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The 5 players without a PGA Tour victory who are most likely to break through in 2019

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Earlier this month, I covered the five players without a major who I believe are most likely to change that in 2019. Now it’s time to take a look at the budding stars, as well as some late bloomers on the PGA Tour without a victory who are primed to make the breakthrough in 2019.

*Being 13th in the Official World Golf Ranking and on the list of five players without a major who are most likely to win in 2019, it didn’t feel necessary to include Tommy Fleetwood here.

5. Luke List

Luke List came agonizingly close to becoming a winner on the PGA Tour in 2018, with only a clutch performance from Justin Thomas at the Honda Classic preventing him from doing so. In the 2017/18 season, the 34-year-old proved that he belongs on the PGA Tour claiming five top-10 finishes, and with two top-five finishes in just five events played in the 2018/19 season, List looks ready to make the breakthrough in 2019.

What has prevented him from winning so far in his career? Well, apart from an inspired Justin Thomas, List’s putting has been very costly. The American finished 176th for strokes gained putting in 2017, and last year he came in at 181st. So far this season, List sits 50th, which shows a significant improvement, and with the talent he possesses, it may just take one strong week on the greens for him to get his hands on a trophy in 2019.

4. Beau Hossler

In 2018, Beau Hossler was on the receiving end of a dagger of a putt from Ian Poulter on the 18th green at the Houston Open. The putt, as well as the subsequent collapse in the playoff, prevented the Colin Montgomerie doppelgänger (in swing and apparel, at least) from entering the winner’s circle on the PGA Tour and booking his ticket to Augusta National in the process. But in that event, as well as subsequent ones, including the Travelers Championship where he finished T2, Hossler showed he has the game to win on the PGA Tour.

With so many tournaments on the Tour being decided by who can putt out of their skin for four days, Hossler’s streakiness on the greens could well be the catalyst to the 23-year-old getting his first win. In 2018, Hossler gained over five strokes over the field in seven events. To put that in perspective, one of the best putters on Tour, Jason Day, only achieved that feat three times last year. Continuing to have red hot weeks on the greens may allow Hossler to record a victory in 2019.

3. Alex Noren

Sitting 21st in the Official World Golf Ranking, a win on the PGA Tour is surely around the corner for Alex Noren. Just like Luke List, Noren came within touching distance of capturing the Honda Classic last year and had it not been for J.B. Holmes waiting until Christmas to hit his layup at the Farmers Insurance Open, Noren may well have tasted victory at Torrey Pines in 2018.

10 wins on the European Tour show Noren’s pedigree, and with him now plying his trade full time on the PGA Tour, it looks to be more of a question of when and not if the Swede will win a title stateside.

2. Sungjae Im

Not a household name as of yet, Web.com Tour graduate Sungjae Im is making his debut season on Tour, and the 20-year-old has begun very impressively. Im has already notched two top-20 finishes in his three appearances so far in 2019, and he also claimed a top-five finish at the beginning of the wraparound season at the Safeway Open.

In 2018, Im was the only player on the Web.com Tour to win multiple events, and what’s more, Im also claimed three runner-up finishes. The South Korean is undoubtedly a name to look out for in 2019, and at his current trajectory, he has every chance of emulating his slightly older countryman Si-Woo Kim, and becoming a PGA Tour winner very early on in his career.

1. Abraham Ancer

At just 5′ 7″, you probably wouldn’t think that Ancer is one of the top performers on the Tour off the tee. However, entering this week’s Waste Management Phoenix Open, the Mexican sits fifth in the field for strokes gained off the tee over his previous 50 rounds. With this significant weapon in his arsenal, Ancer’s results continue to grow, and with it, my belief that a first win on Tour is just around the corner for the 27-year-old.

Ancer ended his 2017/18 season with two top-10 finishes in his last five events, and in his seven subsequent events to begin the 2018/19 season, the Mexican has recorded four top-25 finishes, including top-five finishes at both the CIMB Classic and Shriners Open. Look for Ancer to get his maiden win on Tour in 2019.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at gianni@golfwrx.com. Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. B

    Jan 29, 2019 at 11:27 am

    Tommy Fleetwood?

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Podcasts

TG2: Knudson’s new driver and boutique vs. big manufacturer clubs

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New SIM Max driver is finally here and Knudson tosses an old faithful shaft in it. New irons should show up this week and talk about how clubs from “boutique” companies stack up against the big manufacturers.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

Want more GolfWRX Radio? Check out our other shows (and the full archives for this show) below. 

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The Gear Dive: TrackMan’s Tour Operations Manager Lance Vinson Part 1 of 2

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In this episode of The Gear Dive brought to you by Titleist, Johnny chats with TrackMans Lance Vinson on an all things TrackMan and its presence on Tour. It’s such a deep dive that they needed two shows to cover it all.

Check out the full podcast on SoundCloud below, or click here to listen on iTunes or here to listen on Spotify.

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Opinion & Analysis

An open letter to golf

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Dear golf,

I know it has been some time since we last spoke, but I need you to know I miss you, and I can’t wait to see you again.

It was just a few months ago I walked crowded isles, stood shoulder to shoulder, and talked endlessly with likeminded individuals about you and your promising future in 2020 at the PGA Show. At that time, the biggest concern in my life was whether I had packed the perfect dress-to-casual pant ratio and enough polos to get through the mayhem of six days in Orlando. Oh, how the times have changed.

On a professional level, what started with the LPGA Tour a few weeks prior progressed quickly at The Players Championship, when you ground to a complete halt within days. As much as it was a tough decision, it was the right decision, and I admire the judgment made by your leaders. Soon after, outside of the professional ranks followed suit and courses everywhere began shutting doors and asked golfers to keep away.

This is the right decision. For now and for the foreseeable future, as much as I don’t like it, I understand how important it is we let experienced health medical professionals make choices and craft policies for the wellbeing of people everywhere. Although, judging by the indoor short game trickery I have witnessed over the last 10 days, handicaps could be dropping when you finally return.

As a game, you are over 200 years old. You have survived pandemics, wars, depression, drought, and everything else that has been thrown at you. Much like the human spirit, you will continue on thanks to the stories and experiences others passed down and enjoyed.

I know you will survive because I also plan on surviving. As long as there are people willing to tend to your grounds and maintain your existence, I will also exist ready to take on your challenge.

When you are able to return in full, I will be here.

Sincerely,

Ryan Barath (on behalf of golfers everywhere)

 

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