The PGA Tour has reached its midpoint for the 2012 season and after the wrap-up of the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, a few new Americans have started to make names for themselves.
With the British Open, PGA Championship and Ryder Cup still to come this season, these are the names to keep an eye on as the competition heats up.
So, let’s take a look at the top three finishers from the Greenbrier Classic and see why they are the next big American names you should know in golf.
The rookie from Mesa, Arizona tied for third with Charlie Wi at 14 under after shooting a 67 in the last round of the 2012 Greenbrier Classic. This is the best finish for Charlie Beljan in 2012, who has missed the cut for about half of his events this year.
In fact, the 27-year-old looks to have an upward trend in his finishes, as he ended at No. 29 in his previous tournament, the Travelers Championship, late in June.
Beljan looks good around the greens with 100 percent sand saves and a 1.8 putt average after hitting the green in regulation. He has the distance as well, averaging 334.6 yards per drive; now he just needs to straighten it out to improve hitting only 64.3 percent of fairways.
With positive momentum and great potential pushing him forward, keep an eye out for Beljan to take his first PGA Tour win soon.
Troy Kelly narrowly lost out to Ted Potter Jr. in the playoff for the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, taking second in the tournament.
The former University of Washington Husky was diagnosed with arthritis in 2010, and underwent hip surgery to fix it.
He quickly came back in 2011 recording four top-10 finishes on the Nationwide Tour, earning him a 2012 PGA Tour card. Unfortunately for Kelly, he didn’t have any success until the Greenbrier Classic, but the second-place finish has catapulted Kelly to No. 167 in the world and has earned him a spot in the 2012 Open Championship.
Although Kelly is normally good around the greens averaging 1.7 putts, he needs to work on playing under pressure. Kelly could have avoided the playoff and won outright if he had made one of his two birdie putts on the 17th or 18th holes.
With a little bit of mental strength, Kelly should continue to rack up top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour.
After sinking a 4-foot birdie putt on the third hole to beat Troy Kelly in the playoff for the 2012 Greenbrier Classic, Ted Potter, Jr. clinched not only his first PGA Tour victory, but also a chance to win a green jacket next year at Augusta National.
Potter said that winning a spot in the Masters has always been a dream of his, but the win alone was spectacular.
The lefty advanced to the PGA tour this year after placing second on the Nationwide Tour money list; however, Potter missed five straight cuts before playing in the Greenbrier Classic.
Potter’s luck has definitely changed for the better, as he jumped from No. 173 to No. 51 in the FedExCup standings.
Potter is extremely consistent hitting 80.4 percent of his fairways, and with great pressure play as well, he should be more consistent in winning tournaments now too—or at least not missing the cut.
With Potter’s win, he became the sixth first-time winner on the tour this season, proving that there is definitely a new generation of star golfers on the rise.
Potter also won the chance to play in the British Open, which starts next week, so keep an eye out for America’s latest rising star across the pond.