Happy New Year!
While much time is spent looking forward to 2016 during the early days of January, this is also a perfect time to take a look back at the players that drew the most interest from you, the reader, at Rotoworld in 2015.Click on any of the links below to see all of our top-50 player reviews:
Most lists produced are speculative. Who should make the Ryder Cup team? Who should be in the top 125 at year’s end, and who will be first? Who are the most valuable players for any given tournament?
While those are incredibly valuable, especially when they are on point, this particular lists allows us insight as to why people visit our site and read our work. It validates why we blurb the players we cover and, in some cases, reminds us as to what we are and what we are not.
With that as the backdrop, here are the top 50 golfers that were searched on the Rotoworld Golf site in 2015. Included is a little insight as to what made them intriguing to gamers, punters and fans.
1 Jason Day: This one is obvious. Day was one of a few breakthrough players in 2015, with the peak of his season coming with his first major championship title in the PGA Championship. He also was a prominent member of the International squad in the Presidents Cup. There are mysteries on the list, but this isn’t one of them.
2 Anthony Kim: Seemingly hibernating under a rock or in some type of golf purgatory, Kim has been an enigma among golf fans since he stepped away from the game at Quail Hollow in May of 2012. The myths may prove to be more interesting than the reality, but all signs point to Kim remaining on the bench for 2016 and beyond.
3 Jordan Spieth: That he is on this list is not a surprise, but perhaps it’s a mild one that he’s not number one. Some of that could be attributed to the mainstream media saturating golf fans with more than enough Spieth coverage to where our insight is not needed with him as it is others.
4 Brooks Koepka: Anybody who followed the Rotoworld Golf staff in 2015 knows that all of us were very high on the young stud. He began to realize his potential with a win in Phoenix early in 2015 and continued his ascent into the upper echelon of professional golf throughout the year. Page clicks could have also been driven by gamers trying to get a read on his schedule, as he still hopped across the pond to the European Tour on numerous occasions.
5 Graham DeLaet: Savvy gamers understand the impact of injuries on golfers, and the Canuck is a prime example of a guy with question marks in that category. He was set to explode 24 months ago, but the injury bug has bitten him more than once. It is always wise to check in on his latest news before plugging him into an important lineup, so expect him to be in the top 50 again in 2016.
6 Louis Oosthuizen: Copy and paste from the DeLaet comments, if you’d like. Incredible golfer when healthy, and fortunately he was on the course more than off in 2016.
7 Dustin Johnson: May have replaced John Daly as golf’s current three-ringed circus, when you stop to think about it. High profile arm candy? Check. Rumors that include the use of another type of “candy” and a noticeable absence from the TOUR that may or may not have been voluntary? Check. Incredible talent and length off the tee? Check. You get the picture.
8 Paul Casey: A great grab for full-season gamers in 2015, the Brit focused his full attention on the PGA TOUR and it yielded strong dividends. Struggled with both injuries and subsequently his performance on the course the last few years, but was extremely reliable in 2015. He is expected to play an exclusive PGA TOUR schedule in 2016 as well.
9 Mike Weir: Canada’s favorite son took a leave of absence from competitive golf during the 2014-15 PGA TOUR season. Much like Anthony Kim, it’s quite possible the speculation surrounding a return or further news drove some traffic our way. After all, Weirsy is not exactly on the radar of many of the larger media outlets that dabble in golf.
10 Branden Grace: While the South African was not an unknown to those that follow golf closely, he did make himself quite relevant in the United States and on the PGA TOUR for the first time in his career in 2015. He put together top-four finishes in the U.S. Open and PGA Championship and scored top 10s in two WGCs. He played 13 PGA TOUR events, including majors and WGCs, in 2014-15 even though he had no status to begin the season, so expect his output to only increase.
11 Steve Stricker: The interest of the reader probably focused on his schedule. Known to be semi-retired, Stricker would still tee it up on occasion. It also became important to research his current form, as he didn’t play enough to remain on the tip of the minds of most gamers. He is becoming less relevant as a golfer by the minute.
12 Hideki Matsuyama: To the casual golf fan, Matsuyama is still very underrated. That means he is also fairly underrated by other news outlets that cover golf. To the veteran gamer, it’s quite obvious that he has the potential to be a huge star.
13 Jim Furyk: Given the makeup of this list, he’s one of the bigger surprises to be this high. He’s a known commodity to veteran gamers, while also being covered more than many by many major news outlets.
14 Victor Dubuisson: The Frenchman came on fast in the Spring of 2014, but spent the majority of 2015 on a path towards irrelevance. Perhaps those that were trying to figure out why and how his free fall came about drove the traffic.
15 J.B. Holmes: Ultimately found his way onto the Presidents Cup roster thanks in part to a win in the Shell Houston Open and a pair of runner-up finishes. He’s a nice story, fighting back from some serious medical conditions several years ago and rejoining the conversation of elite bombers on TOUR like Dustin Johnson and Bubba Watson.
16 Jimmy Walker: Per his usual script, he started fast and faded a bit late. There is nothing obvious to explain his Rotoworld love, but keep it coming!
17 Patrick Reed: Ended the year hot overseas, but perhaps the biggest story surrounding Reed in 2015 was the buzz about some of his brushes with the rules in college. The sources for these instances were his former teammates. When that news broke, his play went through a bit of a chilly spell.
18 Adam Scott: Is he using the short putter or the long wand? That had to be the biggest item of news surrounding the Aussie ahead of any tournament in 2015. Of course, we know the answer in 2016. The anchored putter is now against the rules.
19 Justin Rose: Another solid season for the Brit, but nothing out of the ordinary to report. Expectations are equally high in 2016.
20 Tiger Woods: If Tiger Woods wasn't named Tiger Woods, the medical issues and questions regarding starts for the golfer would have likely driven him much higher. Since he is Tiger Woods, you can get the latest news updates on the celebrity from any news organization in the U.S., and some of those beyond.
21 Daniel Berger: Only rookie to make it all the way to East Lake.
22 Kevin Kisner: Seemed to finish runner-up about every other week before winning in Sea Island in the last start of 2015 after bouncing back and forth between the PGA TOUR and the Web.com Tour for roughly a decade
23 Rickie Fowler: It appears more than just teenagers in flat-billed caps follow Fowler.
24 Phil Mickelson: Why not?
25 Kevin Na: Funny, as this is about where he quietly finishes in the FedExCup standings most years.
26 Chris Kirk: Presidents Cup rookie had a bout with the injury bug in the summer of 2015, making his status worthy of constant monitoring.
27 James Hahn: Had a nice season, perhaps meaning Rotoworld showed him a level of coverage that other outlets did not.
28 Brandt Snedeker: Strong golfer with a penchant for injuries is enough to crack the top 30.
29 Patrick Rodgers: A budding star that spent parts of 2015 ready to pop, but didn’t quite pull out a win.
33 Zach Johnson
34 John Daly: Wonders never cease.
35 Jason Dufner
36 Rory McIlroy
37 Danny Lee
40 Sean O’Hair
41 Matt Kuchar
43 Austin Cook
44 Bubba Watson
45 Ryan Moore
46 Ryan Palmer
47 Nick Watney
49 Tim Clark
If you want to vote for your favorite player’s inclusion on this list for 2016, all you have to do is click on his player page and his player news a bunch of times. Hey. Maybe that’s what Anthony Kim has been doing the last 12 months!
Best of luck to all for a happy 2016!