The 13 Best Players Of 2018

We count down the best 13 players of 2018...

(Image credit: Getty Images)

We list our stand-out players of the year...

The 13 Best Players Of 2018

Through the next 13 pages, we list our stand-out players of the year.

The list includes players who won multiple times, major winners, world number ones, huge world ranking risers and stars of the Ryder Cup...

13 - Cameron Champ

(Photo by Dylan Buell/Getty Images)

The big-hitting American began 2018 ranked 1,058th in the world and is currently the world no.96.

He came through the Web.com Tour, where he averaged over 340 yards off the tee, to qualify as one of 'The 25' and got his PGA Tour career off to a flying start.

Related: Cameron Champ swing analysis - How does he hit it so far?

Champ won in his second start as a PGA Tour member at the Sanderson Farms Championship and has since recorded a further two top 10s.

He also won on the Web.com Tour in 2018 and, at 23 years of age, looks a real star for the future.

12 - Tony Finau

(Photo by Steve Dykes/Getty Images)

Finau didn't win a title in 2018 but this was the year where he truly became world class.

The American had four second-place finishes including a playoff loss at the WGC-HSBC Champions.

He also rose to a career-high 9th in the world rankings and will end 2018 inside the top 10.

His great play during the business end of the season earned him the final wildcard pick for the US Ryder Cup side and he was one of their best players, winning two of his three matches.

Finau managed top 10s in the year's first three majors, including at Augusta where he sprained his ankle in the Par 3 Contest.

He also finished sixth in the FedEx Cup.

11 - Tommy Fleetwood

(Photo by Richard Heathcote/Getty Images)

The Englishman had the season of his life in 2017, winning twice on the European Tour plus the Race to Dubai title, and his 2018 season was arguably just as good.

Fleetwood tasted victory just once, retaining the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship, but finished 2nd at the US Open thanks to a final round 63 and then won four points from five matches at the Ryder Cup.

Moliwood was born and the pair simply dominated everyone in sight.

Fleetwood also reached a career-high of 9th in the world rankings this year and in total had one win, two seconds and eight other top 10s.

He has now cemented himself as one of the best British players and looks more than capable of winning a major in the coming years.

10 - Bubba Watson

Bubba Watson wins WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play

(Getty Images)

Bubba had slipped outside of the world's top 100 but a number of things, one of them his golf ball switch, propelled him back this year.

The American won three times at the Genesis Open, WGC-Match Play and Travelers Championship and recorded a further three top 10s.

He was as low as 117th in the world in February but impressively clawed himself back up to 11th just a few months later.

2018 was the year that Bubba well and truly came back to the big time, let's see what next year holds for him...

9 - Matt Wallace

(Getty Images)

The Englishman came from being relatively unknown last year to winning three times in 2018 and very nearly making the Ryder Cup side.

Wallace looks a very classy player with an exceptional drive to win.

He won six times on the Alps Tour in 2016, won the Open de Portugal in 2017 on the European Tour and then won three times in 2018, at the Indian Open, BMW International Open and then the Made in Denmark.

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His win in Denmark was special, with European Captain Thomas Bjorn watching on, Wallace birdied seven of his last eight holes including those in the playoff and many believed he was unlucky not to get a wildcard pick for Paris.

Wallace was outside of the world's top 150 in March but reached a career-high 44th after his third victory.

8 - Tiger Woods

Nobody could really predict the year Tiger Woods was going to have after an injury-plagued spell that saw him have a fourth back surgery in April 2017.

The 14-time major winner proved that he can still play the great golf he used to, and after a fantastic season he eventually won for the first time in over five years at the Tour Championship.

Woods also came very close at Carnoustie, where he was nine holes away from lifting a fourth Claret Jug, and was 2nd at the USPGA Championship.

He also made the USA Ryder Cup side, something that nobody would have believed 12 months prior. Woods' season petered-out after that due to fatigue.

He also finished 2nd in the FedEx Cup and saw his world ranking rise from outside the top 1,000 in December 2017 to 13th.

7 - Georgia Hall

Georgia Hall wins Ricoh Women's British Open

At just 22 years of age, Georgia Hall won her first major title at the Women's British Open.

Hall incredibly made just three bogeys for the week at Royal Lytham and St Annes and dominated nearest challenger and playing partner Pornanong Phatlum on the final day.

She became just the fourth English major winner in history after Alison Nicholas, Laura Davies and Karen Stupples.

Hall also had four other top 10s including a runner-up and broke into the world's top 10 for the first time in her career.

6 - Bryson DeChambeau

(Photo by Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

2018 was the year of the Golfing Scientist with DeChambeau winning four PGA Tour titles including two FedEx Cup Playoff events in a row.

DeChambeau also rose from 99th in the world at the start of the year to fifth, and was picked for the US Ryder Cup side where he failed to deliver a point.

However, he finished 3rd in the FedEx Cup and can now call himself one of the best players in the world.

He won over $8m on the PGA Tour for the 2017-18 season and has picked up $1.26m from his one and only start so far for the 2018/19 season.

5 - Justin Rose

(Photo by Tim Bradbury/Getty Images)

The Englishman became world number one in 2018 after a phenomenal spell of golf.

Rose's missed cut at The Northern Trust was his first in over a year, and he then followed that up seven straight top 8s including a victory, two runners-up and two third-place finishes.

The 2016 Olympic Gold Medallist won twice in 2018, at the Fort Worth Invitational at Colonial and the Turkish Airlines Open.

Rose had 15 top 10s from his 22 starts this year and lifted the FedEx Cup trophy for the first time.

He also was part of the winning Ryder Cup team, where he won two matches from four, both in foursomes with Henrik Stenson.

4 - Patrick Reed

Patrick Reed wins U.S. Masters

Reed was simply sensational at Augusta to win The Masters and his maiden major.

The American duelled with Rory McIlroy in the final group and outclassed him, eventually holding off strong finishes from compatriots Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler.

Reed reportedly had a practice round in the week prior to the tournament where he hit an astonishing 3,000 putts.

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He led the field in putts per green at 1.44 and eventually won by a single stroke, proving the preparation was worth it.

He also had two runners-up finishes at the Valspar Championship and DP World Tour Championship in 2018 as well as six other top 10s.

The Texan finished 2nd in the Race to Dubai.

3 - Ariya Jutanugarn

(Photo by Michael Reaves/Getty Images)

The Thai won three times in 2018 including the US Women's Open and Women's Scottish Open, and wrapped up the LPGA Tour's Race to the CME Globe for the second time in three years.

She also recorded 12 other top 10s.

Jutanugarn, currently the world number one, topped a number of stats on the LPGA Tour including the money list, number of birdies, scoring average, putts per GIR, rounds under par, rounds in the 60s and more.

The 23-year-old was crowned LPGA Tour Player of the Year and also won the Rolex Annika Major Award which is based on the overall performance in the year's majors.

2 - Francesco Molinari

(Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)

The Italian had the year of his life in 2018, highlighted by his maiden major triumph at the Open Championship.

Molinari beat a stellar line-up of challengers including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, Justin Rose and Xander Schauffele to prevail at Carnoustie, which was his third victory of the season.

He also won the BMW PGA Championship before his first PGA Tour title at the Quicken Loans National, where he won by eight.

Could it possibly get any better? Oh yes. Molinari then went on to win all five of his matches at the Ryder Cup, including his singles match vs Phil Mickelson where he wrapped up the winning point.

The 36-year-old then went on to lift the Race to Dubai title to be crowned Europe's number one. He also reached a career-high 5th in the Official World Golf Ranking.

1 - Brooks Koepka

Brooks Koepka's Caddie

Some may believe that Francesco Molinari was the player of the year, but you cannot argue against Brooks Koepka's achievements in 2018.

The American missed The Masters with a wrist injury and proceeded to win two of the next three majors.

Koepka outclassed the world number one and his good friend Dustin Johnson to successfully retain his US Open title at Shinnecock Hills.

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He then outlasted the resurgent pair of Tiger Woods and Adam Scott to win the USPGA Championship and third major title at Bellerive.

The 28-year-old became world number one in 2018 and also won the CJ Cup in South Korea towards the end of the year.

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Elliott Heath
Elliott Heath

Elliott Heath is our Senior Staff Writer and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016. He graduated in Sports Journalism in 2016 and currently manages the Golf Monthly news, courses and travel sections as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. Elliott has interviewed some huge names in the golf world including Sergio Garcia, Thomas Bjorn, Bernd Wiesberger and Scotty Cameron as well as a number of professionals on the DP World and PGA Tours. He has also covered three Open Championships on-site including at Carnoustie in 2018 when he was inside the ropes with Tiger Woods. He has played 31 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Old Head and Alwoodley. He currently plays at West Byfleet Golf Club in Surrey, where his handicap index floats between 3-5. His golfing highlight is making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, and he has made one hole-in-one.


Elliott is currently playing:


Driver: Honma TR20

3 wood: TaylorMade SIM2 Max

Hybrid: TaylorMade SIM Max

Irons: Mizuno MP5

Wedges: Titleist Vokey Design

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Titleist Pro V1x