1. Brooks Koepka
How much worse? (1.296 strokes)
Koepka may be a four-time Major Champion, but his 2022 season constituted a huge regression from his previous performance standards.
Maybe it was the distraction created by Koepka’s summer defection to the LIV Tour. Perhaps a lingering physical issue played a role.
Whatever the reason, Koepka’s scoring average soared by nearly 1.3 strokes during his portion of the PGA Tour season.
Both Koepka’s long and approach games abandoned him.
In 2021, Koepka was the seventh most proficient driver on Tour, improving his performance by 0.631 strokes just by his play off the tee. In 2022, he fell to 55th place, beating the field by just 0.21 strokes off the tee. That’s more than four-tenths of a stroke difference right there.
Things got worse when Koepka pulled an iron. In 2021 he was top 25 in approach shots, picking up nearly half a stroke on the field. In 2022 his approach game became a net liability, regressing by close to six-tenths of a stroke per round, and he fell 107 spots in the Tour rankings.
Here’s the full chart on Koepka.
2020-21 2021-22 Change
Off The Tee 0.631 0.210 -0.421
Approaches 0.482 -0.064 -0.546
Around the Green 0.058 -0.284 -0.342
Putting 0.187 0.262 0.075
So Koepka’s once-great game lost ground in three of the vital Strokes Gained areas during 2021-22, and his improvement in putting was at best nominal.
That means he leaves the PGA Tour for the LIV Tour when his game has never been less solid or his playing future more questionable.
It also means Koepka may have more to prove in 2023 than any other player.