Sunday 25 February 2018

Players of 25 years and under in world golf's top-100

No 1: Rory McIlroy (23)

Rory McIlroy (right), a four-time winner in 2012, is set to emulate Luke Donald by topping the final money list in the US and in Europe this year.
Rory McIlroy (right), a four-time winner in 2012, is set to emulate Luke Donald by topping the final money list in the US and in Europe this year.

Karl MacGinty

By far the world's best golfer right now, as he proved with his second record-breaking Major victory at the US PGA, followed in quick succession by stunning back-to-back successes at the Deutsche Bank and BMW Championships. A four-time winner in 2012, he's set to emulate Luke Donald by topping the final money list in the US and in Europe this year.

No 28: Rickie Fowler (23)

Beat McIlroy in a play-off at Quail Hollow in May to clinch his maiden US Tour victory and second win as a pro. Currently struggling with a back strain, Fowler's form dipped in mid-summer and he missed out on a second Ryder Cup outing at Medinah. Yet he remains American golf's hottest prospect.

No 29: Jason Day (24)

Seemed set for superstardom as he followed up victory at the 2010 Byron Nelson with impressive runner-up finishes at last year's US Masters and US Open. The Aussie found the going a lot tougher in 2012 but still has the game to get back into the world top 10.

No 39: Branden Grace (24)

Wrapped up his fourth European Tour title of 2012 at the recent Dunhill Links. Throw in last month's victory at the Sunshine Tour's Vodacom Origins and you have five stunning reasons why this Springbok is tipped to follow more famous fellow South Africans into the winner's enclosure at the Majors.

No 53: Bud Cauley (22)

A team-mate of Fowler's at the 2009 Walker Cup, Cauley turned pro last autumn after an impressive collegiate career, clinching his PGA Tour card for 2012 by winning $735,150 in eight starts. Six top-10s this year place him 42nd on the US Tour Money List with $1.77m earned.

No 61: Thorbjorn Olesen (22)

Has made rapid progress up the continental ladder. Currently 14th in the Race to Dubai, this talented Dane claimed his maiden victory on the European Tour (and sixth in four years as a pro) at April's Sicilian Open. He finished second behind Grace at St Andrews.

No 63: Kyle Stanley (24)

Played with Fowler on the 2007 US Walker Cup team at Royal Co Down. Stanley came from eight behind on the final day to win February's Phoenix Open. Seven days earlier, he had surrendered a six-stroke lead in The Farmers at Torrey Pines, losing to Brandt Snedeker on the second tie hole.

No 65: John Huh (22)

Was the only PGA Tour rookie to make the elite 30-man field at last month's Tour Championship. New York born but reared in Korea, Huh showed his pluck and potential by beating Robert Allenby on the eighth tie hole at February's Mayakoba Classic to clinch his first win in the US.

No 71: Shane Lowry (25)

Heavily underscored his natural talent with a glittering final-round 66 as he romped to his long-awaited first victory as a pro at last Sunday week's Portugal Masters -- three years after stunning world golf by winning the 2009 Irish Open as an amateur.

No 82: Matteo Manassero (19)

A prodigy. At 16, he won the 2009 British Amateur; he made more history by reaching the weekend at the 2010 US Masters and then smashed further records by winning twice as a pro on the European Tour before turning 18. Short off the tee, the Italian's progress has not been as meteoric in 2012.

No 86: Seung-Yul Noh (21)

Made the world sit up at age 18 by beating fellow Korean KJ Choi to win the 2010 Malaysian Open. Noh graduated from US

Q-School in third last winter and won $1.6m in an impressive rookie season in America.

No 88: Ryo Ishikawa (21)

A megastar in Japan, where he recorded the first of 10 victories in pro tournaments as a 15-year-old amateur in 2007. Second place at the Puerto Rico Open in March was Ishikawa's best PGA Tour finish in 2012.

No 99: Danny Willett (25)

Was a team-mate of McIlroy's at the 2007 Walker Cup. The son of a Church of England vicar turned pro in 2008 but needed the patience of a saint before securing his first Euro Tour win at June's BMW International.

Irish Independent

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