In a recent article, I looked at the 10 PGA Tour pros who made the greatest improvement in scoring average during the 2021/22 season. But not every pro enjoyed a fruitful season. Several played much worse based on their scoring averages.
What follows is an examination of the other end of the scale, the worse end. Unlike the performance of the 10 players examined previously, the performance of these 10 suffered big-time.
In several cases, those performance declines could mark the beginning of the ends of careers. Others who did much worse in 2022 may see their PGA Tour careers end for another reason; three of the five worst left the Tour for the LIV Tour during the season.
This is not, in large measure, a list of chronic failures. Most of these players were coming off strong seasons, if not in 2021 then certainly in recent years. Three of them can lay claim to a collective seven Major Championships.
Five of them played in at least one major international competition – either a Ryder Cup or a Presidents Cup – within the past five seasons. Several entered the 2021-22 season expecting to contend for season-ending honors and/or Major titles.
The reality is that in several cases, their performance failures could threaten their continued careers on Tour.
Here is a look at the 10 players who made the most substantial falls down the stroke average leaderboard during 2021-22 along with an analysis of the keys to their declines.
The 10 Biggest Disappointments on The PGA Tour in 2021/22.
10. Patton Kizzire
How much worse? (0.744 strokes)
Kizzire is a mid-30s, seven-year Tour veteran out of Auburn with two wins, both coming in 2017-18.
Coming off a strong 2020-21 in which he earned more than $2 million and played in the BMW Championship, Kizzire looked forward to further improvement this just-concluded season. He got the opposite.
Kizzire made 29 starts but had only one top 10, that being a tie for 10th at the WM Phoenix Open. His scoring average ballooned from 70.541 last season to 71.285 this year.
Here’s Kizzire’s chart.
2020-21 2021-22 Change
Off The Tee -0.083 -0.160 -0.077
Approaches 0.169 0.213 0.044
Around the Green 0.092 -0.061 -0.153
Putting 0.432 -0.136 -0.568
The data demonstrates that Kizzire’s problems largely flowed from his failures on the green. Since 2018, putting had been a focal point of Kizzire’s move toward prominence; between 2017 and 2021 his putting improved by about a half stroke against the PGA Tour average.
Last year he lost all of that advantage and more, his performance on the greens declining by more than a half stroke in that single season alone.
With every other aspect of Kizzire’s performance essentially in neutral, his position on the season-long scoring chart fell from 46th to 143rd.
He dropped from 57th to 129th in the FedEx Cup standings, and qualified for the playoffs only thanks to the departure of several players to the LIV Tour.