At the end of 2012 Australia has nine golfers in the top 100 in the World Golf Rankings. Leading the nine is Adam Scott ranked at number 5 and Marc Leishman ranked at number 87.
Moving into 2013 which of these players are going to contend for the majors and win on the PGA or European Tour’s?
Adam Scott had a really good year and it would have been a great year had he won the British Open. He is without doubt the one player out of the Aussie contingent, who has the game to contend and win a “Major” next year,
For him to do this he has to make more of those crucial putts coming down the stretch. Another area is his distance control with his wedges, which is not to the standard of the other players in the top 10 World Golf Rankings. Improve these two areas and he will win a major and a couple more tournaments.
Jason Day has had an ordinary year compared to last year where he was in contention at most of the majors. The main reason being he and his wife had a baby son in the middle of the year and his form deteriorated after this.
Soon after the birth Jason decided not to play the British Open to spend time with his family.
From a high of 9th on the money list in 2011 he has dropped to a low of 88th in 2012. His length off the tee where he ranks 7th at 308.6 yards combined with his putting where he ranks 14th in the strokes gained- putting category will allow him to be competitive on any golf course in any sort of conditions as he controls his trajectory very well with all his clubs.
John Senden has been a model of consistency in 2012 ranking 38th in the WGR. He played in 22 tournaments making the cut in 19 and with 5 top ten’s and 11 top 25’s it has been a good year for John.
Ranked 23rd in driving accuracy and 17th in G.I.R with an all round ranking of 13th makes John one of the top ball strikers on the PGA Tour.
It’s been said too many times but the “flat stick” has been his “Achilles Heel” throughout his career and unless he can make improvements in this stat he will continue to make a very good living on tour but find it hard to win tournaments.
Next in the rankings is Geoff Ogilvy (51st) and the only Australian winner of a Major this century when he won the US Open in 2006.
He too has gone through the adjustment of new additions to the family and I predict a strong 2013 from Geoff. With three World Golf Championship Tournaments under his belt to go with his US Open he is someone who thrives under pressure in the big tournaments.
One statistic that will need to improve is his Greens in Regulation where he is ranked in 128th position. This is his only weak area and when improved will allow him to contend week in and week out on the PGA Tour where he has played since 2001.
Marcus Fraser is the John Senden of the European Tour. Rarely misses a cut, most of the time is near the lead and finishes in the top ten but doesn’t win many tournaments.
Had a really good year on the European and Asian tour’s in 2012 and is 55tth in the WGR. A former world amateur champion in 2000, Marcus is at the stage where he has matured as a professional golfer and needs to make a break through just like Luke Donald did in 2010.
They both hit it the same distance off the tee but Luke has the superior short game and putting which separates’ them on the scoring and money list.
Greg Chalmers another consistent tour professional. Played twenty tournaments in 2012 and made the cut in twenty and had 7 top 25’s. He made US$1,166,627.00 and is one of the best putters and scramblers out on the PGA Tour. His WGR is 64th.
With a ranking of 164th in driving distance and 180th in the G.I.R statistic without that world class scoring game he would struggle to keep his card. I have known Greg since his junior days in Perth Western Australia and he has always walked off the course knowing that he has ground out the best score possible on that day.
A hard worker with an excellent attitude has enabled Greg to play at the highest level on the European and PGA Tour’s for a very long time.
Brendon Jones is a regular on the Japanese Tour where he wins multiple tournaments each year. He qualified and played the PGA Tour full time in 2005 where he finished in 144th position. Decided that his game suited the Japanese Tour and he made a commitment to stay and play in Japan.
Brendan’s WGR is 73rd and that will allow him to play in the USPGA in August 2013 if he maintains it. A good all round ball striker and wields a long ‘Broomstick” putter most of his professional career and has to 2016 to find an alternative method to get the ball into the hole.
Aaron Baddeley is ranked just behind Brendan Jones in 78th position in the WGR. Not a good year for ‘Badds” especially after winning last year and looked like he was back to playing his best golf again.
Still one of the best putters out there on the PGA Tour and ranked 6th but at the tail end in the driving accuracy 174th and G.I.R 189th makes it hard for him to win tournaments on a regular basis. I believe Aaron will have a strong year in 2013.
Marc Leishman is the last of the Aussie contingent ranked 87th in the WGR. He too like Jason Day has gone through the new parent stage and is ready to move up the rankings once again.
A winner on the PGA Tour for the 1st time at the Travelers Championship in 2012, Marc is ready to become a top twenty player in the world.
His game is suited to playing on the PGA Tour as although his stats don’t show it but when he is on his game he gets and stays in contention.
My prediction is that Adam Scott, Geoff Ogilvy, Jason Day and Marc Leishman will be the main guys to contend and bring the next “Major” to Australia. They all have the game to play Augusta and Adan, Geoff and Jason will have received their invitation by now as they are all in the top 50 WGR and Marc as a tournament winner in 2012 will also get his invitation.
It’s been a long drought since Geoff Ogilvy won the US Open at Wingfoot and a victory in one of more of the four “Majors” is long overdue.
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