9 Golfers Who Can Win Big in 2023
After a memorable last year in golf, it's only natural to look forward and consider what the 2023 season may have in store for us all.
While the biggest story of the year might remain the ongoing wrangle between the main Tours, we're going to steer away from the politics and try to highlight golfers who could win golf tournaments in 2023.
From first time major winners, through to a trio of golfers who are overdue a return to the winner's circle, we've dusted down our crystal ball and made 9 separate bold predictions. Check them out below.
3 first-time major winners
OK, so Sungjae didn't manage a single win in all of 2022, but he remains one of the most talented golfers on the world stage. Despite the mini-drought, he was runner-up on three separate occasions, and this has helped the South Korean retain a spot in the world's top 20.
He's still only 24 and if he were to win a major championship, it would mean more than just jackets and trophies. It's likely that with victory in one of the four 'big ones', Sungjae could avoid the mandatory military service required of all South Korean men between the ages of 18 and 35.
We think he has more than a puncher's chance at winning the Green Jacket in April with T2 and T8 finishes in two of the last three years.
In 2014, Charley Hull hit the big time by winning her first LET event in Morocco, and now, more than eight years later, she is one of the most highly-regarded and recognisable women golfers on the planet.
Her recent form has led to wins on both main tours, and at the age of 27, she now seems ready for major glory. While performances in the five major championships have been up and down over the years, she does have a third-place finish at last year's Evian Championship to draw confidence from heading into 2023.
Tom Kim was one of the breakout stars of 2022, and at just 20 years of age there seems to be no stopping the prodigious talent. He won two PGA Tour events within months of joining the Tour and matched Tiger Woods in winning twice before his 21st birthday.
On a bit of a side note, he's only 20 and doesn't turn 21 until June. Tiger was 21 years, 3 months and 14 days when he won his first major title. If our maths is correct, Tom has four shots at rewriting history.
A blend of youthful exuberance, passion and undeniable talent will make him a fierce competitor in each of the four majors in 2023. It would be foolish to rule out any possibility of a major win this year. In fact, we're doing the exact opposite. He absolutely deserves a place on our list of possible champions.
3 first-time PGA Tour winners
Having started last season with the sole goal of retaining his card, Sahith Theegala made it to the FedEx Cup Playoffs after a few near misses and five separate T-5s or better. That's how you handle your rookie season on tour!
A first professional win arrived at the QBE Shootout last month with Tom Hoge as his partner, and now that he has tasted success, we expect to see Sahith shoot up the world rankings as the year progresses. Don't be surprised if we see more than one win this year.
While Cameron Young is yet to win on the PGA Tour, there's no doubting his ball-striking ability. He finished in the top 3 on at least six occasions last season, so it's not exactly a leap of faith for us to hang our hats on a first victory in 2023.
It's not just the irons he excels with; he's also super long off the tee. That's two massively important areas where he's performing way better than the Tour average. If that first win comes early enough, Cam's consistency could see him becoming 2023's answer to 2022's Scottie Scheffler.
In a Ryder Cup year, it might just be the time for Tommy to shine. He's coming off the back of his sixth DP World Tour title at the Nedbank, and put in strong performances at both the Scottish Open and The Open back in July.
Add to that a few competitive performances on the other side of the pond, most notably at the CJ Cup in October, and you start to feel that the Englishman might break his PGA Tour duck in 2023.
3 'first wins in forever'
Maybe we're over-egging the pudding a little here when it comes to Daniel Berger. It hasn't been anywhere close to 'forever' since he last won a professional golf tournament, but for a man of his calibre, it really does feel like it.
Having played some great golf in the 2019/20 and 2020/21 seasons, he only made 12 starts last year due to an ongoing back injury. While it's far from guaranteed, if he can return to the game fully fit, then we expect to see Berger's name at the top of a few 2023 leaderboards.
Remember the year when Rickie Fowler finished inside the top five in each of the four majors? We sure do. That year was 2014, and if you had told us back then that by 2022 he would have fallen into relative obscurity, we would have told you to check your medication.
While things might not have panned out the way he and his legion of fans had hoped, Rickie has still got game. He's still only 34 and has plenty of time on his side to find consistent form. A few strong performances at the tail end of last year have us hoping that 2023 could bring us a Rickie revival.
For a golfer with the skillset of Alex Noren, it seems unbelievable that his last win came way back in 2018. That victory was at the HNA French Open, and helped him secure a place on the victorious Ryder Cup team later that same year.
He has peaked as high as 8th in the world and finished 2022 with a few impressive performances. It wouldn't be too much of a stretch to see him winning again on the DP World Tour this year, and maybe even bettering his career-best T-2 on the PGA Tour.