Every golf fan recognizes the greatness of Rory McIlroy, Rickie Fowler, Phil Mickelson and Jordan Spieth, among others. But what about the pros on tour you don’t really hear too much about?
Did you know there are more than 2,000 golfers ranked in the Official World Golf Rankings? That’s a lot of players to keep track off.
Here’s our ranking of the seven most underrated golfers on both the PGA and European Tour. Give these guys some props.
7 Most Underrated Golfers
24. Bill Haas
The Charlotte, North Carolina native is ranked 24th in the world, but Haas isn’t a household name. He should be.
Haas’ career defining moment came in 2011, when he won the season ending Tour Championship, defeating Hunter Mahan in a sudden death playoff. The win propelled Haas to the 2011 FedEx Cup title and the $10 million prize. Including the Tour Championship, Haas has six career PGA Tour victories. His most recent victory came last month in the Humana Challenge. Haas has also represented the U.S. in the last two Presidents Cup.
Holding Haas back from breaking through on tour is his performance in the majors. A 12th place finish in the 2011 PGA Championship is the highest finish of his career.
28. Kevin Na
Sadly, Kevin Na is known by most golf fans for carding a 16 in the 2011 Valero Open. What you may not know however, is that the 28th ranked golfer in the world is actually a really good player. The 31-year-old has won on the PGA Tour, Web.com Tour and the Asian Tour. Na has played fairly consistently in the majors, with a top 15 finish in The Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship.
45. Branden Grace
Just 25-years-old, Branden Grace has already made quite a statement on the European and Sunshine Tour. The South African has already racked up eight career professional victories. Two of those wins have come in the last three months, meaning Grace could be ready to raise his game to the next level. Grace also represented the International Team at the 2013 Presidents Cup.
Ranked 45th in the world, Grace has only played in eleven major championships in the U.S. In all likelihood, his best chance at capturing a major appears to be the Open Championship, where he’s at least made the cut four times.
83. Paul Casey
In 2009, Paul Casey was the third ranked golfer in the world. Raise your hand if you knew that. Now ranked 83rd, Casey has taken a step back. But Casey is still a heck of a player, having racked up 13 wins on the European Tour. His most recent victory came in 2014 at the KLM Open.
The Englishman has represented Europe in three Ryder Cups (2004, 2006, 2008). The 37-year-old has also come tantalizingly close to winning a major. He finished 3rd in 2010 behind Louis Oosthuizen and Lee Westwood.
120. Nick Watney
Seriously, how is Nick Watney ranked 120th in the world? Dude has mad skills, as the kids would say. At 33-years-old, Watney has already found a tremendous amount of success as a pro. The California native has ten professional wins, including five on the PGA Tour.
Watney’s best year came in 2010, when he finished in the top 10 at The Masters and The Open Championship. The following year, he won his first World Golf Championship, the WGC-Cadillac Championship. Watney went on to finis third on the PGA Tour money list.
144. Stuart Appleby
The veteran of this bunch, Stuart Appleby has nine PGA Tour victories, and has won a total of 17 times as a professional. The Aussie finished runner up at the 2002 Open Championship behind ‘The Big Easy’, Ernie Els. Appleby is the ambassador for Golf Australia’s Crown Lager Social Golf Club and patron for Stuart Appleby Junior Golf.
159. Ben Crane
Last but not least, it’s the ever lovable Benjamin McCully Crane. Ben is quite a character, but he’s also pretty good with a golf club in his hand. The winner of five PGA Tour events, Crane is known more for his antics off the course. Crane is currently one of four golfers in the PGA Tour exclusive boy band, “Golf Boys” – with Rickie Fowler, Bubba Watson, and Hunter Mahan.