With the 2016 season in full flow, here’s some lesser known names that might surprise a few people this year:
Danny Willett – ok, I’m not sure this counts as a break through, but there’s not many casual golf fans who will be familiar with the name Danny Willett. After winning the Dubai Desert Classic ahead of Rory McIlroy earlier in the year, the now world #11 just finished 3rd in a world class field at Doral. The only way is up. Did I mention he’s 66/1 for a Green Jacket?
— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) March 6, 2016
Justin Thomas – maiden PGA Tour victory a couple of months ago to follow up a strong 2015 season. Expect bigger things as Thomas aims to step out from best pal Spieth’s shadow.
Tyrrell Hatton – made great strides last year, with a bunch of top 10’s on this side of the Atlantic. Translating that initial burst of form onto bigger stages won’t come easy but Hatton certainly evidenced he belongs at this level. Keep an eye on the European Tour start lists for him.
Danny Lee – finally beginning to deliver on the potential he showed as a teenager. The South Korean born New Zealander broke Tiger Woods’ record for the youngest winner of the U.S. Amateur in 2008 and went on to become the world #1 in the amateur ranks. Eight top 10’s and one victory last year suggest 2016 could well be a turning point for the man that yields a white hot short game.
Anirban Lahiri – A relative unknown, this Godfather of Indian golf was no less than a staggering 1000/1 at last year’s Masters. That’s Mike Weir territory. Sure, he eventually finished tied for 49th, but that sort of starting price just goes to show how a player who doesn’t have a rep Stateside gets disregarded by bookmakers. He’s 220/1 this time around. Not bad for a player who last year tied 30th at the U.S. Open and T5 at the U.S. PGA.