The 2016 PGA Tour season provided countless memorable moments and with the start of a new year we can turn our attention to what to expect for the 2017 calendar year. There is no shortage of intriguing storylines to keep an eye out for with a focus on some of the top players in the world. Here is a look at the top five golfers to watch for 2017.
McIlroy finished the 2015-16 season on fire with two wins over his final three tournaments to capture last year’s FedEx Cup. McIlroy had posted six top-10 finishes prior to the playoffs but had yet to win before really turning it on down the final stretch on his way to a $10 million bonus. McIlroy is entering the prime of his career and should be full of confidence after the way 2016 came to an end. All eyes will be on the Irishmen to see how he fares in 2017 and whether he can build on the excellence we saw from him at the end of last season.
It was only a matter of time before D.J. delivered and after so many close calls he finally dominated on the big stage in 2016. Johnson opened the year by beating Jim Furyk at Oakmont and then captured a career-defining win at the U.S. Open shortly after that. Johnson wasn’t done there though as he won his next start at the World Golf Championships-Bridgestone Invitational and then again at the BMW Championship. Johnson led the way with 15 top-10’s overall last season and while he failed to capture the FedEx Cup he is poised to pick up from where he left off with another dominant season in 2017.
Day missed most of last season because of a nagging back injury but nobody had forgotten how dominant when he is healthy. There will be questions about his ability when he returns and all eyes will be on Day to see how he fares. Day has the potential to be in the best in the world when healthy but the injury issues combined with the long layoff mean there will be plenty of question marks surrounding the former world No. 1 heading in to the 2017 calendar year.
Spieth delivered a fairly solid season in 2016 but based on the lofty expectations set for him based on his 2015 it definitely felt like a letdown. Spieth posted two wins and eight top-10 finishes but it still felt like there was more he failed to bring to the table. Now the focus shifts to 2017 and whether or not he can regain his 2015 dominance. Spieth is still in the prime of his career and it will be vey interesting to see how he fares this coming year beginning with the SBS Tournament of Champions this week.
Reed played in 28 events in 2016 and posted 11 top-10 finishes, which represented the second-highest total behind only Johnson. Reed registered two runner-up finishes before finally breaking through with a victory at The Barclays and now that he got the monkey off his back he appears to have some momentum heading in to 2017. Reed could be on the verge of a breakout calendar year. He’s a player that’s already performed very well, so a breakout year for him would likely mean major championship. Don’t be surprised if he ends up with one of the four big events this year. There will be plenty of eyes on Captain America over the coming months.
Current Official World Golf Rankings
1 Jason Day
2 Rory McIlroy
3 Dustin Johnson
4 Henrik Stenson
5 Jordan Spieth
6 Hideki Matsuyama
7 Adam Scott
8 Patrick Reed
9 Alexander Noren
10 Bubba Watson
11 Danny Willett
12 Rickie Fowler
13 Sergio Garcia
14 Paul Casey
15 Justin Rose
Upcoming PGA Schedule
Jan 12 – Jan 15: Sony Open in Hawaii
Jan 19 – Jan 22: CareerBuilder Challenge
Jan 26 – Jan 29: Farmers Insurance Open
Feb 2 – Feb 5: Waste Management Phoenix Open
Feb 9 – Feb 12: AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am
Feb 16 – Feb 19: Genesis Open
Feb 23 – Feb 26: The Honda Classic
Mar 9 – Mar 12: Valspar Championship
Mar 16 – Mar 19: Arnold Palmer Invitational presented by Mastercard
Mar 22 – Mar 26: World Golf Championships-Dell Technologies Match Play
Mar 23 – Mar 26: Puerto Rico Open
Mar 30 – Apr 2: Shell Houston Open
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