Hello friends, welcome to the Masters.
One of the most illustrious golf tournaments on the planet tees off today. The biggest storyline is Eldrick Woods. As it should be, he has not played in the Masters since 2015 and is finally healthy for the first time in what seems like forever. While everyone’s eyeballs will be plastered on Tiger, this is a time to take a look at all the other great young golfers this game has to offer.
The world’s #1 golfer Dustin Johnson is returning to Augusta after a mysterious injury kept him out of last year’s Masters. Although he is 33 years old, that is relatively young for golf standards. Dustin hasn’t finished higher than 4th at the Masters so how he bounces back from an embarrassing late scratch will be something to watch. He also is married to Paulina Gretzky, I think that speaks for itself.
Rory McIlroy will be looking to complete his career grand slam. This is a feat only 5 golfers have achieved in the modern era, Gene Sarazen, Ben Hogan, Gary Player, Jack Nicklaus, Tiger Woods. Rory is coming fresh off a 1st place finish at the Arnold Palmer Invitational just a few weeks ago. I expect him to be in contention come Sunday afternoon.
Justin Thomas was the player of the year last year and is currently the #2 golfer on the planet. He won the last major played, 2017 PGA Championship, and still is not considered a favorite this year. He also has a shot to become the third American to reach World No. 1 before his 25th birthday. He’d join Jordan Spieth and Tiger Woods.
Speaking of Spieth, how can we forget about one of the most dominant golfers on this planet? Not yet 25 years of age, Spieth has already won 3 major championships. He won the 2017 Open Championship yet has not really been talked about since Tiger burst back onto the scene.
On top of these great young stars there are plenty more who deserve recognition. Rickie Fowler has been fantastic and he wears all orange on Sunday. I don’t know how you can’t cheer for someone confident enough to rock such an ugly color. Brooks Koepka just won the US Open last year at the age of 27. Jon Rahm is only 23 years old and is currently the #3 golfer in the world. He jumps to #1 in the world if he wins, Dustin Johnson finishes outside the top 8, and Justin Thomas outside the top 3.
My main point here is the golf is actually littered with young stars. The game could not be in a much better position in my opinion. The world stops to watch when Tiger plays and I completely understand that. He is one of the most polarizing athletes of all time and deserves all the recognition for everything he does. Do yourself a favor this summer, flip on golf when Tiger isn’t playing. There are plenty of stars out there that may not move the needle as much as Tiger but at the absolute worst they will provide a fantastic soundtrack to your hungover Sunday nap.