Ranking the Most Unpredictable Golfers on the PGA Tour Today

Mike DudurichContributor IMay 2, 2014

Ranking the Most Unpredictable Golfers on the PGA Tour Today

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    It would seem as though any list of unpredictable golfers would have to include the name of 48-year-old John Daly, but unfortunately "Mr. Grip It and Rip It" has become too predictable.

    You may not know when it's going to happen or how, but you know he's going to do something unpredictable, and there's a real good chance it's going to be bad.

    So ranking the most unpredictable golfers became a bit different, because none of today's players have come close to pulling some of the stunts that Daly did and now rarely gets the opportunity to do.

    Here's my list of the seven most unpredictable golfers on the PGA Tour.

7. Billy Horschel

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    You just don't know what you're going to get from Billy Horschel.

    Obviously talented, he doesn't take long to get his temperature up on the course, and that has contributed in part to his unpredictability.

    He's played in 90 PGA Tour events, won once and has one runner-up finish.

    So how does a guy who is in the top 20 in driving accuracy, eagles per hole and total driving have just one win in 90 starts and one top-10 finish this year?

    Simply put, he's putted poorly. He's 113th in strokes gained putting, which also explains why his scoring average is 143rd on the tour.

    In that regard, he's one of those guys who will make a bunch of putts and contend again.

6. Jason Dufner

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    Jason Dufner has made 102 birdies in 26 rounds of competition on the PGA Tour this year, which is just less than four birdies per round and 27th in that category.

    Jimmy Walker, by the way, leads that category with 236 birdies in 50 rounds for a 4.72 average.

    So why is our defending PGA champion playing like he has a major title hangover? Well, because he is working through that, actually.

    Dufner has played just three times since February with finishes of T9 and T14 and then a first round of 80 at The Masters.

    That's Dufner.

5. Ryan Palmer

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    Ryan Palmer has a very famous last name in the world of golf.

    He's also very talented, having posted three wins and earning $15 million in his 11 seasons on the PGA Tour.

    But you also get the idea that there's more to that talent than we've seen.

    Take this year, for instance. He is first in eagles with nine and sixth in birdies with 169.

    What contributes to him being unpredictable is the fact he has put up four scores of 76 or higher, and his final-round scoring average is 140th.

    It seems a bit strange to have all those eagles and birdies yet be a player who can't make more of those on the weekend.

4. Robert Garrigus

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    We've come to recognize Robert Garrigus as a fiery competitor, and that fire sometimes proves to be a detriment.

    He seems to be in contention a lot, and statistics prove that. He's racked up six runner-up finishes, 25 top 10s and 62 top 25s.

    But he hasn't won a tournament since the last event of the 2010 season, the Children's Hospital Classic.

    Contrast that with him taking a three-shot lead onto the 72nd tee of the St. Jude Classic that year, blowing that lead and losing in a playoff.

    Also in that year, he missed the cut seven times and withdrew once.

3. Freddie Jacobson

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    Sweden's Freddie Jacobson definitely belongs on a list of unpredictable golfers.

    Here's a guy who has won more than $15 million in his career and has just one PGA Tour victory. Three non-PGA Tour wins are on his resume.

    How about this as a further example? He is fourth this year in strokes gained putting at .994. He's also three-putted nine times in a total of 828 greens. Think about that for a minute. That comes out to a 1.09 percentage.

    Jacobson hasn't won since 2011 and only has six top 10s since then.

    So how does a guy putt that well on a tour that's predicated on putting and not win?

2. Pat Perez

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    Pat Perez is 117th in driving distance and 126th in driving accuracy.

    Those are not the kind of numbers that would seem to be the fuel for a career resurgence, but somehow he has turned around a sagging career. But he's managed to put up 22 rounds in the 60s in the 14 events he's played this year.

    He has seven top-25 finishes and three top-10s this year, and then there's the 83 he put up in the final round of the Arnold Palmer Invitational after opening with three rounds of 70.

1. Phil Mickelson

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    "What will Phil do next?" That question is often asked about one of golf's greats, Phil Mickelson.

    He's a five-time major champion, and he's done so by never facing a shot he didn't think he could pull off.

    On one hand, you could get him staring down a 20-foot curling putt for 59 at the 2013 Waste Management Phoenix Open or ripping a 6-iron between two relatively close trees on the 13th hole at Augusta National to reach the green in two for a potential eagle.

    On the other hand, he could be crawling up the steep bank of a bunker on his hands and knees looking for his ball. Or he could be going from bunker to bunker to bunker at The Masters on the 12th hole.

    Mickelson is a lot like Arnold Palmer with his go-for-it attitude.

    And that helps to make him unpredictable.


    All statistics obtained from PGATour.com.