The 10 Most Underrated Golfers in the World
Ranking the Top 10 Most Underrated Golfers
Most people who follow professional golf are familiar with the big names in the sport: Rory McIlroy, Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Bubba Watson, etc. However, the game is not made of solely of superstar individuals that constantly receive accolades for their accomplishments. The vast majority of professional golfers fly under the radar, having their successes overshadowed by the stars of the game.
That does not mean that these under the radar, underrated golfers are not incredible at what they do. Rather, it means that for some reason they just do not get the publicity that others garner. In fact, there are some golfers ranked in the top 50 or 20 in the world that fans have either never heard of or they scratch their heads wondering why an individual is ranked so high.
Here’s a newsflash: just because someone isn’t the lead story on major sports networks (or, in some cases, entertainment shows) doesn’t mean that they are highly skilled at their craft. Some of the most underrated golfers in the world are young players who have immense talent and are already starting to show it, but they just haven’t broken through that barrier as of yet. Others are wily veterans that fans or media feel are incapable of winning big tournaments.
What follows is a list of my top 10 most underrated golfers in the world. There are many different reasons these people have made this list. The one thing that remains constant amongst all of them, however, is the fact that they are very, very good golfers, but simply don’t get the respect they deserve.
10 K.J. Choi
Eight wins. 60 top ten finishes. Over $27 million in earnings. Those are K.J. Choi’s career numbers on the PGA Tour. Yet, whenever contenders are discussed prior to any given tournament, his name is never mentioned and I have no idea why.
9 Jason Dufner
While he certainly doesn’t exude excitement on the golf course, Dufner is an incredibly talented golfer who racked up two wins and eight top ten finishes in 2012 alone. If someone asked you to name the top ten golfers in the official world golf rankings, chances are that you wouldn’t include Dufner in your list. You’d be wrong, however, since he is currently sitting at eighth in the world.
8 Jonas Blixt
Another PGA Tour rookie, Blixt started getting into the headlines towards the end of the season when he won the Frys.com Open a week after finishing third at Justin Timberlake’s tournament. A few more runs like that and Blixt will be well on his way to golf stardom.
7 Marc Leishman
A native of Australia, Leishman finally found his way to the winner’s circle in 2012 after 7 years as a professional, when he won the Travelers Championship in June. That win helped him finish the year 28th in FedEx Cup points and 85th in the official world golf rankings. Not bad for someone that many people have never heard of.
6 John Huh
Rookies often have times garnering the respect of their peers, and Huh is no exception to that. As a rookie, however, in 28 events, Huh had one win, one second place finish and 4 top ten’s. It’s only a matter of time before Huh is recognized for the skilled golfer that he is.
5 Steve Stricker
No player has more victories on the PGA Tour since 2009 than Stricker. His best finish in a major championship, however is second. Just because he hasn’t won a major doesn’t mean that he doesn’t have the game to remain in the upper echelon of professional golfers.
4 Graeme McDowell
The main issue for McDowell is not his golf game or his persona, but the fact that he hails from the same county as the most prominent golfer in the world right now, Rory McIlroy. McDowell’s success as a pro has been greatly overshadowed by McIlroy’s rise to fame. He is likely the most under the radar major championship winner in the game today.
3 Ryan Moore
Moore won over $2.8 million in 2012 and had eight top ten finishes, including a win to close out the season at the Justin Timberlake Shriner’s Hospitals for Children Open. He doesn’t hit the ball incredibly far, but is incredibly consistent. A win or two in 2013 should allow him to move off of this list.
2 Peter Hanson
Unfortunately for Hanson, he has the distinction of being seen by many as the most underrated golfer to hail from outside of America. He had six top 25 finishes in 11 events he played on the PGA Tour in 2012. Hanson also finished second in the European Tour’s Race to Dubai, coming in behind Rory McIlroy. If he would have finished second in the FedEx Cup, everyone would know who he is.
1 Mark Wilson
Many of you probably have never even heard Wilson’s name before. He is a golfer that quietly goes about the business of competing for championships. Wilson turned pro in 1997 and has five wins and 26 top ten finishes in his career. Three of those wins and 15 of the top ten finishes have come in the last two years, however. If he keeps up his current streak, his anonymity will not last much longer.