The 2010 golf season saw the rise of several golfers including Graeme McDowell, Matt Kuchar, and the Molinari brothers. These golfers have had success in the past, but they are all inside the top 20 in the Official World Golf Ranking after breakthrough 2010 seasons. On the other side of things, there are several golfers who fell out of the spotlight in a big way this past season. It's something golf fans don't always see because they are so focused on the golfers having success on a weekly basis.
I've put together a list of golfers who struggled to find their way in 2010 and will be looking to have a bounce back year in 2011. All but one are Major Championship winners, and three of the four were in the top 20 this time last year. In addition, the game of golf is a better place when these guys are playing well. Without further ado, here is the list.
Geoff Ogilvy is the most surprising guy on this list because he is one of the most naturally talented golfers in the world. Every time he wins a tournament, it seems like he is due to win another handful the same year. For whatever reason, it hasn't happened like that. In 2009, the Aussie had two victories on the PGA Tour and finished 13th in the FedExCup. At the end of 2009, he was 14th in the Official World Golf Ranking.
Ogilvy started the 2010 season with a win in Kapalua, but he only managed one top-10 finish the rest of the year. That's pretty shocking to say the least. He finished 14th in the FedExCup, but that's mostly because of a runner-up finish in the second playoff event. He also missed the cut six times in 19 events, and he has fallen all the way to 31st in the world. Ogilvy did win in Australia last week, and it will be interesting to see if he can use that momentum to bounce back on the PGA Tour in 2011.
Henrik Stenson is another golfer who had an outstanding 2009 season. He won The Players and finished in the top 10 in two of the four majors. In addition, he finished 18th in the Race to Dubai. The Swede was on a lot of people's short list for best golfers without a major victory. At the end of the 2009, he was ranked seventh in the Official World Golf Ranking and had high hopes for 2010.
Things were much different for Stenson in 2010, however. He played 15 PGA Tour events, but he only managed one top-10 finish. That was at the Open Championship. He ended 141st in the FedExCup and 49th in the Race to Dubai, and he failed to make the European Ryder Cup team. Stenson has also fallen to 51st in the world which is hard to believe. He has always had the talent, but he needs to get things back to good in 2011.
Stewart Cink had his major breakthrough at the 2009 British Open Championship, and he followed that with a tie for sixth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational. It looked like he was finally going to go on the run everyone had predicted for years. He finished the 2009 season 28th in the FedExCup, and he was 16th in the Official World Golf Ranking at the end of the year.
Cink didn't completely fall off the planet in 2010, but he definitely had a down year after winning a major the year before. He only managed three top-10 finishes in 23 starts on the PGA Tour, and he finished 38th in the FedExCup. In addition, he missed the cut at Augusta and wasn't a factor in the other three majors. He is currently 44th in the world which is a far cry from where he was this time last year. Cink has always had consistency issues, but it's time for him to return to the spotlight.
The three golfers above had their struggles in 2010, but nobody on this list had more issues than Mike Weir. In 2009, he had six top-10 finishes on the PGA Tour and finished the season 29th in the FedExCup. He was also part of another Presidents Cup team. He struggled a little towards the end of the year, but he was still 36th in the world at the beginning of 2010.
The 2010 season was very harsh to Mike Weir, and he is in danger of fallen completely out of the spotlight. The Canadian only managed one top-10 finish in 19 starts on the PGA Tour, and that was his first event of the season. He didn't make the FedExCup Playoffs, and he has fallen all the way down to a staggering 161st in the Official World Golf Ranking. He missed eight cuts and ended with less than $600,000. The numbers and stats for Weir are almost too hard to believe, but they are accurate. He is going to have to figure things out in a hurry, or he won't be playing the PGA Tour in the future.
The Final Say
The list of golfers who need to bounce back in 2011 could be much longer if you include golfers like Sergio Garcia. Then again, he has been looking for a bounce back year the past two seasons. Nonetheless, the four golfers above have made a huge impact on the game over the past five years. It will be nice if they can make an impact in 2011. Also, you can bet there will be others who take the same path next year and are on this list the next time it's written.
It's your turn to tell me what you think about this week's article. Do you think any of the golfers above will bounce back in 2011? Also, which others should be included on the list? If you have anything to add, please comment below or discuss them in the forum. Thanks for reading!
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