Thursday, October 5, 2017

2017-18 PGA Tour Preview

By Marc James

Justin Thomas ended the 2016-17 PGA Tour season with success in the FedEx Cup when he was rewarded for a consistent campaign, as he won five tournaments during the year, stretching from his victory in 2016 CIMB Classic to the 2017 Dell Technologies Championship last month.

The top 20 players in the world rankings will be hoping to replicate what Thomas achieved when they begin their 2017-18 campaigns to help them improve or strengthen their standings. Here are three players who are most likely to have a big season.

Jordan Spieth

Jordan Spieth won the third major championship of his career earlier this year when he prevailed in the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale. The American has now won 11 PGA Tour titles and if he continues to have the success he has had in the early stages of his career, he is on course to break a lot of records in the sport.

Although Spieth won three tournaments last season, including a major, he will probably feel as though he had a moderate campaign. The 24-year-old didn't quite produce his best golf in the other three majors, as he failed to make the top 10 in the Masters, U.S. Open, and PGA Championship.

The priority in the 2017-18 season will be the PGA Championship, as a victory at the Bellerive Country Club would ensure he completes the set of major championships. Spieth is +900 in the latest golf odds for the tournament in August 2018.

Hideki Matsuyama

World No. 2 Hideki Matsuyama has won five tournaments on the PGA Tour, but he goes into the 2017-18 season looking for his first major victory. The 25-year-old has been tipped to be one of the most dominant players on the tour over the next decade. He came close to success in the 2017 U,S, Open, where he finished second behind Brooks Koepka.

Matsuyama will be defending his title in the WGC-HSBC Champions tournament later this month. When he landed the trophy 12 months ago, he became the first Asian player to win a WGC event. The Japanese golfer is capable of going on a hot streak, so if he gets off to a flying start this season, he could have Thomas' five tournament success on his radar.

Patrick Reed

A lot was expected of American Patrick Reed when he broke onto the scene in 2013 with victory in the Wyndham Championship. Since then, though, his form has been a little up and down. The 27-year-old failed to pick up a win during the 2016-17 campaign, although he did show signs that his game was close to coming together again in the PGA Championship, where he finished second in the event won by Thomas.

Reed is a player who thrives on confidence so, if he just gets off the mark early, it could lead to a successful season once again.

The final event of the 2017-18 PGA Tour season is the Tour Championship on September 23 when the FedEx Cup champion for 2018 will be crowned. Who are your players to watch?

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