It is not uncommon for the best players in the world to go through winless droughts. It happens to everyone.
But when the dry spell begins to extend over several seasons, warning lights begin to flash.
There are several names in golf that need to be paid, and in some cases late.
We thought it would be a good idea to take a look at some of the players who we think are on track to win in 2023. A few Players champions are on this list, as well as big winners.
Let’s start with one of the most popular men in the game.
Rickie Fowler watches the final round of the Zozo Championship golf tournament at Accordia Golf Narashino Country Club in Inzai, Chiba Prefecture on October 16, 2022. (Photo by Yuichi Yamazaki/TBEN via Getty Images)
Fowler’s last win was at the 2019 WM Phoenix Open. In fact, since a two-win season in 2015, the orange-raising fan favorite has only managed two PGA Tour wins (2017 Honda Classic).
However, the 34-year-old defender has started this season strongly. He finished sixth at the Fortinet Championship in September and a month later finished T-2 at the Zozo Championship.
Fowler’s game has been trending ever since he transformed his swing and got away from his patented sacked position at the top. He currently ranks 20th in SG: Approach and fifth in greens in regulation (76.98 percent).
The only thing stopping him? The flat stick. He’s been fiddling with several putters over the past few months, including this week at the American Express where a brand new putter made its way into the bag. Usually a strength for Fowler, he currently ranks 176th in SG: Putting (-.443).
If Fowler makes his way around the greens, don’t be surprised if he finds himself in the winner’s circle in ’23.
Jason Day of Australia makes 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 on one of the greatest 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 has not lifted a trophy at the Wells Fargo since 2018.
Injuries have plagued the Aussie, particularly his back. Like Fowler, Day has been making swing changes over the past year, but in his case it was to take some pressure off his back. Using more rotation and locking in on a cut has made his action a bit freer.
Day is currently ninth in SG: Approach, hitting greens with a clip of 73.06 percent (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 were on the greens. The once automatic putter is currently outside the top 100 in SG: Putting (105th, -.036).
Collin Morikawa (left) is comforted 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 may come as a surprise as it is still in the top 10 of the Official World Golf Ranking, but Morikawa’s last win was at the 2021 Open.
Last year was a strange year for the 25-year-old, at one point he lost his reliable shot. The streak was nearly broken in Hawaii a few weeks ago at the Sentry Tournament of Champions, but a pair of late bogeys and a relentless attack from Jon Rahm resulted in a nine-digit deficit and a solo second finish.
Morikawa’s game is in good shape, his putting has improved and the short game is looking a bit neater. The five-time winner should be back on top in 2023.
Adam Scott makes his tee off 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 has not lifted a trophy since the Genesis Invitational at Riviera in 2020. Scott’s last PGA Tour win before the Genesis was all the way back in 2016, so winless droughts aren’t exactly unfamiliar territory for the Masters champ.
Scott played great golf at the end of last season with four top 20s in his last 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 finished tied for 21st at the Sony Open last week.
The 42-year-old should be in contention a few times in ’23.
Daniel Berger plays his shot off the 18th tee during the third round of the 2022 Sentry Tournament of Champions at Kapalua Plantation Course in Kapalua, Hawaii. (Photo: Matt York/The Bharat Express News)
Do you remember this man?
Daniel Berger’s 2022 season was limited to just 12 starts due to a nagging back injury. His last start was at the US Open at the Country Club which was over after two days. In those 12 starts, Berger finished in the top five three times (Sentry Tournament of Champions, Honda Classic and the Memorial).
The 29-year-old’s last win was at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am in early 2021.
He has yet to make a start in the 2022/23 season and it is unknown when he will return. When he’s at the top, Berger threatens to win every week.
Story originally appeared on GolfWeek