Kevin Tway’s birdie putt on the third playoff hole on Sunday sealed his first PGA TOUR victory and closed the Safeway Open, the first event on the 2018/19 PGA TOUR season. However, Tway wasn’t the only star in Napa Valley, in a week that saw most of last season’s Web.com Tour graduates appearing on the PGA TOUR for the first time, some new names and new talents shone on the big stage.
In this list, we will be counting down, the best of the PGA TOUR’s new recruits and assessing their chances of success this season and beyond.
Sunjae Im opened his PGA TOUR career by recording a T4 finish at the Safeway Open, but perhaps his impressive start was to be expected. The 20-year-old ended last term ranked 1st on the Web.com Tour Money list, an achievement that was earned courtesy of 8 top 10 finishes, two victories and qualification for both the PGA Championship and US Open.
Im also spent two years on the Japan Golf Tour, during which he finished 59th and 12th on the Money List in 2016 and 2017 respectively.
At such a young age, Im is already making waves in Golf and his world rank of 91, looks set to soar and it will especially if he can keep up his scoring average of 69.12.
26-year-old Kramer Hickok is a 2-time winner on Canada’s Mackenzie Tour and was a standout performer in last year’s Web.com Tour season, racking up 6 top 10 finishes and a win at the DAP Championship in the process.
Despite missing the cut in his first event in the big leagues, Hickok’s record suggests that he could have a successful PGA TOUR career.
Hickok finished 10th in Driving accuracy last year, 13th in the scoring average category and 14th in Birdies made, a stat that suggests he is creating many chances for himself especially when considering the fact he finished 67th in the Birdie or better conversion percentage section.
Another player who missed the cut at the Safeway Open was Anders Albertson, a 25-year-old from Houston, Texas who finished 3rd on the Web.com regular-season money list last term. Albertson’s high order of merit finish came courtesy of 4 top 10 finishes and a victory at the Lincoln Land Championship.
Fans can expect to see plenty of Birdies from Albertson this term if he can return to last season’s form, evidence of this lies in his 1st place finish on both the Scoring average and Birdie average on the 2017/18 Web.com tour statistics.
29-year-old Chase Wright finished in the top 10 on last year’s Web.com money list, a feat that comprised of one win and 5 top 10’s including a T3rd at the season-ending Web.com Tour Championship.
Wright started his PGA TOUR career brightly, by earning a T10th finish at the Safeway Open. Similarly to Kramer Hickok, Wright is a former winner on Canada’s Mackenzie Tour.
Wright finished 15th on Putting average and 20th in driving accuracy on the Web.com last year, similar statistic categories to those which he excelled in, at the Safeway where he finished 26th in strokes gained-putting and a respectable 40th in driving accuracy.
The final player on this list is 23-year-old Cameron Davis of Sydney, Australia. Davis is a 6-foot 4-inch athlete who had a breakout 2017/18 golf season, triumphing in the Australian Open in November 2017 and the Web.com Tour’s Nashville Golf Open in May 2018 before finally securing his PGA TOUR playing rights with a pair of 3rd place finishes in the Web.com finals series.
Statistically, Davis looks strong across the board and seemingly has no weakness in his game, as shown by his 8th place finish in driving distance, 7th in greens in regulation, 3rd in putting average and 2nd in birdie average. If he can consistently finish in the top 20 as he did at the Safeway, Davis could soon become a popular name on Tour.
These are just five of fifty new PGA TOUR members. These men more than any others look to have the talent to succeed at the highest level but with such a wealth of quality joining the Tour, who knows which of the 2017/18 Web.com graduates will be truly successful.
Cover Image via Instagram
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