It’s barely February and the 2019-20 PGA Tour is already one-third over with 16 tournaments completed and 32 more on the schedule.
Other than Brendon Todd and Harris English, this has not been a stellar season so far for most of Georgia’s PGA Tour contingent, but some of the state’s more prominent names are beginning to move up the FedExCup standings after either not playing much in the Fall or not playing especially well.
Here’s a look at how Georgia’s PGA Tour members have done so far in 2019-20 through last week’s Phoenix Open. Players are listed with their current FedExCup rankings.
Brendon Todd (3), UGA/Athens resident: After the second deep and lengthy slump of his pro career, Todd enjoyed a sensational 3-tournment stretch last Fall in which he scored back-to-back wins in Bermuda and Mexico and made a strong run at victory in Sea Island’s RSM Classic, finishing fourth. Todd has played respectably in early ’20, and after battling the yips with his full swing, ranks second in driving accuracy but is 222of 229 qualifying players in distance.
Harris English (23), south Georgia native/UGA/St. Simons: After a succession of progressively sub-par seasons, English reversed his declining career path with four top 10s in six Fall starts. He tied for 16thlast week in Phoenix and ranks seventh on the tour in greens in regulation.
Patrick Reed (27), Augusta State: Has made only five PGA Tour starts thus far, spending some of early 2020 in the Middle East on the European Tour. Has three top 10s in those five starts, including a tie for second in the Tournament of Champions and a T6 in San Diego. Ranks in the top 10 in Strokes Gained putting and Strokes Gained total.
Vaughn Taylor (36), Augusta/Augusta State: Veteran remains competitive into his early 40s, ending 2019 with a T2 behind Todd in Mayakoba and a T10 at Sea Island before opening ’20 with a T12 in Hawaii. In the field this week at Pebble Beach, where he is a recent champion.
Charles Howell (37), Augusta native: Like Taylor, had two top 10s in the Fall and began ’20 with a T12 in the Hawaiian Open, where he is the all-time career money leader. Ranks 24thin GIR and 21stin Strokes Gained putting.
Brian Harman (40), Savannah native/UGA/St. Simons: Recorded four top 20s in the Fall, including a T3 to open the season in the Greenbrier. Has made the cut in all three 2020 starts.
J.T. Poston (48), St. Simons: After winning in Greensboro to close out the 2018-19 season, had a pair of top 15s in the Fall and opened ’20 with a T11 in the Tournament of Champions. Ranks 11thin Strokes gained putting.
Bubba Watson (51), UGA: Vaulted from 174 in the FedExCup standings the last two weeks, tying for sixth in San Diego and for third in Phoenix after not playing well in the Fall. As usual, is fourth in driving distance, and a surprisingly high 14thin Strokes Gained putting.
Sepp Straka (60), Valdosta/UGA/Athens resident: It’s been feast or famine for the second year PGA Tour pro, as he’s missed nine of 12 cuts but has a pair of ties for fourth, last Fall in Houston and recently in Palm Springs. Is 23rdin Strokes Gained putting.
Henrik Norlander(66), Augusta State/Augusta resident: Missed his first four cuts of the season after return from Korn Ferry Tour, but closed Fall season with a T5 in the RSM Classic, and started 2020 with a T9 in Hawaii.
Kevin Kisner (68), UGA: After a mostly unproductive Fall, began 2020 with a T14 in the Tournament of Champions and a T4 in the Hawaiian Open. Other than driving accuracy, stats for this season are not very promising.
Cameron Tringale (72), Georgia Tech: Missed cut last week was his first in nine starts this season. Was steady throughout the Fall with a T16 in Mississippi and a T20 at Sea Island GC. Ranks outside the top 200 in fairways hit.
Richy Werenski (80), Tech: Opened Fall season with a T3 in the Greenbrier, but has played sparingly since. Making just his third start of 2020 this week at Pebble Beach.
Keith Mtchell (92), UGA/St. Simons: Closed out the Fall with a T14 in the RSM Classic and was T16 last week in Phoenix to move into the top 100. Won first PGA Tour title last year in the Honda Classic in his second season.
Matt Kuchar (96), Tech/St. Simons: Has played just five events thus far, with three finishes of either 14thor 16thand two missed cuts. Made a January trip to the Far East, winning on the Asian Tour in Singapore, where he finished one shot ahead of Justin Rose with an 18-under total of 266, including a third round 62. Had more double bogeys or worse in the tournament (3) than bogeys (2), offsetting them with 23 birdies and an eagle. Should be among the players to beat this week at Pebble Beach.
Luke List (105), Augusta resident: Has dialed it back a bit off the tee, giving up his spot among the annual driving distance leaders, dropping to 50thon the current list. Has a pair of top 15s this season, including a T15 in Phoenix last week, highlighted by a third round 64.
Zach Johnson (109), St. Simons: Veteran scored a pair of top 25s in the Fall, but isn’t showing any real signs of reversing the slide that began last season, when he finished outside the top 150.
Stewart Cink (116), Tech/Duluth: With non-exempt status, will play a limited schedule this season and has made just five starts, with a T9 in Houston in the Fall his best effort.
Chesson Hadley (119), Tech: Has played steadily with three top 30s, but a T18 in Las Vegas is his best finish this season.
Scott Brown (136), Augusta native: Journeyman has missed six of 10 cuts, with a T24 in the RSM Classic his best showing. Ranks among the top 20 in driving accuracy, but has yet to make a cut in 2020.
Hudson Swafford (155), UGA/St. Simons: Has only two starts left on his medical extension, but has earned at least conditional status for the remainder of the season thanks to a T9 last week in Phoenix. Played in the last group on Sunday, but did not make a birdie after the first hole and shot 3-over.
Michael Thompson (179), St. Simons: Has made only three of eight cuts, with a tie for 23rdearly last Fall his top finish.
Vince Whaley(187), Tech/Atlanta resident: It’s been an inconsistent start for the PGA Tour rookie, with recent missed cuts that included scores of 81-67 in Hawaii and 68-76 in San Diego.
Russell Henley (191), Macon native/UGA: Three-time PGA Tour winner has not played up to his standards in a few years, and has missed his last five cuts in a row after going 4-for-4 to start 2019-20. Has twice shot 66-77 in the first two rounds of a tournament.
Patton Kizzire(200), St. Simons: After winning twice in 2017-18, barely finished inside the top 125 last season, and is off to a slow start in 2019-20, missing seven of 11 cuts with no finishes better than 42nd.
Roberto Castro (202), Alpharetta/Tech: Finished outside top 125 last season and elected not to play in KF Finals, resulting in limited status and only five starts in the Fall, with his best showing a tie for 45th. Making his first start of 2020 this week at Pebble Beach.
Chris Kirk (207), Woodstock native/UGA/Athens: Four-time PGA Tour winner missed about half the 2018-19 season dealing with personal issues, and his comeback is going slowly thus far with just one of four made cuts. Has seven starts left on his medical extension, and this could be a key week for him.
Jonathan Byrd (211), St. Simons: Playing out of the Past Champions category and got into five events in the Fall, making the cut in two. Playing for the first time in 2020 this week.