The golfing year has come to an end but there is so much to look forward to in 2020, with the Masters starting the major season in April and a race developing between Rory McIlroy, Jon Rahm, Justin Thomas and Dustin Johnson to topple world number one Brooks Koepka.
But which players, outside of the game’s leading lights, look worth keeping an eye for success on both the European Tour and PGA Tour next year?
European Tour ones to watch
No-one has ended the year in better form than Jazz Janewattananond and this emerging talent has the ability to claim multiple European Tour titles. The 24-year-old closed 2019 with back-to-back victories at the Indonesian Masters and the Thailand Masters. Both wins came by five shot margins and the tongue-twisting Thai could be a threat in the majors next year.
Janewattananond featured on the leaderboard at the PGA Championship in May, eventually finishing 14th and this will have given him the belief to compete on the big stage. The former monk has six wins on the Asian Tour and it looks only a matter of time before he gets off the mark on the European Tour. Events in Malaysia and China in April should be specific targets and the world number 40 should still be a huge-priced runner in the majors.
Min Woo Lee has made a big impression during the early stages of his career and the Australian has the potential to become a European Tour champion. The 21-year-old is blessed with huge power, averaging over 314 yards off the tee. This is a major asset and his last start of the year offered real encouragement as he contended at the Australian PGA Championship, finishing in a tie for third place.
Lee impressed when fourth at the Saudi International and this looks a big chance for him to contend again when the tournament takes place at the end of January. He was also tied fifth at the World Super 6 in Perth and his early form in Australia suggests this is a likely destination for his breakthrough win. As he returns to familiar courses next season, Lee should be increasingly comfortable and wide, open venues where he can utilise his driving distance will be his best chance of success.
PGA Tour ones to watch
Matthew Wolff has already made his PGA Tour breakthrough and the 20-year-old American looks set for a hugely successful career. Wolff’s impressive amateur background suggested he was destined to flourish as a professional and he did not disappoint. It took just four starts for Wolff to clinch his first victory and he achieved it in style. A lengthy eagle at his final hole earned a dramatic win in July at the 3M Open.
The Californian has immense power and a confident touch around the greens. There appear to be no obvious weaknesses in his game and a ruthlessness in contention indicates he can become a prolific PGA Tour champion. Wolff shot 21-under-par in his maiden win and he is likely to be well suited to the low-scoring events early on this season, which include the Desert Classic and Phoenix Open. Just outside the top 100 in the world rankings, expect a big climb over the next year and Wolff is likely to win again in 2020.
Cole Hammer has long been touted as a potential star and the talented American could make an impact if he is given opportunities on the PGA Tour next year. As a 15-year-old Hammer qualified for the US Open in 2015, offering a hint of his future prospects. He was the third youngest player in history to qualify for the tournament and the Texan is aiming to follow in the footsteps of major champion Jordan Spieth.
Amateur Hammer was handed a sponsor’s exemption into the Houston Open in October and the 20-year-old did not look out of place, making the cut. The accurate, straight hitter has already claimed a notable scalp, after defeating Wolff in the matchplay section of the NCAAs earlier this year. Wolff’s progression will only inspire him and the world number two amateur is capable of featuring on leaderboards in 2020 if he is granted enough chances to play on the PGA Tour.