Have some "Young Guns" finally emerged?

mulligan, 26 October 2005, Comments Off on Have some "Young Guns" finally emerged?
Categories: Uncategorized

Look ing at the top 25 as the year winds down, I was curious if we finally have a new crop of young guns who can actually live up to the hype thrown upon them:

Sergio Garcia, 25 years old, who has a win this year and multiple top 5 finishes (that he should have won), is only out of the top 5 in money earnings because he flat-out can’t putt. His only strong putting tournament was at the Booz-Allen, which he won. Granted, he is 1st in GIR, so the putting stat is skewed, but he is 196th in putting (and almost 1st in 3-putting), thus ranking almost last on tour in putting. There is not another stat holding him back. He’s been out here long enough to think of him as a veteran, but he still has the youth to be considered a young gun.

Adam Scott, 25 years old, has no official wins this year on the PGA Tour (Nissan was won, but was shortened and to 36 holes and considered unofficial; and he won on the Asian Tour), but he does not have any bad stats that stick out outside of sand saves. He is still young, which may explain why his 4th round average score is his worst, but he has the talent that everyone has been complimenting for the last few years. I can’t see a reason he doesn’t take Ernie’s spot in the “Big 5” in the upcoming years.

Luke Donald, 28 years old, has no wins on the PGA Tour, but two 2nd place finishes. Had a strong finish at the Masters, and is one of the straightest hitters on tour. His only weakness is lack of distance off the tee, which makes his place at 14th among the money leaders even more impressive. One of the best par 3 players on tour…look for him to dominate the short tracks in future years, and become a factor in future U.S. Opens and the Masters.

Lucas Glover, almost 26 years old, showed the strength of the Nationwide Tour players emerging. With an outstanding finish last weekend, he pulled out his first win by making a birdie on the final two holes…tough par 4s. His stats, outside of sand saves, don’t have a single blemish. His length off the tee and confidence as a winner should ensure he isn’t a one-shot phenomenon.

Sean O’Hair, 23 years old, has a rough background. Knowing the story between he and his Dad, it is amazing the talent and mental toughness that this kid has. His putting has not been strong, but he won at the John Deere, and has both distance and accuracy off the tee. As it is now, he seems to be at the top of the leaderboard consistantly, and as the youngest of the bunch, experience on the tour can only make him assuredly a top 5 money maker by the time he is 25.

looking further into the top 30, you have Geoff Ogilvy at 28 years old, Charles Howell at 26, and even slow Ben Crane at 29, making more of an argument that perhaps the young guns have finally emerged.

This week the Champions Tour play their Championship at Sonoma Mission Inn (Sonoma Golf Club now that it is private). Sonoma is a course that puts a premium on the short game, and is a perfect fit for the Champions Tour. I’m sure I’ll be out watching the 18th a few days, a great par 4 that doglegs left and has a well defended green fronted by a stream. Great course…it is a shame it is no longer public.


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