5 Promising Tour Players You May Have Forgotten About

We look at five players who were tipped for greatness but haven't quite lived up to expectations...

Promising Tour Players
(Image credit: Getty Images)

We look at five players who were tipped for greatness but haven't quite lived up to expectations...

5 Promising Tour Players You May Have Forgotten About

Golf is a game that can feel easy when playing it well and then very difficult when not playing so well.

It's easy to go into a downward spiral and that's why elite amateurs and promising pros suddenly find themselves well down the rankings.

Below we look at five players who looked destined for great heights but have since dropped away...

5 Promising Tour Players You May Have Forgotten About:

Matteo Manassero

European Tour wins: 4 Highest world ranking: 25

Success story

The Italian looked to be the hottest prospect in golf not too long ago and first burst onto the scene in 2009 at the age of 16 where he became the youngest player to win the British Amateur Championship and then won the Silver Medal at The Open. In 2010 he became the youngest player to ever make the cut at the Masters when he won the low amateur honours. He was also the no.1 ranked amateur in the world. The Italian turned pro in 2010 and won his maiden European Tour title at the Castello Masters to become the youngest ever winner on the European Tour at the age of 17. By his 18th birthday he had won twice on Tour and eventually won three times as a teenager. His fourth European Tour title was his biggest by far and last to date, coming at the 2013 BMW PGA Championship.

Manassero won the low-amateur honours at the 2010 Masters. (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)

Where is he now? 

Having been as high as 25th in the world rankings, Manassero struggled immensely from 2014 onwards. He is currently down at 560th in the world but dropped as low as 893 in April 2016. The Italian has still been playing a full European Tour schedule thanks to his BMW PGA Championship win although he has gone back to Q School to earn his 2019 playing rights. Despite huge struggles with his game, Manassero did record a T22nd finish at the 2018 British Masters. His other best finishes of 2018 were T20s at the Sicilian Open and Volvo China Open.

Victor Dubuisson

European Tour wins: 2 Highest world ranking: 15

Success story

The Frenchman burst onto the world scene at the WGC-Accenture Match Play in 2014 where he finished runner-up to Jason Day and made a couple of ridiculous up-and-downs from cactuses and bushes. He eventually lost on the 23rd hole. His two European Tour titles came at the Turkish Airlines Open in 2013 and 2015, and he has also had success in majors with a T9 at the 2014 Open and T7 at the 2014 USPGA. That season qualified him for the Ryder Cup at Gleneagles where he partnered Graeme McDowell twice in the foursomes, winning both matches, and halved his singles match - winning 2.5 points from 3 matches as a rookie. As well as his pro successes, Dubuisson also reached the number one spot in the World Amateur Golf Ranking and also won the French and European Amateur titles.

Dubuisson chips from a bush on the 20th hole during the championship match of the 2014 WGC-Accenture Match Play Championship at The Golf Club at Dove Mountain in Marana, Arizona. (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Where is he now?

Dubuisson has played just one tournament this year at the Open de Espana due to a burst eardrum and is currently 283rd in the world. His previous start prior to that was the 2017 DP World Tour Championship where he came T13th after a solid spell which featured a 3rd at the Nedbank and 3rd at the Dunhill Links. Reports suggest that the talented Frenchman doesn't actually like golf and has hired a fishing coach. Who knows when we'll next see him.

Ryo Ishikawa

Japan Golf Tour wins: 15 Highest world ranking: 29

(Photo by Jonathan Ferrey/Getty Images)

Success story

Ishikawa was talked about as the next big thing from Asia not so long ago but his career hasn't quite gone to plan so far despite still only being 27. The Japanese star won on the Japan Golf Tour aged 15 and was ranked inside the world's top 100 aged 17. A year later he became the youngest player to crack the world's top 50. He played on the PGA Tour from 2013-2015 and then split his time between the PGA, Web.com and Japan Golf Tours after that. He reached a career-high 29th in the world back in 2009 after four wins on the Japan Golf Tour plus six other top 10s.

Ishikawa played against Tiger Woods at the 2009 Presidents Cup. (Photo by David Cannon/Getty Images)

Where is he now?

He is now back home playing on the Japan Golf Tour and is 266th in the world at the time of writing. He has had six top 7 finishes in the past year.

Expand 11 Former Golfers Who Have Changed Careers

golfers who have changed careers

11 Former Golfers Who Have Changed Careers

Here, we look at some who stepped away…

Expand European Tour Hopeful Falls Foul Of Unusual Golf Rule

European Tour Hopeful Falls Foul Of Unusual Golf Rule

European Tour Hopeful Falls Foul Of Unusual Golf Rule

Gian-Marco Petrozzi lost out on a playoff for…

Expand 10 Tour Pro Ball Striking Tips

tour pro ball striking tips

10 Tour Pro Ball Striking Tips

Need help with your ball striking? Here are…

Expand 5 Things To Know About The 2019 Golf Rule Changes

2019 Golf Rule Changes

5 Things To Know About The 2019 Golf Rule Changes

The rules of golf are changing from 1st…

Rhys Davies

European Tour wins: 1 Challenge Tour wins: 4 Highest world ranking: 44

(Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)

Success story

Not so long ago, Rhys Davies was regarded as the man with the golden putting stroke. That was backed up by a glittering amateur career, highlighted by two Walker Cup appearances and two Jacques Léglise Trophy wins, plus a successful stint in America playing for East Tennessee State University where he won 10 tournaments and was a three-time first team All-American. He turned pro in 2007 as the world's number two-ranked amateur golfer before five pro wins including the 2010 Trophee Hassan II and four on the Challenge Tour. His best year came in 2010 where he won the Trophee Hassan II but before that he was T6 in Abu Dhabi and T3 in Malaysia and then after his win he posted back-to-back runner-ups at the Madrid Masters and Welsh Open to get inside the world's top 50 for the first time.

Where is he now?

It has been quite a fall for Davies, who is now ranked 1,496th in the world after two unsuccessful seasons on the Challenge Tour. The Welshman missed 11 cuts and withdrew from two tournaments this year although did manage a T14th at the Open de Portugal.

Anthony Kim

PGA Tour wins: 3 Highest world ranking: 6

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)

Success story

The American was tipped for great things around 10 years ago, winning twice on the PGA Tour in 2008 and again in 2010 plus reaching a high of 6th in the world. He famously beat Sergio Garcia 5&4 as a rookie at the 2008 Ryder Cup and also once made 11 birdies in a single round at the 2009 Masters. A year later he finished T3rd at The Masters and was T5th at the 2010 Open.

Where is he now?

This video of Kim emerged in September but was said to be at least two years old...

A photo posted by on

He has unofficially retired from golf having not played a tournament since 2012, in a season where he withdrew in three events, missed the cut in four, was DQ'd in another and finished T42 and T66 in the other two. Kim was reported to have had an injury and the reason behind him not returning to the PGA Tour was due to a multi-million dollar insurance payout that permitted him from playing. It's a mystery and Kim and those close to him are probably the only ones who know the full facts.

For all the latest golf news, check the Golf Monthly website and follow our social media channels

Elliott Heath
News Editor

Elliott Heath is our News Editor and has been with Golf Monthly since early 2016 after graduating with a degree in Sports Journalism. He manages the Golf Monthly news team as well as our large Facebook, Twitter and Instagram pages. He covered the 2022 Masters from Augusta National as well as five Open Championships on-site including the 150th at St Andrews. His first Open was in 2017 at Royal Birkdale, when he walked inside the ropes with Jordan Spieth during the Texan's memorable Claret Jug triumph. He has played 35 of our Top 100 golf courses, with his favourites being both Sunningdales, Woodhall Spa, Western Gailes, Old Head and Turnberry. He has been obsessed with the sport since the age of 8 and currently plays off of a six handicap. His golfing highlights are making albatross on the 9th hole on the Hotchkin Course at Woodhall Spa, shooting an under-par round, playing in the Aramco Team Series on the Ladies European Tour and making his one and only hole-in-one at the age of 15 - a long time ago now!

Elliott is currently playing:

Driver: Titleist TSR4

3 wood: Titleist TSi2

Hybrids: Titleist 816 H1

Irons: Mizuno MP5 5-PW

Wedges: Cleveland RTX ZipCore 50, 54, 58

Putter: Odyssey White Hot OG #5

Ball: Srixon Z Star XV