With all eyes towards the new year many professionals in the golf world have been debating as to who the breakout stars of 2016 will be. As some well known players are set to take a break or deal with injuries, the door has been opened for a handful of golfers to make waves. So who are these golfers who have caught the attention of the sport? Here are three of the golfers who have been speculated to break out in 2016.
Branden Grace – First emerging on the golf scene in 2012, the South African golfer has proven that he’s a real contender for breakout star of the year. Branden Grace won the President’s Cup last year and came very close to winning the PGA Championship and the US Open. Besides impressing golf experts during those two events, Grace became the second international player ever to go 5 – 0 in one week at a tournament in South Korea in October. The only thing that holds the golfer back seems to be his inability to be consistent in his game. Grace has stated in the past that he has allowed bad habits to come back into his game on occasion and he’s struggled to fix them. With his ability to get those under the control, 2016 should be a good year for the seasoned golfer.
Matt Fitzpatrick – At 21 years old, Matt Fitzpatrick won his first professional tournament when he took first place in the British Masters this year. As an amateur, he took first in the 2013 US Amateur tournament – the first time a British man has won since 1911. It was during this tournament he ended up on the radar of golf experts. As his career continued, he seemed to only be getting better and better. In 2014, he went professional after he was invited and played in the US Opens. With less than two years professional experience, it has been exciting to see the young golfer’s career play out. It’s speculated that he will be the next big thing in golf when you look at everything he’s accomplished in these short years.
Tony Finau – As the only American on this list, Tony has made waves in his time as a professional. At the age of 17, Finau turned down various college scholarships to play basketball to focus on golf. Starting with various mini tours that year, his game improved quickly and exposed him to more and more people. The golfer won his first professional tournament in 2014 when he came in first at the Web.com tour by 3 strokes. Besides his promising future, Tony is the first player of American Samoan and Tongon descent to ever play in the PGA tour.
Of course there are other players that have made a name for themselves in the past year, but it’s these three players that show the most promise. Only time will tell if they will go big or if they will fade away as other names accomplish bigger things. It’s going to be an exciting year for golf and I am looking forward to seeing the ups and downs.