| Mon 10/07/2017 - 07:57 EDT

Dustin Johnson On Top Of The PGA Tour Money List

Dustin Johnson On Top Of The PGA Tour Money List

It has been an interesting year on the PGA Tour and you could say 2017 has really epitomized how the sport has been travelling in the years since Tiger Woods won basically every tournament that he entered. The playing field is more level than it has ever been, best summed up by the fact that the last seven major champions have all been first time winners.

2017 to date has seen Sergio Garcia, a big name on tour but also a player who has never taken that extra step and lifted a major trophy, finally achieve his first green jacket at the Masters.

In June we witnessed Brooks Koepka rise to the challenge of the US Open and take home his first major, benefiting from a tournament in which most of the world's best golfers were out of contention by Friday afternoon.

As we move into the second half of the season, and with two majors (and two massive paychecks) to come, it is really anyone's guess as to who will top the Money List at the end of the year. There are big names, up-and-comers and a few surprises on the odds table below.

2017 PGA Tour Money List - Outright

PGA Tour Money List  2017 Outright

Dustin Johnson is currently in first place on the PGA Tour Money List off the back of a great start to the year. He has already won three tournaments in 2017, equalling his previous best year (2016) and still with plenty of time to add to his tally. He has also finished in the top ten in tournaments six times from twelve attempts, which is an impressive return. Needless to say, he only needs to mirror this form to be a sure thing in this category for this season.

Johnson was at his best in the early months of 2017 with all three wins coming back to back in February and March. Since then, however, his form has dived and all of a sudden it's not looking so easy for the world's number one ranked golfer. He has missed the cut in his last two tournament appearances, including a very surprising early exit at the US Open. Will he hold on to his crown or will the chasing pack continue to close the gap? 

It wasn't just the world number one who had a poor showing at the US Open - eight of the twelve highest-ranked golfers on the planet failed to make the cut at the season's second major. For the first time since the current format of rankings began in 1986, the top three golfers went home early in a major, so perhaps we can cut Johnson some slack here. Even so, at such short odds there is really no benefit from jumping on at this stage of the season. 

The other two golfers in the top three at the time of the US Open were Rory McIlroy and Jason Day, and they can thank their poor showing for their revised rankings that sees them drop to fourth and sixth respectively. McIlroy has suffered from injuries for parts of the year and his form has been an indication of his lack of match fitness. If you believe he can turn things around and return to the summit of world golf in the very near future, his odds (tenth on the list above) are very tempting, but it is a very big if.

Likewise, Jason Day is in somewhat of a form downturn, which is only natural when you have been one of the more consistent golfers over the last four years. Day missed his first major tournament cut in his last eighteen attempts when he dropped out of the US Open - that was the longest streak by an active player. He appears on the list above at the same price as McIlroy, although surely he is more of a chance. He is definitely one to keep an eye on.

Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Spieth appear at equal second on the odds table above, which is reflective of their second and third standings respectively in the official world golf rankings. Spieth has shown the world what he can do on multiple occasions - it is his lack of consistency that has cost him the world number one ranking (and top spot on the Money List). If Jordan can return to the levels he reached in 2015 when he won back-to-back major events, anything is possible.

Matsuyama has already won two tournaments in 2017 and finished in the top ten on two other occasions, including his tie for second in the US Open. He is currently second on the PGA Tour Money List and will definitely be one to push Johnson all the way to the finish simply because he is one of the few golfers on tour that rarely has a week off. He gives himself more opportunities to add to his purse and this is why he represents great value on the table above.

It really is anyone's race this season. We are witnessing one of the closest PGA Tour Seasons in recent memory and for this reason golf has never been more engaging. With so much of the year still to pan out, it is going to be fantastic viewing as almost anyone on the list above could finish at the top. 

Dustin Johnson Winnings This Year

At the time of writing, Dustin Johnson had taken home a staggering $6,355,725 in prize money - not bad for six months of work! Ok, so plenty of time and effort goes into becoming the world's number one golfer and it doesn't happen overnight. Let's take a moment to look back on the year that Johnson has had so far, focussing on his three PGA Tour victories.

Dustin's first win of the year was at the Genesis Open in California where he shot out of the blocks with scores of 66,66 and 64 to sit seventeen under par after the third round.

An even par final round saw him finish comfortably five shots ahead of second place and take home a cool $1.26 million. Just two weeks later, Johnson had a second win in a row when he took out the WGC-Mexico Championship. Another sizzling display of golf saw the world number one shoot fourteen under par for the tournament and take home another $1.66 million. 

To cap off an incredible period of golf, Dustin won the very next tournament he played in, again two weeks after the last. This time it was the WGC Match Play Championship and another $1.66 million in the kitty. 

The key to winning the PGA Tour Money List, as you can tell from the above, is first-placed finishes. In just three tournaments, Johnson has managed to earn just under three-quarters of his total prizemoney for the season. You don't necessarily have to win major championships to be in contention for the top prize either!

With this in mind, you can really start to appreciate that the end of season leader can come from absolutely anywhere. Two late victories on the PGA Tour can increase a player's final total by over $3 million, which puts so many in contention right up until the last moment.

The best advice I can give here is to hold off on betting on this line until closer to the end of the year. Although form has been difficult to predict on tour this season, we may start to see some trends appear that will help us in selecting the winner. There is also no value in betting on Dustin Johnson right now. Wait for the season to unfold and the inevitable time when he does slip to second or third place before jumping on at much better odds.

Category : NFL

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