The primary occasion of the 12 months on the PGA Tour gave a attainable trace of what’s to return in 2022: Birdies. Heaps and many birdies.
However what else ought to we count on? Which gamers ought to we hold an eye fixed out for? Which unknown would possibly announce himself? And which recognizable face would possibly take a step backward?
With the primary full-field occasion of the 12 months set to start Thursday when the Sony Open tees off in Hawaii — here’s how to watch on ESPN+ — we gathered our specialists.
What participant on the PGA Tour are you anticipating to take a giant leap ahead this 12 months?
Michael Collins: Daniel Berger. I count on a multiple-win season from Berger this 12 months. His sport, together with a gradual and regular ascension within the Official World Golf Rating offers me confidence after I say he’ll end the 12 months round high 5.
Michael Eaves: Tony Finau. He is been manner too good for manner too lengthy to have gained simply two occasions. Along with his most up-to-date win coming in the course of the FedEx Cup playoffs towards a major-quality leaderboard, it might simply be the push he must reel off a pair multi-win seasons in a row.
Kevin Van Valkenburg: Scottie Scheffler. You recognize what Scheffler’s WORST end in a significant was in 2021? That may be T-18 on the Masters. All he did within the different three majors was put up three high 10s. Throw in a runner-up end on the WGC-Dell Applied sciences Match Play and a fearless efficiency on the Ryder Cup (the place he vanquished Jon Rahm in singles) and you would argue that Scheffler has already made his leap, aside from one factor: He nonetheless does not have a win as an expert. I feel that modifications this season. His sport exhibits up all over the place.
Nick Pietruszkiewicz: Matt Fitzpatrick. I needed to say Justin Thomas or Rory McIlroy, however selecting any participant ranked within the high 10 on the earth felt like dishonest. So let’s go along with Fitzpatrick, who’s at the moment ranked twenty sixth. He had simply 5 high 10s in 20 PGA Tour begins; he additionally missed 5 cuts. He was gone after the primary week of the FedEx Cup playoffs. He is by no means gained in the USA. He even admits it’s time. “I am not a rookie anymore,” he stated towards the tip of 2021. “I am 27. In my very own thoughts, I do know I’ve acquired to start out competing within the massive occasions so my identify is up on the high of the leaderboard extra usually.” Effectively, that is the 12 months.