This past Sunday at the Honda Classic in Palm Beach Gardens Florida ended in dramatic fashion with a rare 4-man Sudden Death Playoff. What’s harder to believe is how young the competitors were; Rory McIlroy and winner Russell Henley are both just 24 years old and Russell Knox is also under the age of 30. Even Ryan Palmer wouldn’t be considered a “Tour vet” by any means. So far this 2014 Season has displayed an even playing field with several unpredicted wins (Fedex Cup leader Jimmy Walker being the exception with multiple wins this year already). But there is one trend: Golfers under 30 years of age are damn good.
I wouldn’t necessarily say Tiger Woods is old. But with the amount of younger golfers emerging, Tiger just gets older and older. Could it be: In with the new, out with the “old?” Could the generation of Tiger Woods’ dominance be coming to an end? Is it just me or has anyone else noticed that there’s been less coverage on Tiger? Be it a swing change, an injury or performance on the field.
If we take a look at the PGA Tournaments that have already ended, an overwhelming majority of them had at least one player T4 or better that is under the age of 25:
Hyundai Tournament of Champions - 2nd place, Jordan Spieth (20 years old)
Humana Challenge - Won, Patrick Reed (23 years old)
Waste Management Phoenix Open - T4, Hideki Matsuyama (22 years old)
AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am - T4, Jordan Spieth (20 years old)
World Golf Championships-Accenture Match Play - 3rd place, Rickie Fowler (25 years old) who defeated World Golf Hall of Famer Ernie Els for the 3rd place finish.
Sony Open - 4th place, Harris English (24 years old) who has been Top 10 in the last three tournaments including T9th in WGC Matchplay and currently 3rd in Fedex Cup Standings. Additionally he won the OHL Classic November of last year.
The year has only begun. But it looks as though the young guns are dominating so far. We’ll see how they hold up in the Majors. Augusta, see you soon.
**Harry Chiu is a recent Holy Cross grad where he founded the club golf team. Hit him up on Twitter @GolferBoyHC