2016 has been an underwhelming year for the ‘Big Three’ in the men’s game. Rory has missed two cuts in Majors, Jordan has struggled to replicate last year’s blistering form and Jason has had a season full of ‘almosts.’
Yet, there are three up and coming youngsters rising from the junior golf circuit that have had some stellar moments this year.
First is Beau Hossler. It may have been a safe bet that the reigning College Men’s Player of the Year would win the semi-finals of the NCAA Championship Match Play. What came as a surprise is that he did it one handed.
That’s right, he took his beloved Texas Longhorns to the final, playing the last two holes of his match with one arm. After dislocating his shoulder while teeing off on the 16th hole, he chipped in for birdie to win the hole. Well aware that he would throw out his shoulder again, Beau somehow got to the green side bunker in two shots and elected to use a putter to avoid further impact with the sand. He then hit a downhill left-to-right monster putt to win the match.
Li Hao-Tong is becoming a golfing inspiration in China. The twenty-one-year-old has progressed well after becoming the first Chinese member of the Web.com Tour. His ‘Beau moment’ came in May at the Volvo China Open when he stiffed his approach shot on the par 3 16th from 212 yards to three feet. He knocked in the putt to blow away his fellow competitors and win his home open, securing his place at the pinnacle of Chinese golf.
The women are equally as impressive. Brooke Henderson won her first tournament in 2012 on the Canadian Women’s Tour at the tender age of fourteen. Since then she quickly climbed the World Amateur Golf Rankings and turned professional in December 2014.
Brooke’s special moment came at this year’s KPMG PGA Championship. She shot a 65 on the Sunday, coming from two shots back to make a playoff with Lydia Ko. Henderson then hit the approach shot of her life to four feet, securing her maiden Major win and making her the second youngest woman to win the title.
So far throughout 2016, Golf.com has written over 160 articles on Tiger Woods and he hasn’t competed once. Yet, here are three up and coming youngsters that had some stellar performances but were covered less than 15 times combined. Who would you like to hear more about?