Golf Draft Kit: 2017-18 Sleepers & Busts

Golf Draft Kit: 2017-18 Sleepers & Busts

This article is part of our Golf Draft Kit series.

SLEEPERS

Seamus Power

Power showed flashes as a rookie last season with four top-25s but ultimately just missed keeping his card at No. 130 in the point standings. He regained it, barely, finishing 25th in earnings in the Web.com Tour Finals. Last season, Power was 63rd in strokes gained tee to green on the PGA Tour, 66th in SG approach, 32nd in SG around, 64th in SG putting and 53rd in SG total. How in the world did Power not do better than 130th? He will this season.
– Len Hochberg


Sam Ryder

Every year we're looking for the breakout stud from the Web.com Tour. There was no Wesley Bryan this time. Ryder (no relation to the Cup) is a 27-year-old Floridian who was second on the regular-season money list, securing his card with a whopping eight-shot win in July. He also had a second and a third and six top-10s. He was first in total driving, 11th in GIR. So if you're looking for a late-round gamble, Ryder seems one. One caveat: He missed 7 of 23 cuts.
– Len Hochberg


Scott Piercy

Piercy couldn't get anything going in 2016-17, but that was his first bad stretch on the PGA Tour in several years. Piercy has earned more than $2.7 million in two of his last three seasons on the PGA Tour and one bad stretch doesn't mean he's lost his game. He's a great salary cap pick this season and his number from last season will have him

SLEEPERS

Seamus Power

Power showed flashes as a rookie last season with four top-25s but ultimately just missed keeping his card at No. 130 in the point standings. He regained it, barely, finishing 25th in earnings in the Web.com Tour Finals. Last season, Power was 63rd in strokes gained tee to green on the PGA Tour, 66th in SG approach, 32nd in SG around, 64th in SG putting and 53rd in SG total. How in the world did Power not do better than 130th? He will this season.
– Len Hochberg


Sam Ryder

Every year we're looking for the breakout stud from the Web.com Tour. There was no Wesley Bryan this time. Ryder (no relation to the Cup) is a 27-year-old Floridian who was second on the regular-season money list, securing his card with a whopping eight-shot win in July. He also had a second and a third and six top-10s. He was first in total driving, 11th in GIR. So if you're looking for a late-round gamble, Ryder seems one. One caveat: He missed 7 of 23 cuts.
– Len Hochberg


Scott Piercy

Piercy couldn't get anything going in 2016-17, but that was his first bad stretch on the PGA Tour in several years. Piercy has earned more than $2.7 million in two of his last three seasons on the PGA Tour and one bad stretch doesn't mean he's lost his game. He's a great salary cap pick this season and his number from last season will have him buried on most rankings, so you can probably get him pretty late in a draft.
– Greg Vara


Ryan Blaum

Blaum didn't make a huge splash during his rookie season, rather he was just consistently good all year. Blaum made 22 cuts in 30 starts, which is a ratio normally reserved for guys who've had a lot of success on the PGA Tour. Blaum also was at his best during the summer portion of the schedule, which is always a good sign. He's a great salary cap pick this season and should fly in under the radar in most draft leagues.
– Greg Vara


Tony Finau

He has been on the verge of breaking out for several years and had his best campaign as a pro last season, finishing 19th in the FedExCup Points standings. He was just 33rd on the money list, but also 16th in scoring average an 10th in strokes gained tee to green. A win in a full-field event this season would give him a shot at reaching the top 10 on the money list for the first time.
– Kevin O'Brien


Si Woo Kim

Kim has had mixed results for consecutive years, but he is already a two-time winner on Tour and will not turn 23 until next summer. His youth should help him put the back injury that plagued him last season behind him, and if he can, he should make more cuts, and consistent results could drive him up the list so long as he records another high finish in a big tournament.
– Kevin O'Brien


Smylie Kaufman

Still young, the now 25-year-old Kaufman struck success in just his fourth PGA Tour start two years ago, but he has gotten complacent with just three top-10 efforts since. Kaufman has a distance advantage on most of his peers but struggled last season from the fairway, and he has plenty of work to do to consistently compete on the PGA Tour. However, there's ample time for the youngster to develop, and with one full year of secured starts, look for Kaufman to jump over the $1 million mark this season.
– Michael Riek


Peter Uihlein

A solid player on the European Tour since 2013, Uihlein made the most of his opportunity to play in the Web.com Tour Finals by winning the first leg, the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship. His $180,000 in earnings from the victory sealed his full-time spot on the PGA Tour, where he notched three top-25s in just seven events last season. The promising talent has plenty of length off the tee and a good putter, so there's potential to shine given a full schedule. Uihlein is worth a pick in the 11th or 12th round of draft leagues and perhaps a higher-risk option worth taking in salary cap leagues.
– Michael Riek


BUSTS

Pat Perez

Perez is coming off by far his best season in 15-plus years on Tour and will turn 42 this winter. We aren't saying he'll be a bust, but he won't come close to a repeat performance from 2016-17, when he finished 12th in the regular-season FedEx Cup Points standings. And don't be concerned if you see him do well early on – Perez is always at this best during the West Coast Swing.
– Len Hochberg


Brendan Steele

Steele has been a very good player for a number of years now. And last season was far and away his best. But after finishing 16th in points during the regular season, Steele played so poorly in the playoffs that he tumbled out of the top 30 and failed to make his first Tour Championship. That's not easy to do, and it had to be just brutal for his psyche. Steele turns 35 in spring, and we don't envision anywhere near a repeat of his $2.9 million-plus in earnings from 2016-17.
– Len Hochberg


Marc Leishman

With the help of a late-seson push, Leishman posted incredible numbers last season and while he's a good player and always has been, he's not the guy we saw during the final few events last season. Leishman has always been a streaky golfer, it just happened that his streaks came during more opportune times last season. Leishman is an absolute no-go in salary cap leagues, and he'll likely be taken way to high in draft formats because of his huge earnings number from last season.
– Greg Vara


Brian Harman

Harman is a solid golfer, but once again, he's not the guy we saw last season. Actually, he may be the guy we saw last season, but next season, it will be someone else's turn to make a huge leap in earnings. There is so much talent on the PGA Tour that only a handful of elite golfers can stay in the top 10 year after year, while those that are merely good, will take turns entering and departing the top 10. Harman is great around and on the green, but his distance off the tee and ball striking will prevent him from becoming elite.
– Greg Vara


Adam Hadwin

Hadwin got off to a fast start last season, but faded during summer as the fields improved. If he is unable to secure a victory early in this new campaign, he will have a tough time reaching $3 million again.
– Kevin O'Brien


Jason Dufner

He was a cut-making machine last season, but nearly half his earnings came in one tournament, and he saw his total earnings rise each of the last two years. He will turn 41 early next year, so it's time for that trend to tilt back the other way. Plus, it was only a few years ago he barely cracked $1 million.
– Kevin O'Brien


Russell Henley

Henley had a solid season last year, but it's not quite what you'd expect from someone who finished top-20 on the FedEx Points List. Henley did picked up a victory at the Houston Open, but he posted only two other top-5s during the season. It didn't hurt that one of those top-5s, was a third-place finish at the Tour Championship, but still, his resume from last season doesn't seem to add up to $3.4 million in earnings after the two-time winner's previous high was $2.5 million. With that in mind, $3.4 million is probably too much to spend on Henley in salary cap leagues this season.
– Michael Riek

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