7 PGA Tour Players Most in Need of a Win in 2015

Ben Alberstadt@benalberstadtFeatured ColumnistMay 15, 2015

7 PGA Tour Players Most in Need of a Win in 2015

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    Here's an obvious statement: At a traditional PGA Tour event, every golfer in the 144-man field wants to win. 

    Shocking, right? 

    Some golfers, however, could really use a victory. For example, two gentlemen desperately in need have earned Ws on tour recently: Jim Furyk, who ended a sustained victory drought at the RBC Heritage, and Rickie Fowler, who claimed his second tour victory and silenced his critics. 

    Another obvious statement: Furyk and Fowler aren't on this list. Who are? A pair of veterans. Another "overrated" golfer. Someone who's likely not too happy about the codification of the "big three," to name a few. 

    Click through to see who needs to raise a trophy and why.  

Phil Mickelson

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    Phil Mickelson hasn't won a golf tournament since he lifted the claret jug at the 2013 Open Championship. The last two seasons have been disappointing for Lefty. He recorded just one top-10 finish for the 2013-2014 season and has just one top-10 finish in nine starts so far this season. 

    The clock is ticking for the 44-year-old, and he likely wants to keep his name in conversations about the best golfers in the world. 

    Now ranked 18th in the Official World Golf Ranking and in the waning portion of his career, Mickelson is on the verge of removing himself from consideration as an elite professional golfer. A win would go a long way to stem that tide. 

Ian Poulter

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    After Rickie Fowler's emphatic rebuttal to an anonymous survey of PGA Tour pros that named him and Ian Poulter the most overrated golfers on tour, Poulter will be looking to follow Fowler's lead with a statement victory of his own.

    Poulter's last win on the PGA Tour came in 2012. He only has two career victories on golf's premier circuit but has won a total of 16 times internationally. Certainly, his perception as a Ryder Cup stalwart raises his profile a bit...perhaps too much for his contemporaries, it seems. 

    Winning an event on the PGA Tour would reassert that the No. 30 golfer in the world is still a legitimate challenger and noteworthy for something besides his tweets and his tartans. 

Patrick Reed

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    In all the talk about young talent on tour recently, names such as McIlroy, Fowler and Spieth have been getting dropped more than names such as, say, Reed. 

    Patrick Reed, 24, has won four times on the PGA Tour. Heck, he even won the Hyundai Tournament of Champions in January. His problem, however, is that the three golfers above all won more recently. In addition, none of the three golfers have image problems or have found themselves embroiled in controversy the way Reed has. 

    In order to once again make headlines for his golf and not his alleged behavior as a college golfer and make "the big three" into "the big four," Reed needs to raise a trophy. 

Hideki Matsuyama

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    The 23-year-old Hideki Matsuyama is on the cusp of being one of the PGA Tour's elite golfers, but he's only won once in three seasons on tour. Matsuyama is just too good not to win more frequently: He's recorded top-20 finishes in all four majors, and he finished fifth at the Masters this year. 

    The Japanese national won the Memorial Tournament last year, and he's finished second once and third twice in 14 starts this season. With his smooth tempo, length off the tee and accuracy into greens, Matsuyama is poised to start racking up victories in bunches. 

    First, however, he'll have to notch his second PGA Tour win. 

Henrik Stenson

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    Henrik Stenson seems to enter nearly every tournament among the favorites. He then puts together a top-10 or top-25 finish and is on to the next event. 

    This season, he has six top-25 finishes in seven starts. Last year, he recorded three top-10 finishes in 15 starts. He hasn't won since his impressive 2013 campaign when he was victorious twice and finished second three times. 

    His game hasn't declined over the last two years, and he's actually putting much, much better (he's second in strokes gained: putting on tour). The Swede is the third-ranked golfer in the world. He needs to start playing like it. 

Sergio Garcia

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    Oh, Sergio Garcia. How thy talent is not indicated by thy PGA Tour win total.

    The master ball striker has won just eight times on the PGA Tour since turning pro in 1999. It's truly mind-boggling that he's still without a major victory and hasn't yet hit the double digits in wins on tour. 

    However, his smiling indifference after being eliminated from a playoff with Rickie Fowler and Kevin Kisner at The Players Championship may give a clue as to why he hasn't won more. 

    "Overall, it was another good week here at the Players, so I can't be disappointed," Garcia said in his post-tournament press conference. Maybe that's just the problem: He ought to be disappointed to have come up short. 

    The Spaniard needs to win to save himself from a legacy of underachievement. 

Tiger Woods

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    Nobody needs a win (or a sustained run of good play) more than Tiger Woods. Woods, who spent the majority of the 2014 season dealing with back injuries and a lengthy recovery from microdiscectomy surgery, hasn't won since the Bridgestone Invitational in August 2013. 

    And while Woods' majorless drought (since the 2008 U.S. Open) is often a focal point, the fact is, he hasn't won in quite a while, by his standards at least. Of course, he hasn't really been healthy enough to chase victories and grind it out on the range in Tiger Woods fashion. 

    Since the lead-up to the Masters this year, we're to believe Woods is physically healthy and putting in the reps. Rightfully or not, now that Tiger Woods is back to competing with regularity, the expectation that he'll win soon has returned as well.