Mark Zecchino is the host of TSN’s Golf Talk Canada and the play-by-play voice of PGA Tour Radio on Sirius/XM. He broke down “The Top Five Canadian Golfers To Watch in 2017” in an interview for Tip of the Tower.
Ever since Mike Weir captured The Masters back in 2003, Canadians have been searching for that next player to break through and become a household name across the country.
In an interview with Mark Zecchino, who is the host of TSN’s Golf Talk Canada and the play-by-play voice of PGA Tour Radio on Sirius/XM, we discussed some key storylines for Canadians in golf in 2017. Zecchino felt that players like Graham Delaet and Adam Hadwin get plenty of attention, but neither has won on the PGA Tour and so he excluded them from the list.
According to Zecchino, here are the “Top Five Canadians to Watch in 2017.”
#5 Alena Sharp
She’s not exactly young at 35 years-old (especially in LPGA terms). She’s been a pro for a while but she is coming off her best career year and I think she is getting a lot of confidence and is playing like she belongs out there. She has started off the LPGA season well and I think we could see a win from Alena Sharp this year.
#4 Web.com Tour Players (Corey Conners, Albin Choi, Adam Svensson)
I’m going to cheat here and give you a threesome of Canadians who are going to be playing a lot of golf on the Web.com Tour this year. The Web.com Tour is the main path to the PGA Tour and expect those three guys to perform well and may be the next crop. I would not be surprised if I saw more than one of these players graduate to the PGA Tour for next year.
#3 David Hearn
Hearn doesn’t get the same attention as Delaet and Hadwin at times in the media. I don’t understand why because he has been the highest ranked Canadian on the PGA Tour over the past few years.
He’s a guy who has had a few chances to win and came close back in 2015 at the RBC Canadian Open and he lost in a play-off at the Greenbrier as well as the John Deere Classic. If you’re looking for a Canadian who has had the most chances to win, it’s not DeLaet or Hadwin; it’s actually David Hearn.
He doesn’t get the attention he deserves and sooner or later he’s going to break through and grab a win:
#2 Brooke Henderson
She is the greatest Canadian player in the world; end of story. The fact that she has a Major under her belt already and multiple professional victories; and we’re still talking about a girl who is 19 years-old.
She is going to be a fixture in the top five in the world and some people predict that she will be No. 1. She is more than likely going to win multiple times this year and odds are she will add another major.
#1 Mackenzie Hughes
He won the RSM Classic which is his first ever PGA Tour win and he is a rookie on tour. For a rookie to win in his first season on the tour is just massive and life changing.
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He has the win already, which gives him a two-year exemption on the PGA Tour and vaults him up the Fed Ex Cup points list. He’ll be in The Masters this year and the (other) majors and he is already playing well to back it up.
He had a top 10 finish a couple of weeks ago at Pebble Beach so it’s already a successful year and it’s barely started. I like guys that win at every level, because I think winning breeds winning.
He won back-to-back Canadian amateur championships and has success every year he has played and he is the kind of guy that expects to win at the big dance. He’s the real deal and is comfortable in his skin and the spotlight. He’s the first Canadian to win on any major tour this year and that’s why he is my No. 1.
What’s your take on Zecchino’s picks for the top five Canadian golfers to watch in 2017? Do you agree with his selections, or is there anyone else you would put in the list? Share your thoughts in the comments section.