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PGA Tour: Scheffler ready to take the next step

PGA Tour: Scheffler ready to take the next step

The conveyor belt of talent on the PGA Tour shows no signs of slowing down and seeing what Collin Morikawa has achieved of late should motivate any young pretenders as they look to scale golf’s heights.

Morikawa is just 24 but claimed his second Major championship when he won the 2021 Open Championship at Royal St George’s and finished the year on a high by becoming the first American to win the DP World Tour Championship.

That took him to second, behind Jon Rahm, in the world rankings, and is a huge inspiration for the crop of young players hoping to make a similar impression.

Here we take a look at five players who could step up to the challenge in 2022 when many of the top golfing events can be followed on our live sports streaming service.

Scottie Scheffler

Scottie Scheffler is a year older than Morikawa and the only surprising aspect of his development in the last two years is that he is yet to claim a PGA Tour title.

However, he has shown he can compete at the highest level and three top-ten finishes in 2021 Majors suggest it will not be long until the Texan is in the winners' circle.

Scheffler rose to 11th in the world rankings and had six top-five finishes in 2021. He was runner-up to Billy Horschel in the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play and subsequently displayed his talent in that form of the game with an impressive Ryder Cup debut as the USA routed Europe.

Scheffler beat Rahm in the singles at Whistling Straits and it would be logical to anticipate more success in the New Year. He can be backed at 40/1 to win The Masters in April.

Many may have regarded being awarded PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2020 as a burden but Scheffler reacted well to that expectation and we can expect him to continue his development and be a force in the world’s biggest tournaments over the next 12 months.

Mito Pereira

Joaquin Niemann has been hailed as one of the world’s most promising players for quite some time but there is another Chilean making waves who can make a massive impression in the New Year.

Mito Pereira turned professional in 2015 and has made steady progress through the PGA Tour Latinoamerica and the Korn Ferry Tour to stand on the cusp of proving himself one of the game’s brightest prospects.

Pereira has shown plenty of promise in some of the lower-profile PGA Tour events over the last six months, finishing fifth at the Barbasol Championship while the game’s leading lights were battling it out for The Open, and sixth the following week at the 3M Open.

He fell in the bronze-medal playoff at the delayed Tokyo Olympics and took his good form back to the States when he was third at the Fortinet Championship in September.

Pereira is a solid greens-in-regulation performer who is worth keeping a close eye on in the next 12 months.

Will Zalatoris

One player who has already made an impression in the biggest tournaments is Will Zalatoris and there could be more to come from the 25-year-old from San Francisco, who announced himself by finishing sixth at the 2020 US Open.

He finished a shot behind Hideki Matsuyama at the Masters in April and Zalatoris demonstrated that performance was no fluke as he was among a large group of players who finished tied for eighth when Phil Mickelson won the USPGA Championship in May.

An eighth spot at the WGC-FedEx St Jude Invitational has been his only top-ten finish since then but he did make the top 15 in the autumn battles at the Fortinet Championship and Sanderson Farms Championship.

It will be no surprise if he were to hit the ground running when tournaments begin again in January and, given he has twice fared well there already, he may appeal to punters at 40/1 to don the Green Jacket at Augusta in the spring time.

Max Homa

Max Homa is gaining himself a high profile on social media but he is now firmly established in the world’s top 50 and looks primed to scale further heights.

His victory at the Fortinet Championship was his second of the year after he saw off Tony Finau in a playoff to capture the Genesis Invitational and those successes took his tally to three triumphs on the PGA Tour.

At 31, he is no spring chicken but there are still plenty of opportunities for him to come and it doesn’t look as if self-confidence will be a problem for the man from Burbank, California – who rates a 100/1 chance to land the US Open crown at Brookline in June.

Taylor Moore

One player who is making a big impression after gaining his PGA Tour card for the first time is Taylor Moore, who at 29 is not letting his big opportunity pass him by.

Moore finished in the top ten in six of his final seven Korn Ferry Tour efforts of 2021, a run that included victory at the Memorial Health Championship, and he has been able to transfer that good form onto the main tour.

He finished a creditable 17th at the Sanderson Farms and 24th at the Shriners Children’s Open before closing his year with eighth spot at the RSM Classic.

Moore has risen more than 500 places in the world rankings in 2021 and his morale should be at an excellent level as we head into January.

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