Five Players to Watch in 2021

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Dustin Johnson capped off a great 2020 with his second major, the perfect preparation perhaps for another assault on golf's silverware in 2021.

Dustin Johnson

Despite a testing year for everyone, three of the four majors were able to go ahead in the golfing world in 2020 with two new names etched on to the silverware, while Dustin Johnson cemented his status as world number one with a second major title to his name.

With the Open Championship back on the calendar and a more familiar look to it, we take a look at five golfers who could make 2021 a year to remember.

Dustin Johnson

The latest Masters champion is wasting no time in getting his 2021 campaign started – Dustin Johnson is teeing up in the Sentry Tournament of Champions in Hawaii – and the world number one could build on his Green Jacket glory with a monstrously successful year.

Johnson won the Sentry Tournament of Champions by eight shots in 2018, so could easily get off to a flyer in Hawaii, and he can be expected to enjoy a wonderful Majors campaign later in the season. Another Masters triumph in April would come as no surprise, while he was runner-up in the Open Championship the last time Royal St George’s – this year’s venue – was used. The 7/4 about him winning the PGA Money List should attract plenty of interest.

Rory McIlroy

Happily married, with a first child thrown into the mix last year, Rory McIlroy is more settled than ever off the course – and 2021 looks like a golden opportunity for the Northern Irishman to get back to his best.

The Major venues seem ideal for McIlroy, particularly Kiawah Island, which is hosting the US PGA Championship. McIlroy won the only previous Major at Kiawah Island by eight shots in 2012 and he will fancy his chances of making an impression in all four of the biggest events on the calendar. The 5/1 for a 2021 Race to Dubai victory will appeal to many.

Viktor Hovland

Norway has got a potential superstar on its hands in the shape of Viktor Hovland, who can build on a bright 2020 with a barnstorming 2021. The youngster has quickly won two PGA Tour titles – the latest coming in the Mayakoba Classic a month ago – and his ball-striking quality means he should rapidly develop into a Major contender.

Hovland, who finished third in the DP World Tour Championship in Dubai before Christmas, has committed to playing in the Saudi International in February and will tee up more regularly on the European Tour in a bid to qualify for a Ryder Cup debut. He is a 14/1 chance for the Race to Dubai.

Justin Rose

The year ahead could provide a comeback story for Justin Rose, who has slipped deep down the world rankings at the age of 40, getting overshadowed by younger rivals. Rose has just moved back to England, so seems likely to compete more on the European Tour than he has been previously, and punters should keep an eye out for any improvements. The former US Open champion is a class act who should recover top form at some stage this season and win an event at juicy odds.

Erik van Rooyen

Another player on offer at fancy prices in the money lists is Erik van Rooyen, who has shown a liking for Major competition over the last few years and is getting more experienced, established and comfortable on the biggest stages. The South African is full of potential for 2021.

*All odds correct at time of writing

Steve has been a Racing Post columnist, golf tipster and punter for most of his working life. One of the most well-known tipsters in the country, his columns featuring golf betting tips have been must read material for years.

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