Tiger single-handedly placed golf into the global sporting consciousness in the late 1990s. Throughout the next decade, his Major wins kept people captivated and made the sport interesting for non-golf aficionados. Fast forward to 2015 and we witnessed what was the most exciting Major Championship year for a very long time. Having young and exciting guys, that the youth of today can associate with, captures the imagination in a similar way that Tiger did.
So who are these shining lights in golf’s future?
Jordan Spieth is the key American in this youthful resurgence and Mr Consistent, his year in the Majors is something not seen since Jack, and his total score of 54 under over the year beat Tiger’s record in 2000 by one. That is simply phenomenal!
Rory McIlroy, despite a turbulent year and ankle injury, was still right there in the Majors (4th, T-9th and 17th) and even got his Number 1 spot back. He already has 4 Major titles to his name and when he’s on a hot streak no one gets even close – winning 2 of his titles by 8 shots. Something not even Tiger or Nicklaus achieved before 26. His dominance is exciting to watch.
The whole world of golf was willing Jason Day to win at Whistling Straights. Too many times so near but yet so far, the pressure was tumultuous (just ask Colin Montgomerie). He just backed that up with a dominant win at the Fedex, showing he means business.
A final mention of Rickie Fowler, as despite no Major win, he is still the guy that the youth of today idolise. Orange shell suits, a beautiful girlfriend and stiffing three wedges in one afternoon to TPC Sawgrass’ 17th hole have endeared him to the young side of golf. What a cool dude.
The Brightest Possible Future
The future of golf is in safe hands. When Spieth, McIlroy, Day and Fowler make that downhill, left to right putt to win, that is what golfers associate with. It keeps people on the putting green to mimic Jordan, at the range to crush it like Rory and win to fist pump like J-Day.
The dominant Tiger era is over although he still showed at the Wyndham went he’s in the hunt on the final day that he still has the pulling power – the TV ratings shot through roof.
The good news is, the future of golf might just be the most competitive the world has ever seen. It is a testament to Tiger that it takes 4 or 5 guys to mimic the interest he brought to the game.
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Written for @vpargolf
Authored by @ro_northcott