I can also be found at Rotoworld.com and on Twitter @RyanGolfBlogger.

Thursday, December 8, 2011

Who Could Be This Year's Webb Simpson and Bill Haas?

Webb Simpson had a huge 2011, and Bill Haas turned into the $14 million dollar man out of nowhere this year.  But did they really come out of nowhere, or could this have been predicted?  Let's take a look at the backgrounds of both of these guys and see what led up to career 2011's that included big wins and President's Cup appearances.
  • Webb and Bill were both highly touted amateurs out of a storied college program (Wake Forest). 
  • Bill had a string of solid seasons early in his PGA Tour career and never lost his card once he stepped on Tour.  He gradually built up his resume with several wins and took it to the next step by winning the Tour Championship.
  • Webb turned a decent 2010 on Tour (just under $1 million) into a monster 2011.  He had two top 10's and 7 top 25's in his 2010 campaign, so he found himself in contention a few times.
The three most likely to be this year's Webb Simpson are:
  1. Kyle Stanley - Played for Larry Penley at Clemson which produced Jonathan Byrd, Lucas Glover, D.J. Trahan and Charles Warren and had an amateur career that rivals all of theirs.  His rookie year on tour saw him finish second to Steve Stricker at the John Deere as one of his 4 top 10's and 9 top 25's.  He also only missed 6 cuts in 28 events; so he was very consistent.
  2. Kevin Chappell - UCLA Bruin was a contemporary of Stanley in college and has a similar resume as a professional.  He finished the year with 3 top 10's including a second and two thirds.  He only made 50% of his cuts but, like Simpson and Stanley, was a college star and didn't have any trouble his rookie year on Tour.
  3. Cameron Tringale - The former Georgia Tech star took an extra year to get comfortable on Tour, but his sophomore season saw 4 top 10's and 8 top 25's. 
All three of the above were big time college stars from big programs that have acquainted themselves nicely on Tour and look to be fixtures for a long time.  A year ago, Webb Simpson would have been on this same list.  It's a lot of pressure to think one of these guys will win twice this year and finish second on the money list, but it wouldn't be completely out of nowhere if they did.

The three most likely to be this year's Bill Haas are:
  1. Kevin Na - He's had a nice run on the PGA Tour amassing over $11 million dollars and collected his first win this year to go along with a combined 8 seconds and thirds and 29 top 10's in 212 events.  This could be the year where a few of those seconds or thirds turn into multiple wins, and who knows, maybe even one at the Tour Championship.
  2. Chris Kirk - Very similar to Haas from a collegiate background, the UGA graduate broke through with his first win in 2011.  He's not nearly as accomplished as Haas at this point, but he's got a win an a successful year under his belt and big things could happen.
  3. Jeff Overton - "Boom Baby" from the 2010 Ryder Cup had an off year in 2011, but was really looking close to big things in 2010 with 3 seconds and 2 thirds.  Like Haas, he's also a former Walker Cup player and college star.
Bill Haas had a very solid year that culminated with a well timed Tour Championship victory.  Any of these guys could put together a year to earn their way to the Tour Championship and play well enough to walk away with the trophy (or trophies).

No comments:

Post a Comment