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USA Today Sports Media Group
USA Today Sports Media Group
Riley Hamel

Five big-name PGA Tour players ready to break out from slumps and win again in 2023

It isn’t rare for the best players in the world to go through winless droughts. It happens to everyone.

But when the dry spell starts to expand into multiple seasons, caution lights begin to blink.

There are several names across golf that are due, and in some cases, overdue.

We thought it’d be a good idea to take a look at some of the players we think are on the right track to earning a win in 2023. A few Players champions are on this list, as well as major winners.

Let’s start with one of the most popular men in the game.

Rickie Fowler

Rickie Fowler looks on during the final round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament at the Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Inzai, Chiba prefecture on October 16, 2022. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/AFP via Getty Images)

Fowler’s last win came at the 2019 WM Phoenix Open. In fact, since a two-win 2015 season, the orange-donning fan favorite has claimed just two PGA Tour victories (2017 Honda Classic).

The 34-year-old is off to a solid start this season, however. He tied for sixth at the Fortinet Championship in September and a month later finished T-2 at the Zozo Championship.

Fowler’s game has been trending since transforming his swing and getting away from his patented laid-off position at the top. He currently ranks 20th in SG: Approach and fifth in greens in regulation (76.98 percent).

The one thing holding him back? The flat stick. He’s fiddled with multiple putters in recent months, including this week at the American Express where a brand-new putter has found its way into the bag. Usually a strength for Fowler, he currently sits 176th in SG: Putting (-.443).

If Fowler can find his way on the greens, don’t be surprised if he makes his way into the winner’s circle in ’23.

Jason Day

Jason Day of Australia lines up a putt on the sixth green at Sea Island Resort Plantation Course on November 18, 2022, in St Simons Island, Georgia. (Photo by Cliff Hawkins/Getty Images)

The former world No. 1 put together one of the best stretches in PGA Tour history from 2015-16 winning eight times including the Players, the Dell Match Play, the Arnold Palmer and the PGA Championship.

However, Day hasn’t lifted a trophy since 2018 at the Wells Fargo.

Injuries have plagued the Aussie, most notably his back. Like Fowler, Day has implemented swing changes over the past year, but in his case, it was in order to take some of the pressure off his back. Using more rotation and committing to a cut have freed his action up a bit.

Day is currently ninth in SG: Approach and is hitting greens at a 73.06 percent clip (34th) and fairways 65.94 percent of the time (24th).

In six starts this season, Day has four T-21 or better finishes including two top 10s (he claimed T-10 at the QBE Shootout, an unofficial event).

Like Fowler, his struggles have been on the greens. The once-automatic putter is currently ranked outside the top 100 in SG: Putting (105th, -.036).

Collin Morikawa

Collin Morikawa (left) is consoled by Jonathan Jakovac (right) on the 18th hole during the final round of the Sentry Tournament of Champions golf tournament at Kapalua Resort – The Plantation Course. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

This name might come as a surprise because he’s still ranked inside the top 10 in the Official World Golf Ranking, but Morikawa’s last win came at the 2021 Open.

Last year was an odd one for the 25-year-old, at one point losing his reliable cut shot. The streak was nearly broken a few weeks ago in Hawaii at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, but a few late bogeys and a relentless charge by Jon Rahm resulted in a blown back-nine lead and a solo-second finish.

Morikawa’s game is in good shape, his putting has improved and the short game looks a bit tidier. The five-time winner should be back on top in 2023.

Adam Scott

Adam Scott hits his tee shot on the 11th hole during the second round of the 2023 Sony Open in Hawaii at Waialae Country Club in Honolulu, Hawaii. (Photo: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports)

The second Aussie on this list hasn’t hoisted a trophy since the 2020 Genesis Invitational at Riviera. Scott’s last PGA Tour win before the Genesis was all the way back in 2016, so winless droughts aren’t exactly uncharted territory for the Masters champ.

Scott played great golf at the end of last season with four top 20s in his final seven starts including two top fives in the first two playoff events.

After a not-so-great week at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, Scott tied for 21st at the Sony Open last week.

The 42-year-old should find his way into contention a few times throughout ’23.

Daniel Berger

Daniel Berger plays his shot from the 18th tee during the third round of the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Photo: Matt York/Associated Press)

Remember this guy?

Daniel Berger’s 2022 season was limited to just 12 starts due to a nagging back injury. His last start came at the U.S. Open at the Country Club which was over after two days. In those 12 starts, Berger finished inside the top five three times (Sentry Tournament of Champions, Honda Classic and the Memorial).

The 29-year-old’s last win came in early 2021 at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am.

He’s yet to make a start in the 2022-23 season and it’s unknown when he’ll return. When he’s at the top of his game, Berger’s a threat to win every week.

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