The Future of the PGA Tour and Majors - who you got?

jcaz

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I've been thinking about how bright the future of the PGA tour is right now with incredible young talent and with a new generation of players hitting their prime. I looked through the list of the last 11 year's of major winners. The full list of winners is spoilered below with some thoughts on the less competitive names.

Here's the list of young, competitive, current major winners including Tiger. Ten years from now, who among this group has the wins? The most majors? Who's not on this list, but will be, with multiple wins / majors?

Player Majors (since 2010) Age Total Wins PGA [PGA+Euro]
Collin Morikawa PGA 23 3 [4]
Bryson DeChambeau US 27 7 [9]
Jordan Spieth M, PGA, TOC 27 11 [14]
Justin Thomas PGA 27 13 [16]
Brooks Koepka USx2, PGAx2 30 7 [13]
Patrick Reed M 30 8 [11]
Rory McIlroy US, TOC, PGA 31 18 [32]
Jason Day PGA 33 12 [15]
Dustin Johnson US, M 36 24 [32]
Tiger Woods M 44 82 [123]


It's a little early to tell for Morikawa, but he appears to have the talent and the mindset to win at least one more, probably two majors and a bunch of tour events. I expect DJ to go on a run now and with two to three more majors, and end up with ~35 wins. Spieth has been not good for a long time. I don't know if he recovers.

Rory will win at Augusta, at least I hope. He needs the lifetime exemption for the Masters. He's the kind of guy who can pull a Langer and break par in his early 60s.

If I had to bet on who wins the most in the next 10 years, I'm going with JT. Not as long as DJ, but a better short game and putter. Competes - rarely mails it in.

Names not on this list? Viktor Hovland? Matthew Wolff?

What does SOSH think?

Player Majors (since 2010) Age Total Wins PGA [PGA+Euro]
Collin Morikawa PGA 23 3 [4]
Bryson DeChambeau US 27 7 [9]
Jordan Spieth M, PGA, TOC 27 11 [14]
Justin Thomas PGA 27 13 [16]
Brooks Koepka USx2, PGAx2 30 7 [13]
Patrick Reed M 30 8 [11]
Rory McIlroy US, TOC, PGA 31 18 [32]
Danny Willett M 33 1 [4]
Jason Day PGA 33 12 [15]
Shane Lowry TOC 33 2 [7]
Keegan Bradley PGA 34 4 [6]
Martin Kaymer PGA, US 35 3 [14]
Webb Simpson US 35 7 [8]
Charl Schwartzel M 36 2 [13]
Dustin Johnson US, M 36 24 [32]
Gary Woodland US 36 4 [5]
Francesco Molinari TOC 38 3 [9]
Louis Oosthuizen TOC 38 1 [10]
Adam Scott M 40 14 [25]
Justin Rose US 40 10 [21]
Sergio García M 40 11 [27]
Graeme McDowell US 41 4 [15]
Jimmy Walker PGA 41 6 [6]
Bubba Watson Mx2 42 12 [16]
Jason Dufner PGA 43 5 [5]
Henrik Stenson TOC 44 6 [17]
Tiger Woods M 44 82 [123]
Zach Johnson TOC 44 12 [14]
Phil Mickelson M, TOC 50 44 [54]
Ernie Els TOC 51 19 [47]
Darren Clarke TOC 52 3 [17]


Ernie, Clarke, Zach Johnson. No chance. Two at 50+ and the game doesn't set up for Zach any more.
Dufner, Walker, McDowell, Bradley, Lowry, Willet, Woodland, Molinari, Stenson. One time wonders, I think.
Oosthuizen, Schwartzel, Rose, Scott. Guys who regularly contend and whose games are solid enough to earn another win.
Sergio and Bubba. Late in their careers (who knew Bubba was 42?), wouldn't be shocked, but seems like a longshot.
Kaymer, Simpson. Kaymer lost his game entirely and is trying to make his way back. Both are only 35, but still feel like this is really unlikely.
Phil. Will probably have tournaments where he puts together 3 rounds and competes, but I'll be stunned if he can keep it on the rails for four days.
 

RedOctober3829

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I think the current "Big 3" is Dustin Johnson, Justin Thomas , and Rory McIlroy. Koepka has the most majors, but only 4 other wins outside of those. DeChambeau has a lot of hype around him right now, but let's see him put together a couple more years of this level of play before we slide him into this type of conversation. I think the future is bright for guys like Morikawa and Wolff but they've got to build a resume first.
 

Mooch

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Put Jon Rahm in there. He's only 26 and has as much game as anyone on your list. I'd expect multiple major wins from him in the near future.
 

Average Game James

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The depth of talent on tour right now is really amazing which makes it hard to imagine anyone rattling off a string of majors. DJ, JT, Bryson, and Morikawa are all capable of banking multiple majors in the next 5-10 years, Rory still probably has the highest ceiling of any golfer but DJ when he has his game working, and I would never bet against a health Koepka at the US Open or PGA. And that's just among current major winners. Off the top of my head, guys who haven't won a major yet that I could see winning one in the next 10 years: Rahm, Schauffele, Cantlay, Wolff, Im, Hovland. Next tier for me would include players like Fleetwood, Berger, Hatton, Fitzpatrick, Finau, Cam Smith, Ancer, and Scottie Scheffler. I also think you're really underestimating how well Webb Simpson has been playing - he's a top 10 player in the world with SG Total rankings the past 3 years of 4th ('20), 5th ('19), and 8th ('18). His approach and around-the-green game should age well, so I wouldn't be at all surprised if he managed to grab another in the next 5 years. There's 20ish guys I listed off right there, plus the inevitable out of nowhere winner or two we likely see, and there are only 40 majors in a decade. TLDR, there is a lot of talent on tour. Winning multiple majors will be very hard.

If I had to pick right now, I think it's Bryson. The distance off the tee is a real advantage (let's not forget his demolition of the US Open only 2 months ago), and while it didn't work at Augusta last week it's telling that he can play absolutely horrific golf and end up T-34. And while the driver gets all the attention, he's turned into a very good putter. He's also someone who has been winning at every level going back to his time as an am/collegiate player. He was a top 20 player in the world before he added all the extra length off the tee.

After that, I could make a case for any of JT, DJ, Rahm or Morikawa.
 

Average Reds

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S.J Im impressed me during the Masters. At 22 YOA, I can see him winning a couple or more.
Im is going to be a multiple winner in the majors.

Someone like Cameron Smith is going to be a consistent contender as well. He doesn't have the flashy game that a lot of the others have, but his short game is one of the best and he has brass balls.
 

cshea

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It is really hard to project out major wins. They are so, so difficult to win. When Rory won the Open and PGA back to back in 2014 I'd have never guessed he would still be sitting at 4 major wins 6+ years later. Kaymer looked destined to win a bunch after winning The Players and then US Open by 8 in back to back months in 2014. He's had a bit of a resurgence on the Euro tour of late but basically fell off the cliff trying to tinker with his swing.
 

RedOctober3829

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It is really hard to project out major wins. They are so, so difficult to win. When Rory won the Open and PGA back to back in 2014 I'd have never guessed he would still be sitting at 4 major wins 6+ years later. Kaymer looked destined to win a bunch after winning The Players and then US Open by 8 in back to back months in 2014. He's had a bit of a resurgence on the Euro tour of late but basically fell off the cliff trying to tinker with his swing.
Spieth looked like the next Tiger at one point then his game fell off a cliff. It really is hard to project out.
 

Lupe Whalewatch

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Put Jon Rahm in there. He's only 26 and has as much game as anyone on your list. I'd expect multiple major wins from him in the near future.
Agreed Rahm has to be right up there in terms of guys primed to get their first and go on a run. I'd add Matthew Wolff and Xander Schauffele to that list as well.
 

cshea

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To be honest, I'd probably go with Bryson to win the most. The biggest question to me is if his bulk up and body transformation is sustainable. Otherwise, he's got the work ethic, drive, and passion to see his process, which clearly works, through.
 

Average Game James

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To be honest, I'd probably go with Bryson to win the most. The biggest question to me is if his bulk up and body transformation is sustainable. Otherwise, he's got the work ethic, drive, and passion to see his process, which clearly works, through.
I think you nailed it right there. Looking back at a number of the more dominant runs in the past two decades, injury ended more than a few. Tiger, of course, but also Day, McIlroy, and Koepka. Rose's struggles seem to be more equipment related, but he's hopefully past that. Kaymer and Spieth are really the only world #1s from the past decade that have just lost it.
 

cshea

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I guess another potential variable for Bryson and everyone else is if any equipment roll backs get implemented.
 

Average Game James

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I guess another potential variable for Bryson and everyone else is if any equipment roll backs get implemented.
I mean, it gets rolled back for everyone. He would still be materially longer than almost everyone on tour.
 

Mooch

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I think the bigger issue with Bryson is his constant tinkering and how it seeps into his mental preparation and focus. Throw in his propensity for slow play and occasional outbursts on the course and you've got a recipe for a flameout down the line.
 

jcaz

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DeChambeau's driving distance on measured holes is 338; DJ's is 321. On all tee shots it's 322 for BD and 307 for DJ. And, DJ only hits the fairway 5% more often. DeChambeau's SG off the tee is first on tour at 1.3 while DJ is at 0.88, 11th overall.

How was the rough at Winged Foot? Was it traditional US open length? Bryson is 130th in accuracy, but it didn't seem to matter. I wonder if he's able to keep bombing it and hacking it out and getting close. And, I agree, he could quickly overwhelm himself with all the stuff he's perpetually working on.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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Koepka has a growing injury history. I'll buy into him not caring much about regular tournaments and just being a major contender but injuries just wear guys down from their peak ability.

How was the rough at Winged Foot? Was it traditional US open length? Bryson is 130th in accuracy, but it didn't seem to matter. I wonder if he's able to keep bombing it and hacking it out and getting close. And, I agree, he could quickly overwhelm himself with all the stuff he's perpetually working on.
It's not only easier to be hitting a wedge out of the rough than a mid-iron, but it's progressively easier to get out of any lie in the rough with more clubhead speed. Even if the USGA messes with the ball these guys aren't going to stop swinging harder and harder. It's the winning formula. Maybe Bryson burns out but others will buy into the strategy going forward.
 

leftfieldlegacy

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Im is going to be a multiple winner in the majors.

Someone like Cameron Smith is going to be a consistent contender as well. He doesn't have the flashy game that a lot of the others have, but his short game is one of the best and he has brass balls.
Agree about Im. The consistency of his ball flight with the driver at the Masters was impressive and seems perfect for avoiding the rough at a US open. He was also one shot shy of joining Smith as the only golfer to ever shoot all four rounds in the 60's.(66,70,68,69). He will be competitive in the majors for years to come.
 

Average Game James

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Agree about Im. The consistency of his ball flight with the driver at the Masters was impressive and seems perfect for avoiding the rough at a US open. He was also one shot shy of joining Smith as the only golfer to ever shoot all four rounds in the 60's.(66,70,68,69). He will be competitive in the majors for years to come.
That dude seems to get out of trouble better than anyone - I really struggle with the idea he loses shots around the green based on the shots gained stats. He turned bogey into birdie on more than one occasion last weekend...
 

Average Game James

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I think the bigger issue with Bryson is his constant tinkering and how it seeps into his mental preparation and focus. Throw in his propensity for slow play and occasional outbursts on the course and you've got a recipe for a flameout down the line.
The tinkering is always with the aim of getting better, and it's hard to argue with the results. He's willing to go to extremes, but it all seems pretty analytical and results driven. If we had suggested 20 years ago that it was optimal to shoot more than twice as many 3s per game in the NBA, a lot of smart people would have questioned it, but we've seen how the league has changed.

As for the outbursts and slow play... this sounds like something people give Bryson a hard time about because they don't like him, not because it's all that different from other players. Tiger has hardly been the picture of calm in his career, but he did OK. Spieth and Day are both slow - has it stopped them from winning majors?
 

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The tinkering is always with the aim of getting better, and it's hard to argue with the results. He's willing to go to extremes, but it all seems pretty analytical and results driven. If we had suggested 20 years ago that it was optimal to shoot more than twice as many 3s per game in the NBA, a lot of smart people would have questioned it, but we've seen how the league has changed.

As for the outbursts and slow play... this sounds like something people give Bryson a hard time about because they don't like him, not because it's all that different from other players. Tiger has hardly been the picture of calm in his career, but he did OK. Spieth and Day are both slow - has it stopped them from winning majors?
I don’t think anyone denies DeChambeau’s talent. He’s just a dick.
 

Mooch

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The tinkering is always with the aim of getting better, and it's hard to argue with the results. He's willing to go to extremes, but it all seems pretty analytical and results driven. If we had suggested 20 years ago that it was optimal to shoot more than twice as many 3s per game in the NBA, a lot of smart people would have questioned it, but we've seen how the league has changed.

As for the outbursts and slow play... this sounds like something people give Bryson a hard time about because they don't like him, not because it's all that different from other players. Tiger has hardly been the picture of calm in his career, but he did OK. Spieth and Day are both slow - has it stopped them from winning majors?
The tinkering with a different length driver almost certainly cost him this past weekend at Augusta - He was spraying the ball all over the place much of the weekend. This is the kind of thing that can get into a player's head: David Duval pretty much lost his game once he started playing around with his irons. Curtis Strange famously nuked his career by messing around with his swing and his equipment. It can happen to the best of them. Time will tell.
 

RedOctober3829

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To be honest, I'd probably go with Bryson to win the most. The biggest question to me is if his bulk up and body transformation is sustainable. Otherwise, he's got the work ethic, drive, and passion to see his process, which clearly works, through.
I think Bryson could have real injury problems if he keeps this bulked up body. I can see it working out for a couple of years, but with that much extra weight on his frame and how hard he swings I think he is ripe for lower body issues.
 

Comfortably Lomb

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Spieth and Day are both slow - has it stopped them from winning majors?
I'm actually surprised they're on this list. Both are closer to has-beens than the future of the tour at this point. Day hasn't won a major since 2015 and hasn't won a tour event since the beginning of 2018. He suffers from debilitating injuries on a seemingly weekly basis. Spieth won a major in 2017 but his game is a mess and is at best a mediocre tour pro at this point. Maybe they reinvent themselves but I don't see any way the actually project as future top tier players anymore.

Rory at least won 4 times last year and seems to be a Top 10 fixture in majors even if he hasn't found a way to win one lately.

Wolfe is noticeable absent from the list. Maybe his swing doesn't hold up through his 30s but his time is coming.
 

jcaz

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I'm actually surprised they're on this list. Both are closer to has-beens than the future of the tour at this point. Day hasn't won a major since 2015 and hasn't won a tour event since the beginning of 2018. He suffers from debilitating injuries on a seemingly weekly basis. Spieth won a major in 2017 but his game is a mess and is at best a mediocre tour pro at this point. Maybe they reinvent themselves but I don't see any way the actually project as future top tier players anymore.

Rory at least won 4 times last year and seems to be a Top 10 fixture in majors even if he hasn't found a way to win one lately.

Wolfe is noticeable absent from the list. Maybe his swing doesn't hold up through his 30s but his time is coming.
Agree on Day - only has one major and as you say, seems to always be dealing with something.

Spieth is interesting. He won three majors. At the British, he won while his game was a bit of a mess. He drove it everywhere that week. Hard not to root for him to get back into form and, if he does, he's obviously got the game to be really dominant.
 

Average Game James

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I don’t think anyone denies DeChambeau’s talent. He’s just a dick.
Agreed. He's not exactly a guy I root for either. My point is more the stuff people pick on him for is largely just because they don't like him. Spieth never gets a hard time for slow play even though he's routinely among the worst offenders because he's well liked. Lots of guys tinker with equipment (think of some of Phil's wilder moves - double driver, Frankenwood, 5 wedge setup, etc). Bryson is one of the few that gets a hard time about it.
 

Average Reds

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Agreed. He's not exactly a guy I root for either. My point is more the stuff people pick on him for is largely just because they don't like him. Spieth never gets a hard time for slow play even though he's routinely among the worst offenders because he's well liked. Lots of guys tinker with equipment (think of some of Phil's wilder moves - double driver, Frankenwood, 5 wedge setup, etc). Bryson is one of the few that gets a hard time about it.
He gets a hard time for it because his arrogance is over the top and he has a Trump-like inability to accept responsibility when he screws up. ("Something just wasn't right with me this weekend.") He is also tone deaf and it's fun to highlight that. ("Those look like fire ants to me! Isn't that a dangerous ground condition?")

I said earlier this year that if DeChambeau had any self-awareness (and even a hint of self-deprecation about him) I'd probably be a fan, because I am fascinated by professional athletes who push the limits to be the best. However, I think the drive that causes DeChambeau to push for an edge is the same drive that causes him to be oblivious to outside distractions like being a human being, so it is what it is.
 

MeddlePAL

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The current crop of PGA starts is absolutely fantastic and it is well balanced with some interesting personalities in there.

I'm not sure why folks are so down on Koepka, yea he's suffered some injuries but he's playing well and he just posted a respectable -10 at Augusta.
 

thestardawg

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He gets a hard time for it because his arrogance is over the top and he has a Trump-like inability to accept responsibility when he screws up. ("Something just wasn't right with me this weekend.") He is also tone deaf and it's fun to highlight that. ("Those look like fire ants to me! Isn't that a dangerous ground condition?")

I said earlier this year that if DeChambeau had any self-awareness (and even a hint of self-deprecation about him) I'd probably be a fan, because I am fascinated by professional athletes who push the limits to be the best. However, I think the drive that causes DeChambeau to push for an edge is the same drive that causes him to be oblivious to outside distractions like being a human being, so it is what it is.
He also likes to use we (meaning...his caddie) when things go bad, and "I" when things go right. He is really tough to like. Also, as mentioned above, I can't imagine that bulk is good for staying healthy down the road. Many relate Tiger's ultimate issues to him adding too much bulk to his frame.
 

Sea Bass Neely

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Golf has been the only sport during COVID that I think the viewing product has gotten substantially better -- at least for me. In large part I think that's due to star power on tour right now. It seems to be the best cast and best position sport has been in since mid to late 90's.

If I had to pick someone -- I'd go with DJ who just has so much talent and may finally have the mental part of the game to win at high level consistently. He's a little older than the guys but I think has 5 year window (starting now) where he can rack up some serious accomplishments. If I had to pick someone else I honestly might go with Reed because of versatility of his game and seems to be a guy who can execute in the moment (majors). Wolff and Rahm are guys who haven't broken through yet that could contend in that class. I could see Rahm playing out a bit like Mickelson's wins/major trajectory.

Bryson is clearly going to win a lot of tournaments, and he's got some grinder in him. I could see trajectory similar with Vijay with some time spent as World #1.

Spieth is so interesting to me. He seemed like he was going to pick up Tiger torch, but put some in the water at Augusta and has never been the same player. 2015 was insane. But he still won after that and makes cuts at majors - so he's not totally lost -- looking more and more likely that he's never going to be guy again though.
 

Zomp

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I've said this on here before, but to me there are two golfers whose game is head and shoulders above everyone else's. DJ and Rory. If we're picking who wins the most over the next ten years, I'm picking one of them and I'd probably go Rory because he'll have more seasons in his 30's than DJ.


But its so, so hard to win. Whats the saying? In tennis you have to beat 4 other guys to win the trophy, in golf you have to beat 100.

Cam Smith and Sungjae Im are being touted in this thread as future major winners. They very well may be. But if we had this thread a few years ago, Rickie Fowler would have been on everyone's list. A few years before that, Anthony Kim. If we had this thread in the late 90's, how many would we have guessed Duval would have won?
 

Average Game James

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But its so, so hard to win. Whats the saying? In tennis you have to beat 4 other guys to win the trophy, in golf you have to beat 100.

Cam Smith and Sungjae Im are being touted in this thread as future major winners. They very well may be. But if we had this thread a few years ago, Rickie Fowler would have been on everyone's list. A few years before that, Anthony Kim. If we had this thread in the late 90's, how many would we have guessed Duval would have won?
Not to mention, a few years ago we wouldn't have been talking about Wolff and Morikawa and Hovland. The pool of great young players is deeper than it has ever been and with all the high level amateur and college events being played a lot of the barely drinking age kids already know how to win. And there are a ton of great players on the Korn Ferry Tour too - look at Zalatoris T-6 at the US Open in his second major at only 24. I wouldn't be shocked if he ends up being good on tour for a long time. Bottom line, there are probably a few majors that will be won by players most of us haven't heard of yet. It's a great time to be a golf fan.
 

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I've said this on here before, but to me there are two golfers whose game is head and shoulders above everyone else's. DJ and Rory. If we're picking who wins the most over the next ten years, I'm picking one of them and I'd probably go Rory because he'll have more seasons in his 30's than DJ.


But its so, so hard to win. Whats the saying? In tennis you have to beat 4 other guys to win the trophy, in golf you have to beat 100.

Cam Smith and Sungjae Im are being touted in this thread as future major winners. They very well may be. But if we had this thread a few years ago, Rickie Fowler would have been on everyone's list. A few years before that, Anthony Kim. If we had this thread in the late 90's, how many would we have guessed Duval would have won?
If you are making the Fowler comparison for Smith as a counter to what I said about him being a possible major winner, then I did a poor job of getting my point across. Because I agree with everything you wrote here.

Smith is a young guy with a great short game and tremendous mental toughness. But he's not DJ, or Rory, or any of the (10? 15?) pros who can overpower a course and wipe away the field.

I'll disagree (maybe slightly) about Im. He may not have the explosiveness of some others, but he's 22 and an incredibly consistent ball-striker. Absent injury (hello Anthony Kim!) I absolutely believe he will win multiple majors before he's done.
 

TFP

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Smith is a young guy
He’s 27, the same age as Spieth and he’s older than Rahm. He’s not particularly young and he’s been around for a while. I think is kinda who he is (which is still quite good). I’d have a hard time putting him on a list of major winners in the future above any other guys here.

I think Im has a better chance because he IS actually young and has the game to do it. But even then - there just aren’t that many majors to go around. It’s really really hard to win one, let alone two, with the level of competition that exists now. Not to mention the fact that we lost one chance this year. I agree with Zomp’s point that the list of “future major winners” is littered with guys over time that never end up winning one.
 

Zomp

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The only comparison that I was making is there have been a lot of guys who seemed destined for the big stage, only to never contend again at a major. I like Cam Smith, I think he's got a good game, but sadly I think its more likely that he doesn't contend again at a major.

But the flip side to that are names like Ben Curtis, Rich Beem, Todd Hamilton. Guys who basically come from nowhere and win one.

I'm looking at the list of major winners, winning one is hard enough. Winning two is crazy hard. Guys who had the talent to win more than one and couldn't just over the past ten years are guys like Adam Scott, Sergio, Justin Rose, Jimmy Walker, Jason Day. Henrik Stenson.

Stenson, Day, Sergio, and Scott are all going to be hall of famers. Rose needs another major or Players championship.
 

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He’s 27, the same age as Spieth and he’s older than Rahm. He’s not particularly young and he’s been around for a while. I think is kinda who he is (which is still quite good). I’d have a hard time putting him on a list of major winners in the future above any other guys here.

I think Im has a better chance because he IS actually young and has the game to do it. But even then - there just aren’t that many majors to go around. It’s really really hard to win one, let alone two, with the level of competition that exists now. Not to mention the fact that we lost one chance this year. I agree with Zomp’s point that the list of “future major winners” is littered with guys over time that never end up winning one.
Hey, 27 seems awfully young to me.

Edit: Plus, he looks like he's 15.

Cameron Smith
 
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TFP

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Hey, 27 seems awfully young to me.
Hahaha me too.

It’s crazy when you look at guys ages and realize how off our assumptions can be. Xander, Cam Smith, Daniel Berger, Bryson, JT, and Spieth are all the same age (27). But have been around for wildly different durations and we have very different outlooks on their future and where they are in their careers.