Top 5 Golfers to watch at the 2022 Players Championship
Photo: PGA Tour

The 2022 Players Championship will take place on Thursday, 10th March 2022. Here in this article, we let you know the top 5 golfers to watch at the Players field. Let’s check them below:

1. Collin Morikawa

  • Age: 25
  • World Ranking: 2
  • Players starts: 1
  • Best Players finish: T-41, 2021
World Number 2 Collin Morikawa
Photo: Mike Ehrmann

The Collin Morikawa file reads something like this: a transcendent iron player, very solid driver of the ball, inconsistent putter. Would you believe me, then, if I told you he ranks second on tour in SG/putting? The sample size is very small, but Morikawa’s switch to the saw putting grip appears to be paying dividends and it’s leading to a consistency that few, if any, have been able to match.

He’s finished T-7 or better in each of his four starts on the wrap-around season and managed to slip in a win at the DP World Tour Championship late last year to become the first American to win the Race to Dubai.

His Players debut produced a disappointing T-41 finish a year ago, but he’s the type to block that from memory and instead hone in on the 66 he shot in the final round. Was in a full chase down mode of Joaquin Niemann in his last start at the Genesis but ran out of holes and had to “settle” for a runner-up finish. The swing is clicking, the putter is cooperating and this course will accentuate his greatest strength: accuracy. He’s the man to beat, and should everyone fail to do so, he’ll finish the week as the World No. 1.

2. Viktor Hovland

  • Age: 24
  • World Ranking: 3
  • Players starts: 1
  • Best Players finish: MC, 2021
World number 3 Viktor Hovland
Photo: Mike Ehrmann

Viktor Hovland won three times in five starts toward the end of 2021 to graduate from great-young-player status to one of the very best in the world. Hovland entered Bay Hill having finished T-4 or better in five of his last seven starts, then carried the solo lead into the weekend.

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An exceptional ball-striker whose short game continues to improve, though it’s still not all the way there—he’s still prone to stretches where he looks genuinely uncomfortable on and around greens, and he had one of those en route to shooting a back-nine 40 Saturday afternoon at Bay Hill to drop out of the lead.

For all his successes he hasn’t won an elite-field event yet, and you wonder how the chipping and putting would hold up down the stretch under the gun. He, Morikawa, and Rahm figure to hover around the top five in the World Ranking for many years to come. Made two doubles in his opening round at last year’s Players and wound up missing the cut by two.

3. Scottie Scheffler

  • Age: 25
  • World Ranking: 5
  • Players starts: 1
  • Best Players finish: MC, 2021
World Number 5 Scottie Scheffler
Photo: Sam Greenwood

You won’t find his swing in the instruction manual, but it’s often the sui generis moves that produce the best results. Texas grad is all the way up sixth in the world thanks to a really strong start to 2022.

Scottie Scheffler won his first PGA Tour event at the WM Phoenix Open, backed it up with another top-10 at the Genesis Invitational, and then claim to win No. 2 on Sunday at Bay Hill. Not short on confidence and beating an in-form Jon Rahm in Ryder Cup singles last September certainly didn’t hurt that cause. Plays a distinctly modern game: he hits it miles far and miles high and rolls it well.

It’s a recipe that produces a ton of birdies—he’s averaging more than five a round, sixth-best on tour—and has held up in major championships, though he did miss the cut in his first Players appearance last year.

4. Jon Rahm

  • Age: 27
  • World Ranking: 1
  • Players starts: 4
  • Best Players finish: T-9, 2021
World Number 1 Jon Rahm
Photo: Ben Jared

Been a model of consistency since he turned professional, with a Tiger like top-10 percentage over his career and 16 top-10s in 25 starts last season. You half-wish he’d win a bit more often, but now we’re nitpicking. Jon Rahm was the only man to finish in the top 5 in all four majors and the Players Championship last year, and a few weeks ago he was living in that rare the-favorite-in-any-tournament-he-plays-in territory.

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But he needed a nervy five-footer to make the cut on the number at the Genesis Invitational and got off to another slow start at Bay Hill, which has dulled some of the shine. The main culprit is the putter—he dropped more than two shots on the greens in both the Genesis and the WM Phoenix Open. Still, both the World Rankings and the advanced stats agree that he is the finest player on Earth, and he figures to win at least one of these before he’s done.

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5. Patrick Cantlay

  • Age: 29
  • World Ranking: 4
  • Players starts: 3
  • Best Players finish: T-22, 2017
World Number 4 Patrick Cantlay
Photo: Christian Petersen

A certain Spaniard might take issue, but you can make a not-ridiculous case that Patrick Cantlay has been the best player in the world dating back to last summer. You remember it, the Summer of Patty Ice, when he won that electrifying playoff over Bryson DeChambeau, held off that same Spaniard to win the FedEx Cup, starred at the Ryder Cup, and became an interview-room darling in the process?

He then took the entire fall season off but has managed to keep the heater going through the winter—he has four top-10 finishes in five starts this year, including a playoff loss to Scottie Scheffler at the WM Phoenix Open, and is a combined 80 under par in those five events. Still, he hasn’t even semi-challenged for a major or a Players, a glaring big-event weakness in his increasingly impressive résumé.

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SOURCEGolf Digest
Golam Muktadir is a passionate sports fan and a dedicated movie buff. He has been writing about both topics for over a decade and has a wealth of knowledge and experience to share with his readers. Muktadir has a degree in journalism and has written for several well-known publications, including Surprise Sports.


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