In every sport there are underrated athletes, and golf is no exception. The PGA Tour has numerous players who get the results, qualify for most events and yet receive less than deserved notoriety for doing so. They must play their way into coverage on television but largely wouldn’t be recognized at your average McDonald’s.
Here are five of the most underrated players on the PGA Tour.
The Wake Forest University product won’t dazzle you with his power off the tee (his highest driving distance rank is a mere 51st on Tour), but he more than makes up for it elsewhere. He has five PGA Tour wins, including a major championship (U.S. Open in 2012) and a Players Championship (2018). Simpson has qualified for the season-ending Tour Championship in Atlanta seven times, proof of his productivity and consistency. If that weren’t enough, Simpson has qualified for three Ryder Cup teams (2012, 2014 and 2018) and three Presidents Cup teams (2011, 2013 and this year). There are no signs he’s letting up either.
Walking with Webb Simpson on 17. The number of fans breezing by him, then seeing that he’s 13-under, is staggering. pic.twitter.com/poIkqGZiw8
— Jason Munz (@munzly) July 28, 2019
Though this South African has only one win on the PGA Tour (2010 Open Championship), he does own a rarity of sorts in the major championships in general: a second-place finish in all four, including a runner-up in the 2012 Masters when he accomplished the only albatross on the second hole in the tournament’s history. Oosthuizen just qualified for his fourth consecutive Presidents Cup International team and, in my mind at least, has the nicest swing in golf. The more important the tournament is, it’s increasingly likely Oosthuizen rises to the occasion. He’s still only 37 years old, so I expect to see even more.
— The Open (@TheOpen) July 14, 2016
The native of Warrnambool, Australia, has only four wins on the Tour but is now a regular Tour Championship participant, meaning he must finish in the top 30 on the points list to qualify. It takes consistency to do so, and he’s also been on the last three Presidents Cup teams and qualified for this year’s event as well. Over the course of the last three seasons, Leishman has 20 top 10 finishes, and he seldom misses cuts.
A clutch putt that would’ve made Arnie proud.
Your winner, Marc Leishman. pic.twitter.com/bt8sh061Uw
— PGA TOUR (@PGATOUR) March 20, 2017
Like Leishman, Na has four wins on the PGA Tour, but three of his four have come since the summer of 2018. For years, Na has earned numerous top 10s, which as of this writing stands at 69, and he’s made it to Atlanta for the Tour Championship six times. The consistent Na’s best days would seem to be ahead of him too given his recent form.
Playing with Kevin Na who just won in Vegas. Now playing a practice round with him in his native country Korea and he’s rubbing off on me. pic.twitter.com/6lAEEgYLdM
— Phil Mickelson (@PhilMickelson) October 15, 2019
One of the quickest-playing guys on Tour, Snedeker has thus far racked up nine wins on the Tour, has shot a 59 (in Greensboro), won a FedEx Cup (2012), had 76 top 10s and earned more than $38 million. Granted, he’s missing a major championship, as are Leishman and Na, and perhaps that’s all any of these three need. However, it seems to me that Snedeker is always in the shadow of some of his contemporaries. If I had to have someone make a putt to save my life, I think Snedeker would be one of my first five choices, perhaps even my first three.
Driver off the deck to one foot? 😱
Brandt Snedeker hit a 297-yard DART. pic.twitter.com/7h3vdOxnRQ
— Golf Digest (@GolfDigest) May 22, 2019