, particularly at non-majors, is just not all the time essentially the most thrilling, however as a participant and an historic determine, the intrigue is limitless. He is additionally not afraid to say no matter is on is thoughts, which we came upon simply earlier than final 12 months’s Ryder Cup. Although his phrases may be abrasive, they typically include a load of fact.

8. Rory McIlroy: Whereas I am doubtful about McIlroy profitable a significant, he is too intertwined because the preeminent voice of all the sport to go away off this record. He performed terrifically on the finish of 2021 following his emotional Ryder Cup, and he carries a gravity that few others within the sport at the moment emit. Any match he reveals up at issues just because he confirmed up. I am intrigued to see if he can go on an prolonged run of world-class play equally to how he did after his emotional missed minimize on the 2019 Open Championship at Royal Portrush when he went on a run of eight prime 10s in his final 10 occasions.

9. Justin Thomas: You may make the argument — I most likely would not, however you can —  that he is the most effective participant on this planet. J.T. admitted on the finish of 2021 that the 12 months was not successful for him – regardless of profitable the Gamers – and he has extra “I’ve to win this occasion” in him than a lot of the superstars within the sport, which implies he may come out scorching beginning 2022. The half that I will be targeted on with him is his main efficiency. Since profitable the 2017 PGA Championship, he has simply three prime 10s in his final 14 appearances, which doesn’t match up with the place his expertise stage is at.

10. Matthew Wolff: There have been not less than 5 different guys I may have put on this spot — Will Zalatoris, Patrick Reed, Tony Finau, Dustin Johnson and Xander Schauffele amongst them — however Wolff has that stage of expertise and I even have much less of an concept what I am getting from him. He may rack up two prime 10s at majors like he did on the finish of 2020, or he could possibly be away from the sport for lengthy stretches like he was in 2021. Regardless, I am extraordinarily intrigued by how he performs, the place (if) he contends and what the third full 12 months of what has been a really profitable profession so far appears to be like like.

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