One of the best aspects of following golf is predicting how every golfer is going to do at the beginning of the season. Nobody, not even Nostradamus, has the ability to correctly prognosticate the outcome of a full PGA season. Sure, anyone can get close, but accurately predicting can be very difficult or even impossible.
Regardless, it’s still very fun to see which golfers have a lot of hype, and who exceeds expectations. The busts can be as fun to speculate about as those who make it big on the tour.
Here are five of the biggest failures in golf today.
5. Bubba Watson
In 2012, former trick shot prodigy, Bubba Watson, had one of the most memorable shots in Masters history. When he curved his ball out of the trees and onto the green to set up his win, nobody could believe it. Ever since then, his career’s gone downhill.
He doesn't have a tour win since Augusta and only has a handful of top ten finishes. In the majors that Watson played in this year, he performed well under his potential. Bubba won over the hearts of the golf world in last year’s Masters, but he might not retain them if he can’t become a relevant golfer soon.
4. Rickie Fowler
One of the more popular young golfers on the tour, Rickie Fowler has been disappointing this year. The 2010 PGA rookie of the year, Fowler has had one top five finish and a few top 25 finishes. Fowler is playing against the best competition in the world, and he’s not a prodigy like Tiger Woods was, but there is still a lot of hype surrounding the orange-clad Fowler.
The only reason that he’s not higher on this list is because of his age. He’s still relatively young, but if he doesn't pull it together and start winning some tournaments, he could go down as one of the biggest busts ever.
3. Tiger Woods (‘08-Present)
Many people will probably debate this one. Tiger has a lot of tour victories this year and is ranked No. 1 in the world. I know, I know. His problem is that he set the bar too high for himself. When he turned pro and started winning majors right away, those expectations stay with you for the rest of your career.
Tiger hasn't been living up to those expectations since 2008, his last major victory. When it comes down to it, nobody will remember you for winning the Farmers Insurance Open or the Arnold Palmer Classic. You’re remembered for winning majors. Tiger did a lot of that early on, but he’s on a five year drought. He’s not even living up to his own expectations.
After his performance at the Open Championship, Tiger said, “I've won tournaments in that stretch, and I've probably been in about half the majors on the back nine on Sunday with a chance to win during that time. I just haven’t done it yet. It’s not like I've lost my tour card.”
You get the sense that even Tiger is disappointed in himself.
2. Sergio Garcia
Sergio Garcia has had a career that was high on expectations and low on delivery. Just when things started looking better for El Niño, he had to go and run his mouth about Tiger. Bad move, man. Since then, things have only gotten worse for the Spaniard. He’s underperformed at every major since turning pro, and that doesn't look like it’s going to change anytime soon.
1. Rory McIlroy
Two time major winner, Rory McIlroy, is the biggest current disappointment in golf. He was ranked number one in the world until April when he lost the ranking to one Eldrick Woods and has played terribly this year, quite frankly.
His 12 over par finish at the British Open, tie for 25th at the Master’s and three strokes under par (seven strokes off the leader) at the PGA Championship, have all combined to make this a year to forget for the pride of Northern Ireland. When performing his best, he is a very fun golfer to watch.
Let’s hope that things improve for Rory Mac next season. Hopefully he’ll be a good pick for your fantasy golf foursome again.