Rory McIlroy and the 25 Most Overrated Players in PGA History

John BurkeContributor IAugust 26, 2011

Rory McIlroy and the 25 Most Overrated Players in PGA History

0 of 25

    High expectations are often placed on golfers. Sometimes these expectations are reasonable, but often they border on absurd. 

    Applying the "next Tiger Woods" label to anyone is completely unfair. Woods is a once in a lifetime talent, and we may never see a golfer as good as Woods ever again. 

    But the media doesn't look at fairness when hyping players. They will hype and then over-hype a golfer for a variety of reasons. As a result, people develop lofty expectations of players.  

    When deciding who would make the 25 most overrated golfers in PGA Tour history, I was mainly looking for two things. First, the golf fans had to expect the player to be a force in majors, either by winning or at least coming close. Second, the media had to have already hyped these players endlessly.

    Here are the 25 most overrated players!

Rickie Fowler

1 of 25

    Fowler was a very decorated amateur player. 

    As a result, he was expected to be a force during his first tournaments on the PGA Tour. Although Fowler did win the Rookie of the Year Award in 2010, he failed to win any tournaments that year or the next.

    It is still too early to give up hope, but for one of the young guns everyone expected to win multiple times by now, Fowler is definitely overrated. 

Sergio Garcia

2 of 25

    I still remember Sergio Garcia chasing his ball down the fairway of the 1999 PGA Championship like it was yesterday. 

    And although he could not overcome Tiger Woods that day, the question became when Sergio would win his first major. 

    12 years later and no major wins to show, Sergio is one of the most overrated players in recent memory. 

Rory McIlroy

3 of 25

    It is hard for a major winner to be overrated but Rory McIlroy has done just that. 

    After choking away the 2011 Masters, Rory bounced back nicely with a win at the 2011 U.S. Open. In the process, he became a major winner at the young age of 22. 

    As soon as the U.S. Open trophy was hoisted, Rory became Tiger 2.0. For that reason alone, he is overrated. 

    I love how he plays the game. He has all the talent in the world, but he still has 13 majors to go in order to tie Tiger. 

Ty Tryon

4 of 25

    Ty Tryon may go down as the most overrated golfer in history. 

    At the age of 17, Tryon became the youngest person ever to earn full exemption on the PGA Tour by qualifying through Q-School. Simply because he got his tour card around the same time he received his driver's license, Tryon became the next can't miss star on tour.  

    His success on tour, however, never came. Tryon struggled being in such an adult environment while still a teenager. 

Matt Kuchar

5 of 25

    In 1998, Matt Kuchar was the low amateur at both the Masters and the U.S. Open. He was young, easy going and the media loved him.

    Thus, it was only natural for everyone to have lofty expectations in 2000 when Kuchar turned professional. On the PGA Tour, Kuchar has always been solid, but never great. 

    He has won three times on tour, but none of his wins came in majors. He finishes in the top ten with regularity, the same regularity that many thought he would win with as a pro. 

Fred Couples

6 of 25

    Fred Couples has 15 wins on the PGA Tour, including the 1992 Masters. 

    That being said, Couples is still overrated. 

    He has tons of talent. He hits the ball a mile, and his ball striking is well above the tour average. Unfortunately, his putting has not always held up. 

    So while Couples will go down as a fan favorite and a solid golfer, he should not be thought of as the great golfer that many believe him to be. 

Greg Norman

7 of 25

    Greg Norman had the opportunity to go down as one of the greatest golfers in history. 

    Except for the minor problem that he is also the biggest choker the game has ever seen. 

    With only two major wins, Norman is golf's most famously overrated under-achiever. Norman had the talent to go down as a top ten golfer, but now he can go down as one of the top 25 most overrated. 

Colin Montgomerie

8 of 25

    Colin Montgomerie is one of the greatest players in European Tour history. 

    Unfortunately for Monty, on this side of the pond, he was all hype with no results. 

    Zero major wins and zero PGA Tour wins tells me that Monty was all talk and no substance. 

Justin Leonard

9 of 25

    Justin Leonard was a very decorated collegiate golfer. Once he turned professional, Leonard also found some success. Since joining the tour, Leonard has won 13 events as well as the 1997 Open Championship. 

    Even with all of those wins, Leonard still qualifies as being overrated.

    After winning his one major, he has struggled to be a factor in majors. This is a big deal since after the win many predicted multiple major victories for the Texan.

Davis Love III

10 of 25

    Davis Love III was born into a golf family. His father was a nationally recognized instructor, and his mother was a low handicap. As a result, it was only natural for Davis to eventually become a member of the PGA Tour. 

    On tour, Davis has been successful. With 20 tour wins, including the 1997 PGA Championship, it is hard to call him overrated. But that's exactly what Davis is. 

    As his career was beginning, everyone was predicting many major victories for Davis. So to end his career with just one (assuming he doesn't win any past the age of 47), is a major disappointment. 

Ian Poulter

11 of 25

    Ian Poulter is the greatest golfer in the world in his own mind. He once said that when he was playing his best, only Tiger could compete with him. 

    As a result, the media attached those unreasonably high expectations to him. And he has done nothing but let everyone down since. 

David Duval

12 of 25

    David Duval was an amazing golfer from 1997 until 2001. In that time, Duval won 13 events including the 2001 Open Championship. 

    But because he was so successful in those few years, everyone attached the expectation that he would perform at that level for the rest of his career. After 2001, however, Duval fell off the face of the golfing world, mainly due to injury. 

    So although it may be a bit unfair to call him overrated since he struggled to due to injury, when someone is expect to challenge Tiger Woods' dominance and simply doesn't come close, overrated is the only thing to call him. 

Camilo Villegas

13 of 25

    In case you want to know what happens when a golfer becomes more interested in hitting the weights than the golf course, look at Camilo Villegas. 

    He was touted as young gun with the potential to win multiple tour events and at least one major. And....I'm still waiting for him to do that. 

    At least his Spiderman putting technique is interesting. 

Johnny Miller

14 of 25

    Johnny Miller was touted as the only challenger to Jack Nicklaus. 

    Many decades and only two major champion wins later, it is safe to say he never even came close. 

    Miller had two very good years on tour. He had one great day during the U.S. Open to set the scoring record. That's it. 

    The Miller lovers will argue that he couldn't have won many more playing during Jack Nicklaus's day, to which I say, Phil Mickelson has won four majors during Tiger Woods' day.  

Lee Westwood

15 of 25

    Currently the greatest player never to have won a major, Lee Westwood will forever be overrated until he gets that monkey off his back. 

    He has won only twice on the PGA Tour so he is overrated from that standpoint, and also because we expect him to win more than that as a top ranked player. 

Rory Sabbatini

16 of 25

    Like Ian Poulter, Rory Sabbatini is a great golfer in his own mind. 

    And because he expects so much from himself, I do too.

    Sabbatini has won six times on tour, but he expects to win at least one major. And until he does that, he will be overrated. 

    For the record, I do not ever think Sabbatini will win a major. 

Charles Howell III

17 of 25

    Charles Howell III was supposed to be a huge force on tour. 

    But like many other great amateur golfers, he never panned out. Although he has won twice on tour, he has not come close to winning a major. 

    And for a player many expected to compete with Tiger Woods for major titles, he is and always will be overrated. 

Anthony Kim

18 of 25

    Unfortunately for Anthony Kim a wrist injury sidelined him at a time when he seemed to be finding his form. 

    Kim was said to be the guy to save American golf. He was charismatic and could hit the ball a mile. He has won three times out on the PGA Tour but as of late has done nothing but let everyone in the golf world down. 

Adam Scott

19 of 25

    The first player who was given the next Tiger Woods label, Adam Scott had the loftiest of expectations to try and reach. 

    Many expected him to win five or six majors, but thus far, he has yet to win one. 

    He seems to be finding his form lately, so he may soon drop this overrated title. But until he hoists a major trophy, overrated will always describe him. 

Chris DiMarco

20 of 25

    Chris DiMarco is more famous for blowing a major title than he is for any of his wins. 

    He has won three other times on tour, but after giving away the 2004 PGA Championship, many expected it was still a matter of time until DiMarco won a big one. 

    If I were you, I wouldn't hold my breath waiting for that win. 

J.B. Holmes

21 of 25

    A nice guy who never should have been expected win multiple PGA Tour events. 

    He can hit the ball a mile, but he can't putt. For that reason, J.B. Holmes will never fulfill the expectations many gave him. 

    And because of his untrustworthy flat stick, Holmes will always be overrated. 

Paul Casey

22 of 25

    Like many others on this list, Paul Casey was expected to win a major by now. In fact, he was also expected to win more than one PGA Tour title.

    At one point, Casey was ranked third in the world so it is safe to say he is not only overrated by the fans and media, but also by the official golf ranking system!

Luke Donald

23 of 25

    Lately, all I hear about in golf is how well Luke Donald will perform in the next major. 

    Um....when Donald actually has a chance to win a major, come and talk to me.

    But until that point, I will consider Donald the most overrated golfer on tour.

Dustin Johnson

24 of 25

    When Dustin Johnson blew his chance at winning the 2010 U.S. Open, he opened the door to high expectations. 

    With his near victory, everyone saw how talented Johnson is and how he should be able to win many majors. 

    I said he should win majors, that does not mean he will. And until he wins his first, he will be overrated. 

Ryan Moore

25 of 25

    A great amateur career leads to high expectations as a professional. 

    Sound familiar?

    Moore became the first player since Tiger Woods to earn his tour card without having to go to Q School. With such an impressive feat, many expected Moore to win multiple times in his first few years on tour.

    With only one PGA Tour win on his career, Moore has been nothing but disappointing so far.