Whatever Happened To….?
After winning some of the biggest tournaments golf can provide, these players retreated into obscurity. By Sam Tremlett
Whatever Happened To….?
After winning some of the biggest tournaments golf can provide, these players retreated into obscurity.
Here are five players you may have forgotten about…
1) Todd Hamilton
2004 was a career year for Hamilton, by winning the Honda Classic and then shocking the world by winning the Open Championship in a playoff against the Big Easy, Ernie Els. In fact this was his last win on any Tour and he never really got close to contending ever again. Between 2005 and 2017, he has had three top-10s on the PGA Tour, so clearly he peaked at the 2004 Open Championship.
2) Ben Curtis
Curtis is another American who won a Major and then retreated into obscurity, although not to the extent of Hamilton. A final round 69, and a Thomas Bjorn implosion, gifted Curtis victory at the 2003 Open at Royal St George’s. He had two small victories on the PGA Tour at the Booz Allen Classic and 84 Lumber Classic in 2006. Then he had an out-of-the-blue T7th and T2nd at the 2008 Open and PGA Championship respectively. These results gave him qualification to the 2008 Ryder cup side that beat the Europeans at Valhalla Golf Club. But from this point on, Curtis has become a ghost not having any significant result since the 2012 Valero Texas Open.
3) Ian Baker-Finch
Finch had a steady career, and yet at the time of his Open Championship victory in 1991 he wasn’t really considered the best of the international players. Greg Norman had the role all to himself pretty much. The only significant result after his Open win was a top-10 at the Masters in 1994. But otherwise it was just missed cut after missed cut. Have a look at his 1995 and 1996 seasons on the PGA Tour website here.
4) Michael Campbell
Campbell reached the peak of the game in 2005, shocking evereyone by beating Tiger Woods at the 2005 US Open at Pinehurst no.2. He then would place tied-fifth at the Open and then tied-6th at the USPGA Championship. However from then on, the weight of stardom distractions clearly had an effect on him. His 2009 and 2010 seasons were particularly shocking, as he missed 32 cuts in 41 events, and shot 89-over-par in the six Majors he played.
5) Ryo Ishikawa
Ishikawa was supposed to be the next big thing in golf. After emerging onto the golf scene after winning the Munsingwear Open KSB Cup at the age of 15. He then burst into the top 100 and yet has failed to deliver on his promise as a youngster. Since joining the PGA Tour in 2012, he is yet to win and the Japanese golfer has pretty much become an anonymity.
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