What marks did Scottish golfers earn on 2023 DP World Tour?
Though missing an individual success after four had been delivered in 2022, it was still a good season for the Scots as four players made it to the season-ending DP World Tour Championship in Dubai.
Before the 2024 campaign gets underway - there’s no break at all for some as events take place in both Australia and South Africa later this week - here’s my end-of-term report cards for the ‘Class of 2023’:
It took some of Rory McIlroy’s magic - a birdie-birdie finish - to stop him from becoming the first home winner in the Genesis Scottish Open since 1999 but that brilliant effort at The Renaissance Club helped the Oban man make his Ryder Cup debut in Rome, where he was unbeaten in three matches. Having had some very good chances, not winning this year will be his one disappointment but he was up there yet again in the Race to Dubai Rankings, finishing 13th, and also secured a PGA Tour card for next season. Grade B+
On the back of his double triumph in 2022 as a rookie, it was always going to be tough to back that up but the Dubai-based Bearsden man well and truly confirmed he belongs on the main tour by chalking up six top tens, including a tie for ninth in the final Rolex Series event of the season on Sunday. He also ended up just outside the top ten in Genesis Scottish Open as accuracy from both the tee and fairway - he was in the top 15 in both categories - proved a solid foundation in his game. He’s looking to add some length going forward and also aim to improve on being 126th for average putts per round with 29.49. Grade B
After a disappointing 2022 campaign, this was much more like it from the Pencaitland-based player as he recorded six top tens, including the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, Horizon Irish Open and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship. The 2021 Hero Open winner finished outside the top 150 for driving accuracy for the fifth season in a row but, like MacIntyre, was one of the longest-hitters on the circuit with an average of around 311 yards. He’s got the game to really begin to kick on when he starts out in 2024 as a married man. Grade B
The Drumoig man started the season with eight straight cuts without managing to produce a big finish before reeling off four successive top tens in the ISPS Handa World Invitational, Omega European Masters, Horizon Irish Open and BMW PGA Championship. He gained bags of experience from being out in the last group on the final day at Wentworth and also from being in Jon Rahm’s company in one of his rounds in the DP World Tour Championship. That door is eventually going to open one day if he keeps knocking at it in his bid to land a breakthrough win on the top tour. Grade B
First and foremost, it was great to see the Crook of Devon-based player being able to play a full schedule again after some health issues in 2022. Producing some good golf at times, he recorded four top-ten finishes, including third in the ISPS Handa Championship in Japan and joint-fourth in Betfred British Masters hosted by Sir Nick Faldo. He lacked a big finish in the second half of season as he narrowly missed out on making it into DP World Tour Championship. He hit more fairways in regulation than greens while his putting stats were decent with an average of 1.75 per green and 28.78 per round. Grade B-
The Edinburgh-based Aberdonian missed three cuts in his first six starts before finding his renowned consistency as he then failed to make it to the weekend just once in 17 events. He had three top-five finishes, including a chance to win the Made in Himmerland coming down the last hole, but, frustratingly, the big finish he needed towards the end of the campaign to make it all the way to the Dubai finale, having finished in the top 20 in that on his return last year, wasn’t forthcoming. For the fourth season in a row, he was in the top 20 for driving accuracy and also made top 25 for greens in regulation, though down from seventh (71.88 per cent) to 24th (69.81 per cent). Grade B-
After a promising start to the season, which was capped by a tie for third in the Korea Championship presented by Genesis, the Florida-based Glaswegian saw his game tail off in the summer and headed into the final regular event of the season sitting below the card cut-off mark in the Race to Dubai Rankings. With his back against the wall, though, he produced an impressive display in Qatar, finishing in a tie for third after covering the final ten holes in the third round in eight-under-par, to retain his seat at the top table for the 14th successive season. Grade C+
The Aberdonian got off to a slow start, which contributed to him missing out on the DP World Tour Championship on this occasion. He racked up three straight top-15 finishes heading into the summer and made plenty of cuts in the second half of the campaign but, apart from solid back-to-back efforts in the Cazoo Open de France and Alfred Dunhill Links Championship, he was unable to get in the mix as much as he’d have liked. Being ranked outside the top 100 in driving accuracy contributed to that. Grade C
After effectively saving his card the previous season with one big result, the Glaswegian’s 18th season holding full playing privileges on the main tour was largely a disappointing one - the highlight was a tie for fourth in the Made in Himmerland event - as he finished 121st in the Race to Dubai Rankings. That meant he faced a return to the Qualifying School for the first time since 2018 and, having missed out there on this occasion, he’ll be facing a limited number of starts on the DP World Tour in 2024 but will be looking to make one of those really count, as he did when winning the 2020 Austrian Open in a similar position. Grade D
It was a strange season for the Bathgate man, having started out without a category for the top tour but then being handed one when it was discovered that he’d been mistakenly excluded from the career money list category. It was perhaps no surprise that he was slow to get going and ended up outside the top 200 in the Race to Dubai Rankings. But there were definitive signs of improvement towards the end of the season and, having also been given a special membership exemption for 2024, the 49-year-old will be hoping to make the most of that as he prepares for a crack at the seniors’ circuit. Grade N/A
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