On Sunday, the 2017 Web.com Tour season kicks off in the Bahamas with the first of two events on the island. At the events, the Web.com Tour is testing out the idea of Sunday-Wednesday tournaments to increase the exposure of the secondary tour where many of golf’s future stars begin their careers. If the experiment works, golf fans should have many more opportunities to see the game’s young players on television. With the 2017 season about to get started, let’s look at 15 players that I have my eye on in the 2017 season.
The former University of Alabama product has all the tools to become a big time player on the PGA Tour. The thing that stands out to me about Lovelady is his ability to make birdies in bunches, a skill that should prove quite helpful on the Web.com Tour.
India has struggled to get consistent starts and has only had conditional status in his past 3 Web Seasons. The former Iowa Hawkeye put together a stellar fall season on the Latin American Tour, notching 6 top 20 finishes in 8 starts, highlighted by a t3rd finish at the Latin American Tour Championship. India rode the positive momentum into Q-School and notched a solo 3rd, locking up starts in the first 12 events.
A member of our top 25 players under 25 list, Moore had a stellar season in 2016 on the Canadian Tour, winning the Stall Foundation and notching 4 other top 5 finishes during the season to finish 3rd on money list. Moore continued to impress at Q-School where he shot a final round 65 to finish in solo 2nd place and earn a spot in the season’s first 12 events.
A fan favorite, Renner got hot on Sunday at Q-School, shooting a final round 63 to runaway with the championship and earn full-status on the Web.com Tour. Renner is known as a spectacular ball-striker and a tough guy to beat when his putter gets hot.
The former University of Virginia standout will be playing his second season on the Web.com Tour after finishing 52nd on the 2016 money list. McCarthy notched 3 top 10 finishes, and I expect him to contend regularly with a season of experience under his belt.
The 26-year-old Southern California native started 2016 hot, notching a 2nd place finish at the Brasil Champions, but went through a mid-season lull which cost him a spot in the top 25. It will be Patel’s 4th season with Web.com Tour status, and I expect this to be the year he breaks through and earns his PGA Tour card.
One of golf’s brightest young stars, Wise will be one of the headline attractions at events in 2017. Wise turned professional last year after winning the NCAA individual championship and leading the Oregon Ducks to the team championship. He had immediate success playing on the Canadian Tour, winning once and never finishing outside of the top 15 in his seven starts. Wise has also had success on the PGA Tour, notching t16th at the John Deere and a t10th at the Safeway. Oh, one more thing, he is only 20 years old.
Lashley was dominant in 2016 on the Latin American Tour, winning 3 events and the money title to earn full-status on the Web.com Tour in 2017. Lashley has been around for awhile, turning professional in 2005, and he will look to continue his dominant play from 2016 in 2017.
Like Lashley, McCarthy was absolutely dominant in 2016, but on the Canadian Tour. McCarthy won 4 times in his 11 starts which landed him atop the money list and full-status on the Web.com Tour in 2017. McCarthy made headlines in 2016 for the unique way he tees up his driver, without using a tee.
The former Auburn star will enter 2017 as one of the most hyped players on the Web.com. Johnson made a splash in his professional debut at the PGA Tour’s 2016 Barbasol Championship where he finished one-shot out of a playoff in solo third place. Johnson breezed through Q-School, finishing t8th and earning a spot in the first 12 tournaments of 2017.
Another bright young star, Maguire turned pro after just 2 ½ years at Florida State after earning Web.com Tour status via Q-School in 2015. His first year on the Web.com Tour was highlighted by 4 top 10 finishes and ranking 10th in driving distance. I expect to see a lot more consistency from the now 22-year-old.
The ex-Wisconsin Badger played 2015 on the European tour but came back home to earn a spot on the PGA Tour through the Web.com Tour. Woltman entered 2016 with no status on The Web but nearly won the Rust-Oleum Championship as a Monday qualifier. Woltman ended 2016 125th on the money list, but a t8th finish at Q-School earned him a spot in the first 12 tournaments of 2017.
Skinns turned professional in 2005 and has been around the block, playing on a bunch of mini-tours over the years. 2017 will be Skinns’ 4th straight season with Web.com Tour status but just his first with guaranteed starts. Skinns is highly regarded among his peers for his strong ball-striking and overall game. Making it in professional golf is often about getting a break at the right time, and I have a feeling Skinns got his when he finished Q-School at 3-under, the score needed to earn guaranteed starts.
This guy absolutely obliterates a golf ball. Thompson led the Web.com Tour in driving distance in 2016, a talent that usually leads to success on the Tour. Thompson’s golf career is often overshadowed by his famous sister, Lexi, but I expect 2017 to be the year he makes a name for himself and earns his PGA Tour card.
Last year’s Q-School medalist had an up and down rookie campaign on the Web.com but came on strong towards the end of the year. Svensson is only 23-years-old and it seems 2016 was an adjustment year, with Svensson getting used to the travel and life of professional golf.