Five to break through in 2018: Billy Mayfair
The former PGA TOUR winner has 24 starts on PGA TOUR Champions and has contended often
January 08, 2018
By Bob McClellan, PGATOUR.COM
- Billy Mayfair finished 2017 strong and was 12th in the final Schwab Cup standings. (Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
Only one member of last year’s ballyhooed rookie class managed to grab a victory on PGA TOUR Champions.
Jerry Kelly actually won twice. It took the Wisconsin native 13 events before he grabbed his first trophy, at the Boeing Classic. He quickly followed up with another victory, just two events later at the Pacific Links Bear Mountain Championship.
Notably, Kevin Sutherland also had his breakthrough moment last season. The 53-year-old finally won in his 78th start on PGA TOUR Champions, and he picked a great time. By winning the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship at Phoenix Country Club he also won the Schwab Cup.
Over the next two week we’ll identify five returning players, in alphabetical order, still looking for their first win who are mostly like to get it in 2018.
2017 starts: 24
Top 10s: 7
Best finish: T2, JAPAN AIRLINES Championship
Last victory: 1998 Buick Open
Why he’ll win in 2018: Mayfair had a strong 2017, finishing 12th in the final Schwab Cup standings after a T7 at the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship. He ended the year on a tear; his final six starts resulted in four top 10s, a T11 and a T16. He had two top 10s at majors and two T3s. If he stays near the top of the leaderboard that often again in 2018, if not more, he’s bound to get in the winner’s circle.
Mayfair’s game doesn’t have a significant weakness. He ranked 13th in scoring last year. He was ninth in total driving, 15th in ball striking, 24th in greens in regulation and 17th in putting average. A lot of guys would trade their numbers for being above average across the board. Mayfair hasn’t won a PGA TOUR-sanctioned event in 20 years. But how about this for irony: The scene of his last PGA TOUR victory is just coming onto the schedule for PGA TOUR Champions. Mayfair won the Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan, on Aug. 9, 1998. From Sept. 14-16 this year, The Ally Challenge will be contested at Warwick Hills. Wouldn’t that be something?
Billy Mayfair's near-ace at Boeing Classic