With Tiger Woods not performing in the majors and Rory McIlroy in less-than-stellar form, the young golfers on Tour have a chance to make a name for themselves in a big way.
Last year Rory McIlroy produced a memorable season. He won a major, the PGA Championship, and dominated both the European Tour and PGA Tour money lists, reaching the top of the World Rankings in doing so. Many people thought he would continue that form into this season, but it hasn't happened, with the 24-year old not registering a single win.
This season, Tiger Woods has returned in sparkling form to play some of the very best golf of his career, but also some of the worst. He has produced five comfortable PGA Tour wins, including two World Golf Championships and the Players Championship, but has also fell foul to some very poor golf and a huge lack of conviction when it comes to the four big-ones.
Woods has been plagued by this inconsistency all season, and until he breaks through in a major again, he won't have fully returned to his once dominant position.
Woods and McIlroy have given a chance to anyone wishing to make their mark, as we have seen with Adam Scott this year in the majors. With the door wide open for greatness, the young stars of golf have a big chance to leap into the game's elite.
Three of the up and coming crop of young players stand out in particular - Matteo Manassero, Hideki Matsuyama and Jordan Speith.
Manaserro has been around for a good few years now. The 20-year old already has four wins in Europe with the biggest coming this year, bagging the coveted BMW PGA Championship at Wentworth, the European Tour's flagship event. He already is a year end regular in the top 50 in the World at such an young age and possesses a magical short game which should lead him to major glory in the future.
Matsuyama has emerged as a big time player over the past few months. The Japanese superstar only turned pro four months ago, but has already skyrocketed up to World Number 29. The 21-year old has won two Japanese Tour titles and collected three top 20's in his first three major starts since turning professional in April. Having taken over the mantel from Ryo Ishikawa as Japan's newest star, he will have a lot of pressure on his shoulders.
Speith is the United State's top young prospect. Having broken through to win his first Tour title at the John Deere Classic this season, Speith has put himself in a great position in the FedEx Cup and moved up to 54th position in the World Rankings. With this being the 20-year old's rookie season, Speith still has lots to learn, but his wonderful ball striking and maturity beyond his years will stand him in excellent stead for decades to come.
While these three young stars are all already near the top of the game, they aren't quite in golf's elite just yet.
But with the open nature of pro golf at the moment, all three players and many of their young golfing counterparts have a chance to break through into that top tier alongside Woods and fellow youngster McIlroy.
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