Monday, March 14, 2011
Not Justin Bieber young but new generation young.
It has happened through the years just as reliably as people sneezing in springtime. There was the Crenshaw-Kite-Wadkins era. The Faldo-Langer-Olazabal era. The Woods-Mickelson-Els era.
And now, there's a new rush of fresh and fairly fresh faces at the top of the game again and that's a very good thing for professional golf. It would be even better if Woods and Mickelson can start winning again but we have reached the point where there's been another generational shift.
Take the Cadillac Championship at Doral last week. Eleven of the 13 players who finished in front of or tied with Woods are younger than his 35 years.
Look at the list of PGA Tour winners this year: Nick Watney. Bubba Watson. Jhonny Vegas. Luke Donald. Aaron Baddeley.
Then throw in Dustin Johnson, Rory McIlroy, Matt Kuchar and Martin Kaymer, to name a pretty good foursome.
The game is in the midst of a transition and it's creating new stars. Watney's victory and his streak of seven straight top-10 finishes has made him the flavor of the week in the discussion about the best American player at the moment. Kuchar remains in the discussion, Johnson reinserted himself with his play at Doral and there are others.
Tiger's closing 66 on Sunday hinted he might be ready for Augusta. Mickelson, a non-factor at Doral, added Bay Hill to his schedule in hopes of finding what's missing.
In the meantime, a new generation has filled in quite nicely.
Posted by Observer Sports at 9:33 AM