The 2019-2020 PGA Tour season is just beginning, and already we have seen 2 first time winners in Sanderson Farms Championship winner Sebastián Muñoz and Greenbrier Classic winner Joaquín Niemann. GolfLink looks into its crystal ball to make some predictions on just who else could join these 2 as first time winners this year.
It should be no surprise that 2019 Rookie of the Year Im Sung-jae is first on this list. In fact, Im was already in contention this year, losing a playoff to Muñoz in the Sanderson Farms Championship back in September. Im also managed seven top-10 finishes last year, including finishing 3rd at the Arnold Palmer Invitation and was the only rookie to qualify for the Tour Championship, ultimately finishing 19th. It seems like only a matter of time before the Korean earns his first PGA Tour win.
Big things are expected from the 22 year old Norwegian after finishing T32 at the 2019 Masters and 12th at the 2019 U.S. Open, both as an amateur. Hovland turned professional after the U.S. Open and earned a T4 finish at the 2019 Wyndham Championship before securing his PGA Tour card through the Korn Ferry Tour Finals. Hovland’s stats are impressive, especially in his strokes gained off-the-tee, and he remains a good bet to break his duck in his rookie season.
Doug Ghim is another rookie after earning Tour status through the Korn Ferry Tour. The University of Texas alum was the low amateur at the 2018 Masters and in 11 PGA Tour events Ghim has 4 top-25 finishes. An accomplished amateur golfer, Ghim also has experience winning the 2017 Walker Cup with team USA. He finished a T31 in this year’s Sanderson Farms Championship and remains a dark horse to take home his first win if he can fully unlock his undoubted potential.
Another University of Texas alum, Scheffler turned an impressive year on the Korn Ferry Tour into his PGA Tour card. He had 2 wins on the developmental tour, as well as 2 runners-up and a myriad of top-10 finishes. He has already started his rookie season off well, with a T7 finish at the Greenbrier Classic and T16 at the Sanderson Farms Championship. Big things are expected from the 23 year old Texan in his professional career.
Wyndham Clark returns for his second season on the PGA Tour riding a hot streak of 4 top-20 finishes in the last 2 months of the season. He ended the 2019 season ranked 5th in driving distance and could be a threat on longer courses with his consistent drives. He’s not too shabby on the green either, finishing in the top-10 for strokes gained through putting. The Colorado native has been threatening a breakthrough for a while now, and many feel this could be his year to gain that all-important first PGA Tour win.