A Thread for Contrarian Takes


This is downright insulting to Bryson. A total slap in the face. Hunter Mahan is the absolute closest comparison of these 6 and it’s really not even that close when you consider he’s a decade older.

Bryson: 5 PGA Tour wins, all within a 16 month stretch
Mahan: 6 career PGA Tour wins, best stretch = 4 wins in 25 months
Henry: 3 career PGA Tour wins, best stretch = 2 wins in 36 months
Campbell: 4 career PGA Tour wins, best stretch = 2 wins in 5 months
Watney: 5 career PGA Tour wins, best stretch = 3 wins in 17 months
Wetterich: 1 career PGA Tour win
Wilson: 5 career PGA Tour wins, best stretch = 3 wins in 12 months


And you’re being especially generous by comparing to their peak stretch overall. Only Campbell’s remotely aligns with Bryson’s by being at the start of his full-time Tour career. Wow, I was looking at Campbell’s SECOND place finishes. He doesn’t comp well either, and I’m an idiot.


I’m just making the point that people can get on a hot streak early in their career and cool down. Sometimes significantly.

The question was regarding Bryson leading Rory in career money list. And he would therefore have to play with high levels of success for 15 years or so.

Clearly very possible but not beyond the realms of possibility that he has peaked.

I’d add that I dont think this is the case & Bryson will have a long and successful career. I’m a big fan of his, but his methods do appear to be labour intensive and this could lead to a dip after a few years.


The question is career earnings from this point forward though. I don’t think Rory has 15 more years of golfing at a high level without avoiding injury. I’d bet Bryson’s style, while labor intensive, is more sustainable than Rory’s just due to injury risk.


I totally understood your point. You have to realize that when Americans hear the names “JJ Henry” and “Brett Wetterich”, we immediately think of the darkness that was the 2006 Ryder Cup and instinctively, we have to fight back. We must protect our beautiful boy Bryson from ever being mentioned in the same sentence as those other names, no matter the claim.


I wouldn’t say Rory is necessarily an injury risk.

One of the main injuries he had was due to playing football.

The other was a stress fracture in his ribs.

Not like he has a dodgy knee or bad back.


Well certainly be interesting finding out.


Okay - this helps, your real take then, if you want it to qualify for the Contrarian Takes bucket, is that Bryson is overrated.


My take is the jury is still out on Bryson.


Damn, I respect the take because this is the Contrarian Takes thread but what else does a guy need to do to get some respect? Performance in majors is quite literally the only thing you can hold against him (8 starts as a pro), unless you target his non-performance quirks.


I think he deserves a ton of respect for what he has accomplished, especially considering the talk was pretty loud that all of his quirkiness would not result in anything special. He proved that wrong.

However, although majors aren’t everything, they are a lot. You’re right, he has not played in that many, but the samples we have to go off of are not great. Not to take away from his season last year, but it is WAY to soon to be tossing his name in with Rory and Jordan. Almost 60% of voters so far are saying that Bryson has a better career than Rory from here on, which I think is ridiculous.


All very fair points. The question posed is very specific question though. It was career money from this point forward and a lot factors into that. Bryson is 4 years younger and plays more events than Rory. No one is saying he will be better historically or even have more majors.


The 4 year age difference makes it a tricky comparison. Maybe a better comparison would be Jordan Spieth?
I said earnings, simply because it is a decent indicator of week-to-week performance.


Let’s remember that Rory had 4 majors at or around being Brysons current age.

Rory had a poor season last year, but still had a decent sniff at the Masters and the Open.

He will also continue to play European schedules most years and play 4 or 5 of the bigger events. Maybe more if he is in the running for the R2Dubai.

And even him having a disaster yesterday, he still finished 1 shot ahead of Bryson.


I haven’t gotten the sense that he’s being compared to guys like Rory or Spieth? Seems he’s been mocked fairly relentlessly for being different to this point; and is finally being respected for being a hell of a player regardless of how he gets the job done.

PS - my vote still goes to Rory or Spieth for the money question. Especially Jordan since he’ll be like a Stricker or DLIII and able to play on Tour till he’s 50 if he wants.


Not sure if this is contrarian, or even a take, but…

Are we seeing the beginnings of a shift in golf pro career bell curve?

It seemed to me back in the day that most Tour pros took a while to get going. You turned up and tried to survive for a few years. Then maybe around year 5 you were hoping to get some shots at a win. Maybe around late 20’s / early 30’s you’d get a look at a major. Pick up one or two in your 30’s. Keep being competitive right up to 50. 30 years. Pretty gradual up and down. All good.

There were outliers (Tiger and Jack) but even Phil, one of the greatest golfers of all time, didn’t win a major until he was 33. Rose career is pretty old school classic too. Stenson. But all guys in their 40’s now.

Now, the past decade has given us so many kids who smash it right out of the block that it’s become the new normal.

But what if the flip side is their careers are way shorter, with a bell curve that peaks at 25, not 35?

By the end of 2014 we all thought Rory was going to dominate for a decade with 9/10 majors by now. Instead he hasn’t hit a fucking wedge properly in 5 years. And (I hate to say this) but what if he never gets it back? And what if we’re beginning to see Spieth on the same path? Bunch of majors by 25… then fade away?

Golf has always been odd amongst sports in that its participants peaked much later and had longer careers than others. But what if the increased athleticism of the modern game has also drawn them level in terms of career trajectories? Maybe all the high end training just wears out the synapses and twitch muscle reactions sooner?


Should point out that I know it’s way to early to call any of this! I’m just a concerned citizen.


Yeah I don’t see this anywhere either. The only comparison to Rory is in the poll. I was just trying to save the poor kid from being compared to Brett fucking Wetterich.


I think what we’re seeing is the quality and depth in the game is at a level not before seen.

To win a major you have to beat at least 50 guys who are all brilliant and capable of shooting a low score.

Before, guys could win tournaments not quite at their best and a handful of other top players might eliminate themselves over the course of 72 holes.

Basically to win a major, you have to play flawless golf.

Look at some of the charges last year that were not enough.
Fowler at Augusta.
Fleetwood at the US Open shooting 62
Any number of incredible final rounds at Carnoustie.
And of course Tiger at the US PGA.

Ultimately the efforts would have been enough to win tournament in years gone by, but now there is still one guy who is just finds that shot or two more.


I think it could also be a change in the level of “athlete” that golfers are now. We’re starting to see a career arch more consistent with football or basketball, where guys are peaking and in their primes through their mid twenties to early thirties, with a dropoff after that. Whereas in the past, you’ve got guys who no one would consider athletes (Furyk, Vijay, Kenny Perry types) who were able to compete well into their 40’s (or even 50’s; DL3). Now we have more athletic types (Brooks, Rory, JDay, DJ) that are able to compete at a world class level when they’re young, but time will tell if their bodies can handle the #speed that they play with (ex. Tiger).