Top 10 players looking for the end of the year to come

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WGC - Bridgestone Invitational - Round One

Stewart Cink

With another New Year’s Day upon us, it’s an occasion to again make those annual resolutions. Whether it’s a promise to lose weight or a pledge to be more patient, it’s the time of year to analyze the events of 2010 and see what can be done to make 2011 even better.

This is very true for many of the players who compete on the PGA TOUR. There’s always room for improvement and you don’t need to cast the net far from the boat to bring in a number of candidates that fit that description. Here are 10 players we expect to see better things from over the next twelve months.

Stewart Cink: He didn’t have a bad 2010, but it wasn’t what he expected as a follow-up to the 2009 season that saw him win his first major championship. It was his first winless season since 2007 and his world ranking almost tripled to No. 46. With Cink the difference between good in great lies with the putter and last year was only average at best.

Sergio Garcia: His highlight for the year was being an assistant captain on the victorious European Ryder Cup team. Garcia may or may not ever reach the level of excellence that many projected for him and he may never win a major championship, but there’s no question that he’s 100-times better than he showed in 2010, when his world ranking plummeted to 78th.

Padraig Harrington: He missed the cut in three of the four major championships and his ranking dropped all the way to No. 23. It was no lower than eighth the four previous seasons. He’s starting to round into form and played well after the Ryder Cup, winning an event on the Asian Tour.

Holmes.jpg
Holmes

J.B. Holmes: He had his moments — especially early — and played well in the two majors for which he qualified. His 66 at Whistling Straits got a little attention, but he failed to follow it up. He’s still long (No. 5 in driving) and wild (No. 183 in accuracy), but that’s always been the case. Overall the 2010 season was another successful step toward regaining the prominence he achieved as part of the 2008 Ryder Cup team. Expect a return in 2011.

Ryuji Imada: He battled a rib injury for much of the season and was in danger of finishing outside the Top 125 until a late-year rally. He’s really accurate, but suffers from lack of length off the tee. He needs to improve his weekend performances, too; Imada’s scoring average in the third round ranked 148th on TOUR. He likes to play the West Coast events and could light the candle on a fast start at Torrey Pines or Phoenix.

Anthony Kim: Before his surgery, Kim looked like he was on the fast track to greatness. Afterwards, he looked like he would have struggled on the mini-tours. He missed four of six cuts, with a highlight being T-48 at the BMW Championship. The question remains whether he’s mature and disciplined enough to get it back.

Geoff Ogilvy: After winning the first event of the season, Ogilvy retreated into a quietly successful season, which saw him threaten at the Deutsche Bank Championship and qualify for The TOUR Championship. Otherwise he did little else and admitted at East Lake that he was “overgolfed.” The media selfishly wants more from Ogilvy, primarily because he’s the best interview on TOUR.

Brandt Snedeker: Again, not a bad season, but not the breakthrough season that’s come to be expected. He had five top-10s in 2010, including a second at Torrey Pines and and a tie for eighth at the U.S. Open. Hard to believe it’s been three seasons since his only TOUR win.

Camilo Villegas: How crazy are the expections for Villegas? He only missed two cuts, won a tournament and finished 20th in the FedExCup standings. And this guy can play better? You betcha. He was only a contender in one major, where he tied for eighth at the PGA. Look for him to get involved in the major equation this year.

Tiger Woods: Any questions?

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