6 Famous Golfers Casual Fans Couldn't Pick out of a Lineup
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Whether you realize it or not, the 2012 golf season is one that should go down in the history books as one of the best ever for the sport.
You have the full-time emergence of Rory McIlroy as the best player in the world. You have the return of Tiger Woods to big-time golf prominence with three victories. You have a new and colorful star in Bubba Watson winning the Masters. You have Ernie Els winning the British Open.
In addition to these great stars, you have a slew of great players—some of them not necessarily young—who have broken through and become major factors on the tour.
But unless you are truly a fan of the game, you probably wouldn't recognize them without the television networks identifying them in bold type.
Here's a look at six of the best golfers you probably couldn't pick out of a lineup.
Keegan Bradley has risen to elite status on the PGA tour.
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You've heard the name Keegan Bradley and you know he is a pretty good golfer. You just can't place the face.
You should be able to. Not only is he a good golfer, he is one of the most consistent ball strikers on the PGA Tour. He is not just a one-year wonder, either.
Bradley has won more than $3.75 million this season. He won more than $3.75 million last year. He just goes out and produces.
Bradley has one win this year, a second-place finish and he has also finished in third this year. Bradley has been in the top 10 five times and he has made the cut in 19 of 23 tournaments.
Bradley ranks third on the tour in birdie average and eighth in regular season FedEx Cup points.
Brandt Snedeker, 32, is a threat to contend for the championship just about any week he participates in a tournament.
The Vanderbilt grad has had a tremendous season, winning $3.5 million on the tour.
When you look at Snedeker or hear him speak, you're not surprised that he's a professional athlete. He has the look of a pro baseball player, possibly someone who has played at the Triple-A level for years.
But instead of playing the role of veteran minor leaguer, Snedeker is a PGA star. He has a win and six top-10 finishes this season and he has made the cut in 18 of 20 tournaments.
Snedeker is not a big hitter, averaging 288.4 yards per drive, ranking 105th on the tour. But he is first in strokes gained while putting, and even the most casual golf fan has heard the expression, "You drive for show and you putt for dough."
That's Snedeker in a nutshell.
It's no surprise that ACC schools produce great golfers. The alma mater of Arnold Palmer also was the launching point for Webb Simpson.
You know the name. You might think he's your neighbor's stockbroker, or perhaps he played in the Pro-Am at the country club.
Then you realize he's one of the best golfers on the pro tour. He has won over $3 million this year. That may impress you, but it doesn't impress him, because Simpson won more than $6 million last year.
Simpson is second in birdie average and 22nd in scoring average at 69.968 strokes per round.
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Graeme McDowell is another one of the sensational golfers who have invaded the PGA tour from Northern Ireland.
Not as famous as top-ranked countryman Rory McIlroy, McDowell has won $2.365 million this year and has finished second two times, has four top-10 finishes and eight top-25 finishes.
McDowell is ninth in driving accuracy, 22nd in birdie average and 26th in scoring average.
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No, it's not huh. It's John Huh.
You may not have been able to recognize Keegan Bradley or Webb Simpson, but if you're going to be honest you almost certainly haven't even heard of Californian John Huh.
Huh, 22, has a tournament victory under his belt this season and he also has a second place finish and four top-10 finishes.
While Huh is not a big driver—he's averaging 287.8 yards in that category—he finds his target. He is finding the fairway on 69.22 percent of his drives, ranking eighth in accuracy.
Huh has won $2.381 million this season.
Pretty good for an unknown.
Robert Garrigus, 34, looks like he should be teaching biology at your local high school and possibly coaching your child's Little League team.
Garrigus may have that every man look about him, but he is a very solid and elite golfer. He has won nearly $2.2 million on the tour this year.
Garrigus has been quite consistent this year. He has three second-place finishes, five top-10 finishes and 10 top-25 finishes.
Garrigus is a huge hitter, averaging 310.4 yards per drive. That ranks fourth on the tour. He also ranks 17th in hitting greens in regulation.