7 Things We'd Love to See Happen on the PGA Tour in 2017
The 2017 PGA Tour season has already begun, as it were, with the 2016-2017 PGA Tour season now four tournaments old. Hideki Matsuyama and Justin Thomas have already made strong statements that they plan to continue their respective ascents with early wins.
In addition to the aforementioned striving to position themselves among the top young talents on the PGA Tour, we have some particular wishes with respect to the gentleman in the picture above. For more on that, plus six additional things we'd love to see in 2017, read on.
Tiger Woods on the Golf Course
Theoretically, long-absent Tiger Woods will tee it up at the Hero World Challenge at the beginning of December. We haven’t seen the former world No. 1 in a PGA Tour event since the Wyndham Championship in August of last year.
He backed out of the Safeway Open at the beginning of October after initially committing to the tournament. So, it’s tough for golf fans to get their hopes up about TW actually appearing inside the ropes. Forget about another major win; we’ll settle for seeing Tiger golfing this season.
Jordan Spieth Winning the Masters
In order to exorcise the demons of his 12th-hole meltdown at Augusta last year, Jordan Spieth needs to win the Masters this year. No arguments; he’s just got to grab the green jacket to rebalance the golf universe.
From a poetic standpoint, Spieth coming to the 12th during his final round—where his ball pathetically found Rae’s Creek after a chunked tee shot last year—and making birdie would be the fullest measure of redemption.
More of the Same from Dustin Johnson
Missed the 2015-16 PGA Tour season? PGA Tour Player of the Year Dustin Johnson had a breakout three-win campaign which included his first major W. DJ tallied 19 top-25 finishes in 22 starts. We’d like to see the South Carolinian continue to improve his putting and dial in his wedge play. If he does that, given his injection of confidence this year, DJ will continue his upward trajectory.
A Mickelsonian Victory
An oft-related data point in PGA Tour telecasts: Phil Mickelson hasn’t won on the PGA Tour since hoisting the Claret Jug at the 2013 Open Championship.
And while he’s recorded 10 top-10 finishes in the three seasons since, the left-hander hasn’t been able to capture the 43rd victory of his PGA Tour career. We’d like to see the 46-year-old get No. 43 in 2017.
An Injury-Free Season for Jason Day
The 2015-16 season was a painful one for Jason Day, who was never quite his high-performing self for any length of time, although he won three times. Day was compromised by a lingering back issue, which eventually forced him to withdraw from the season-ending Tour Championship and shut it down for the remainder of 2016.
We’d like to see him injury-free in 2017.
Rory McIlroy Continue to Improve His Putting
Rory McIlroy, who struggled with his putting for most of the 2015-16 season, looked to be making some strides late in the season after a putter switch and work with new coach Phil Kenyon. McIlroy was 135th in strokes gained from putting on tour last year.
He’ll have to do better across the 2016-17 season if he’s going to win consistently and/or capture his fifth major championship. We hope he does.
The Beef Johnston Show
It’s tough not to like Andrew “Beef” Johnston. The bristly bearded Londoner emerged as a fan favorite on the European Tour with his win at last year’s Open de Espana, eliciting the populist frenzy that a young John Daly did in the early '90s.
An inspired showing at The Open Championship raised Johnston’s profile further, and his performance at the Albertson’s Boise Open on the Web.com Tour secured a PGA Tour card for the 2016-17 season. While he’ll assuredly split his time between the European and PGA Tours, you have to be excited to see Beef unleashed this season.