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Past Fantasy Outlooks
Taylor was one of two players who qualified for the FedEx Cup Playoffs but didn't tee it up at The Northern Trust due to injury. Coming off one of his best seasons on Tour, Taylor was unable to duplicate his previous success as both his top-10s came in the fall portion of the schedule and he missed the cut in five-of-six events since the Tour re-started play. At 44, Taylor's driving distance dropped outside the top 200 and he'll need to be stellar with his short-game to seriously contend on Tour.
Taylor has played on the PGA Tour for the better part of the past two decades and while he's managed to win three times, he's never cracked $2 million in earnings in any one season. Part of that is due to when he posted his first two wins, in 2004 and 2005, when wins weren't worth as much, but mostly it speaks to Taylor's inability to string together good performances. He's always been a guy who pops up here and there, but he's never shown a lot of consistency...until this past season when he earned his money by carding four top-10s and seven top-25s. While Taylor may have figured something out in his game that allows for more consistency, at 43 years-old, his upside is all but gone.
Perhaps best known for picking up his second and third wins on the PGA Tour a decade apart, Taylor continues to grind it out year after year. Taylor topped the $1 million mark in each of his first seven seasons on the PGA Tour, but he's only topped that mark once in his past eight seasons. Though Taylor continues to grind, he's well past his prime and as such, his upside is severely limited. Taylor should not be considered in salary cap leagues this season.
Taylor somehow managed to sneak into the top-125 without the benefit of a single top-10 last season. He did make the cut in 19 of 25 starts and finished with seven top-25s. It all adds up in the end and in this case, it was just enough to get Taylor into the top-125. Taylor had unexpectedly picked up a win last season and he used that momentum, and status, to post his second best season since 2010 last year. That said, prior to the 2015-16 season, Taylor had posted five consecutive seasons under $600k in earnings and he doesn't carry much upside anymore.
When Taylor won the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am last February, it marked the first time in over a decade that Taylor was victorious on the PGA Tour. It was also the first time in about six years that Taylor had any kind of success at all. With that in mind, Taylor is not a good option in salary cap leagues as even with this win, the odds of him playing well this season are low. In draft leagues he'll likely go after the 10-round.
Once upon a time, Taylor was thought to be one of the up and coming players on the PGA Tour. That time was over a decade ago however and his game in no way resembles that player. With that said, he's got a little left in the tank and it wouldn't take much to top his number from 2014. His starts will be limited, but he might need only a couple to provide value in a salary cap league.
Taylor never quite panned out like we thought he would, but after a horrible 2011 season, he has a second chance via Q-School. Let's not forget that Taylor earned $1.8 million in 2010. Taylor isn't exactly a must-have because his track record is mixed, but it would be wise to take a long hard look at him.
Taylor continues to be one of the PGA TOUR's bigger mysteries. He appears to have everything it takes to be a top-30 player, yet he hasn't made it happen. It looked like he had it figured out a few years ago when he won in consecutive seasons, but since his last victory in 2005, his play has been frustrating. The reason he's well regarded is his ability to putt. He's one of the top on the PGA TOUR, perhaps the best -- when he's on, that is. The problem for Vaughn is that his putter has been erratic at best the last five years. He showed signs of a comeback last season, however, and if that trend continues, he could find his way back to the winner's circle again. Outside of putting, Taylor usually is accurate off the tee, but he doesn't have much distance and doesn't hit many greens in regulation.
Putting is a big part of every player's game, but when it comes to Taylor, it's absolutely critical. Taylor, when he's on, is one of the best putters on the PGA TOUR, but it's rarely been on over the past five seasons, which is why his overall numbers have suffered. Taylor is going to play well enough to maintain his card and even contend every now and then, but until he finds that magic putter again, he won't sniff the top-30.
Taylor continues to puzzle the golf world. A couple years ago it appeared as though he was ready to be a force on the PGA Tour, now we are not even sure if he'll win again. The reason for the decline in his performance has been the putter. Taylor ranked 37th on the PGA Tour last year, which is good for most players, but not Taylor. When Taylor is putting up to his standards, he's in the top-10. His production in 2009 is based entirely on his putting. If he finds it, he has a chance at the top-30, if not, he's right back around number 100.
Taylor flat out does not belong this low on the money list. He's too good to finish below the likes of Joe Ogilvie and Kevin Sutherland. Taylor is known as one of the best putters on tour, yet last year the putter failed him. He ended up ranked 12th in that category, but that doesn't tell the entire tale. Taylor had a difficult time closing last year, and a lot of that had to do with his putting in clutch situations. Taylor should be better this year, with yet another year on tour under his belt. Look for improvement on the weekends, and a resulting improvement in his numbers.
Taylor's 2006 results are the perfect formula for a breakout 2007 season. He's won twice on the PGA Tour, so we know he can seal the deal. He came close to winning several times last year, but just couldn't get it done. After a year of coming close several times, odds are he's going to cash in at some point. Maybe more than once.
Vaughn Taylor ran into the over-value problem last year. He won an event late in 2004, which put a high price tag too high. He backed up his 2004 season fairly well, and the price tag heading into 2006 seems about right. Both of his wins have come at the Reno-Tahoe Open, which is a little concerning. But this guy has game and it's just a matter of time before he wins a better event. Taylor has the end of the season figured out and he started well in Hawaii last year, he just needs to figure out the middle.
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