The first event of the year is PGA Tour Gives a possible hint of what’s to come in 2022: birdie. Lots and lots of birds.
But what else should we expect? Which players should we focus on? Which unknown might declare itself? Which recognizable face might take a step back?
The first full-court event of the year kicks off Thursday at the Sony Open in Hawaii — Here’s how to watch it on ESPN+ – We called our experts.
Which player on the PGA Tour do you hope will make his stride this year?
Michael Collins: Daniel Berger. I expect Berger to have a winning season this year. His game, and his slow but steady ascent in the official World Golf Rankings, fills me with confidence when I say he will end the year around the top 5.
Michael Eves: Tony Furno. He was too good for too long and only won twice. His most recent victory, a major quality leaderboard victory in the FedEx Cup playoffs, may just be the boost he needs for several consecutive multi-win seasons.
Kevin Van Falkenberg: Scottie Scheffler. Do you know what is Schaeffler’s worst finish in a major in 2021? That would be the T-18 of the Masters. All he’s done in three other majors is three top 10 finishes.Runner-up in the WGC-Dell Technologies match play, great performance in the Ryder Cup (where he beat Jon Rahm in singles), you could say Scheffler has made the leap, except for one thing: he still hasn’t won as a pro. I think things will change this season. His game is everywhere.
Nick Petrushkevich: Matt Fitzpatrick. I would say Justin Thomas Or Rory McCrory, but picking any top 10 player in the world feels like cheating. So let’s take a look at Fitzpatrick, who is currently No. 26. In 20 games on the PGA Tour, he’s only finished in the top 10 five times; he’s also missed five cuts. He left after the first week of the FedEx Cup playoffs. He never won in America. He even admitted that it was time. “I’m not a rookie anymore,” he said at the end of 2021. “I’m 27. In my opinion, I know I have to start playing in big events, so my name is at the top of the charts more often.” Well, this year.