Top 20 players to watch into 2020 ... Nos. 20-11
December 16, 2019
By Bob McClellan, PGATOUR.COM
- December 16, 2019
- Doug Barron came out of nowhere in 2019 to win the DICK'S Sporting Goods Open. (Getty Images)
There’s an old adage, of course, that says hindsight is 2020.
Well, here’s some foresight for 2020: The top 20 players on PGA TOUR Champions for the coming year. It has a little bit of everything – the stalwarts, the rookies, a couple of players on the rise.
There are some very good players not on this list who surely will wind up there by year’s end. That’s just the nature of golf and making predictions.
Herewith, 20 for ’20:
20. Shane Bertsch
Age: 49 (50 in March).
Recapping his 2019: Bertsch, a three-timer winner on the Korn Ferry Tour, was the medalist at PGA TOUR Champions Q School.
2020 vision: Bertsch won a Korn Ferry Tour event as recently as 2015. Scott Parel was a Q school medalist, and now he’s in the top 10 on this list.
19. Brandt Jobe
Recapping his 2019: The affable Oklahoma native picked up the second win of his PGA TOUR Champions career at the Boeing Classic and added four other top 10s.
2020 vision: Jobe is a big hitter (fourth in driving distance) and a solid ball striker (third in greens in regulation). When he putts well he’s in the hunt.
18. Tommy Tolles
Recapping his 2019: Tolles was going nowhere until the final 10 events, when he posted all six of his top 25s, including a solo second and a T3 to start the Schwab Cup playoffs.
2020 vision: The lanky Tolles showed down the stretch that he still has all kinds of game, so if he gained some confidence from his playoff performance a more consistent year is on tap.
17. Jeff Maggert
Recapping his 2019: The last vision of Maggert is of him holing a wedge shot to beat Retief Goosen in a playoff to win the season-ending Charles Schwab Cup Championship. It was his sixth PGA TOUR Champions victory, but just his first since 2015. He added five other top 10s.
2020 vision: Maggert had struggled from June until the season finale, but a big win with a big shot should provide a major boost for the coming year.
16. Billy Andrade
Recapping his 2019: Itching for his fourth victory on PGA TOUR Champions and first since 2015, Andrade did everything but win. He came oh so close a few times en route to 10 top-10s, including three runner-up finishes.
2020 vision: If he can give himself as many chances as he did in ’19, Andrade will cash a winner’s check.
15. Ken Tanigawa
Recapping his 2019: Tanigawa had only four top 10s, but he won his first major, the KitchenAid Senior PGA Championship. He also had 17 top 25s in 27 events.
2020 vision: The talent unquestionably is there; better putting would go a long way.
14. Doug Barron
Recapping his 2019: His first event after turning 50 was The Senior Open presented by Rolex and he nearly won before finishing T5. Then he won in his second start, at the DICK’S Sporting Goods Open, as a Monday qualifier. He played in only seven events but still qualified for the Schwab Cup playoffs, and he made it to the Charles Schwab Cup Championship.
2020 vision: Barron parlayed just 10 starts in his first season into $715,804. Now that he’s full exempt and will get to play at the Mitsubishi Electric Championship at Hualalai, the sky’s the limit.
13. Woody Austin
Recapping his 2019: Austin found the fountain of youth: Over his last 18 events he posted 16 top-20 finishes. He finished second twice and had the highest Charles Schwab Cup rank of his career (sixth) despite not finding the winner’s circle.
2020 vision: Over his final seven events including the playoffs, Austin had a second, two thirds, a fourth and a seventh. He should be ready for a quick start in the new year.
12. Kevin Sutherland
Recapping his 2019: Sutherland won twice, both in playoffs. He was sidelined mid-August by a wrist injury, but he reappeared at the Charles Schwab Cup Championship and finished T8 with weekend rounds of 66 and 64.
2020 vision: Assuming he’s healthy and plays a full schedule, you just know Sutherland will throw up a crazy-low round on a Sunday to win at least once.
11. Colin Montgomerie
Recapping his 2019: The Scotsman posted 10 top-10s, including a victory in the second event of the Charles Schwab Cup Playoffs, the invesco QQQ Championship. Monty caught fire during the playoffs, with three top-four finishes to end up fifth in the final Scwhab standings. He had 22 top 25s in 26 events.
2020 vision: Montgomerie is as consistent a player as PGA TOUR Champions has to offer, and he will come away from his playoff surge looking for more.