5 Surprise Contenders on the PGA Tour in 2015
Look at the winners and top finishers on the PGA Tour this season, and you'll see a few surprises.
Sure, it was unexpected to seek Nick Taylor and Padraig Harrington win golf tournaments. However, the two aren't really "surprise contenders," as they've done absolutely nothing since their victories.
You may be surprised that Rickie Fowler stepped up to take home The Players Championship trophy and that Jordan Spieth has continued his meteoric rise with wins at the Valspar Championship and the Masters, but those two golfers aren't really "surprises," at least not in the way the gentlemen on this list are.
These golfers are either playing well unexpectedly or surprisingly returning to form after some time in the rough.
Click through to check out the five.
Kevin Kisner has played on the PGA Tour for the better part of five years. In his four years prior to this one, he had just four top-10 finishes.
This season, the Aiken, South Carolina, native has three top-10 finishes in 18 starts, including two second-place finishes.
Kisner lost in playoffs at both the RBC Heritage and The Players Championship and doesn't seem to be suffering from a lack of confidence. He's made eight of his last nine cuts on tour and looks poised to raise a trophy soon.
Unheralded journeyman Alex Cejka won the Puerto Rico Open, knocking off rookie Sam Saunders with a 20-footer for birdie on the first playoff hole. The win was the 44-year-old's first triumph on the PGA Tour, and few people likely saw it coming.
The win has instilled a measure of consistency in the tour veteran's play. Since the victory, Cejka hasn't missed a cut, although he's failed to crack the top 10 in that time.
A win was unexpected from the German, and this run of made cuts is a pleasant surprise as well.
A 2014 Web.com Tour graduate, Daniel Berger has been impressive on the big tour this season.
The Florida State alumnus finished second at the Honda Classic, losing to Padraig Harrington in a playoff. He also recorded a tie for sixth in New Orleans at the Zurich Classic and tied for 10th at both the Waste Management Phoenix Open and the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am.
Berger has made 13 of 19 cuts, which is impressive for a 22-year-old Web.com Tour grad who is seeing the courses of the PGA Tour circuit for the first time.
Paul Casey, once among the top-ranked golfers in the world, had faded into obscurity on the PGA Tour prior to this season. After the 2013 U.S. Open, Casey was ranked 169th in the world—a far cry from his time in the top 10 five years ago.
This season, the Englishman has recorded five top-10 finishes in 12 starts, including two top-three finishes. Entering the year, he had recorded just one top-10 finish on tour since 2010, so he's on a substantial uptick at the moment.
Prior to withdrawing from the Players in his last tournament, Casey had recorded three straight top-10 finishes, including a tie for sixth at the Masters.
The 37-year-old's resurgence this season is impressive.
We'll fold a bit of 2014 into the 2014-2015 PGA Tour season and say that, along with the aforementioned Paul Casey, Geoff Ogilvy had looked somewhat lost since 2010 and doomed to never recover his major championship-winning form.
In 2014, the former U.S. Open winner lifted a trophy for the first time since 2010 when he won the Barracuda Championship. He also tied for second at the Deutsche Bank Championship during the FedEx Cup playoffs. The win and second-place finish were elements that had been lacking from the Australian's tally in recent years.
This year, Ogilvy has played solid golf, making seven of nine cuts (his highest percentage since 2012) and finishing tied for seventh at the Wells Fargo Championship in his most recent start thanks to a tidy final-round 68.