Under-the-Radar Golfers to Watch in the Remainder of the 2014 Season

Ben Alberstadt@benalberstadtFeatured ColumnistJuly 25, 2014

Under-the-Radar Golfers to Watch in the Remainder of the 2014 Season

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    Some under-the-radar golfers are hidden in plain sight. That is, they're sitting near the top of the FedEx Cup standings but haven't seen a lot of time on television, or gotten a lot of attention from the press. 

    Other big names who we haven't heard a lot from this season find their way onto this list. 

    Finally, some of our under-the-radar golfers are true diamonds in the rough. 

    Who makes the list, and why do we care about these players? 

    Keep reading to see. 

Chris Kirk

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    FedEx Cup ranking: 6

    Best of 2013-14: Chris Kirk won the McGladrey Classic. He's made 21 of 22 cuts with 10 top-25 finishes. 

    How he's under the radar:

    Despite winning this year and finishing inside the top 30 at all three majors, Chris Kirk hasn't gotten a ton of recognition for his achievements. He's only missed one cut this year and seems poised to continue his strong play.

    If he keeps racking up solid finishes, with his FedExCup position, he'll go deep into the playoffs and find his way onto the radar. 

Webb Simpson

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    FedEx Cup ranking: 13

    Best of 2013-14: Webb Simpson won the Shriners Hospitals for Children Open at the beginning of the tour wraparound season in October. He's made 14 of 18 cuts with seven top-10 finishes. 

    How he's under the radar

    Webb Simpson has been a high profile golfer in recent years. However, he hasn't graced our television screens often in 2014. Prior to the Open Championship, Simpson finished third in two of his previous four tournaments.

    At 13th in the FedEx Cup standings, he's well positioned heading toward the playoff events. Simpson tied for 25th at the PGA Championship last year. If he performs better this year, he'll again be on our collective radar screen. 


Jason Day

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    FedEx Cup ranking: 30

    Best of 2013-14: Winner of the WGC-Accenture Match Play, Jason Day has recorded a total of three top-10 finishes in nine starts on tour. 

    How he's under the radar

    Jason Day has been dealing with a thumb injury this year. As a result, he's only played in nine events on the PGA Tour. The Australian visibly struggled as a result of the injured digit at the Open Championship, where he finished 58th. 

    Still, if the thumb heals, we'll see much more from Jason Day throughout the remainder of the season. If it doesn't, Day's story will be another case of an athlete poised to make the jump to elite status held back by injury.

    And if he doesn't finish strong or is forced to miss more time, this has to be chalked up as a wasted year for Day, even with the win. 

Jason Dufner

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    FedEx Cup ranking: 47

    Best of 2013-14: In 15 starts on tour this year, Jason Dufner has made 12 cuts with four top-10 finishes, including a second-place finish at the Crowne Plaza Invitational at Colonial. 

    How he's under the radar

    Aside from his playoff duel with Adam Scott at Colonial, we haven't seen much of "Duf Daddy" this year. However, we'll be seeing a lot more of him as we near the PGA Championship for a simple reason: he won the tournament last year.  

    It will be interesting to see how last year's PGA Championship winner performs in his title defense. 

Harris English

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    FedEx Cup ranking: 12

    Best of 2013-14: Harris English won the OHL Classic at Mayakoba. He's recorded seven top-10s in 23 starts this season. 

    How he's under the radar

    Harris English always seems to be near the top of the leaderboard but never on TV or getting any significant press attention. 

    At 12th in the FedEx Cup standings and with one victory, he's been one of the best players on tour this season. However, he missed the cut at the Open Championship and tied for 74th at the John Deere Classic the week before. Thus, his game is heading in the wrong direction. 

    It's worth watching to see if the unheralded Georgian's form improves for the PGA Championship and the stretch run of the 2014 season. 

Brandt Snedeker

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    Charles Laberge/Getty Images

    FedEx Cup ranking: 86

    Best of 2013-14: Brandt Snedeker has teed it up 19 times on the PGA Tour this season. He's made 16 cuts with two top-10 finishes. 

    How he's under the radar

    As Brandt Snedeker hasn't been playing very well this year. Thus, it isn't surprising he's flown slightly under the radar. 

    However, his recent decision to hire Butch Harmon as his coach, per Golf Channel, should pay dividends in short order. Consider how well another recent addition to Harmon's stable, Rickie Fowler, is playing.  

    It will be quite interesting to see if Snedeker is able to return to his 2012, FedEx Cup-winning form under Harmon's tutelage. 

Graeme McDowell

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    FedEx Cup ranking: 51

    Best of 2013-14: Graeme McDowell won the French Open on the European Tour. On the PGA Tour, McDowell has made 11 of 12 cuts with six top-10s. 

    How he's under the radar

    GMac has to be one of the most widely popular golfers in the world, so it's odd to put him on this list of under-the-radar golfers. Still, we haven't seen much from him on tour this year. 

    However, a win at the French Open and a tie for ninth at the Open Championship indicate McDowell is ready to close out the season strong. At 51st in the FedEx Cup standings, he'll need to pick up some points to make it to the Tour Championship.

    We'll have to see if he can do it.