10 Young Guns to Watch in the Future
IF WE could all look at the world’s best young golfers and pick out those who are destined to set the sport on fire then we would all be millionaires. There have been countless young prospects who have dominated the amateur game, turned professional and failed to get their careers off the ground – think about the likes of Gordon Sherry, the Scottish golfer tipped for greatness by all who watched him as an amateur. And he is not the only one.
However, that has not prevented us from gazing into our crystal ball and picking out 10 golfers we believe will become highly successful tour professionals. They all have the games to win tournaments, and some may even be good enough to win majors. So tuck this article away and let’s have a look again at the 10 guys in question in five years time. This is not an exact science, but we are pretty confident in our selections.
Don’t be fooled by the ponytail. He won the 2016 Western Australian Open on the PGA Tour of Australasia. Later that year he added the US Amateur Championship in 2016 in sensational fashion, earning invitations to the 2017 Masters and Open Championship. He was named Emerging Athlete of the Year at the 2016 Australian Institute of Sport Performance Awards. He turned professional at the 2017 Valero Texas Open, forfeiting his chance to play in both The Open and US Open.
Min Kyu Kim
When you think of South Korea you immediately conjure images of all those magnificent golfers on the LPGA Tour. But Kim could be about to make a similar impression in men’s golf. He competed on the EuroPro Tour in 2017, with two victories and a second place in the season-ending Sky Sports Tour Championship. That would be impressive enough until you learn that he achieved all of this at the age of 16. Yes, you read that correctly.
Robin “Tiger” Williams
The shot of the day belongs to Tiger.— The European Tour (@EuropeanTour) September 29, 2017
Robin Tiger Williams that is ???????? pic.twitter.com/ybl3VwAzVr
The good news is that Williams is British. The better news is that he is surely destined to become one of Europe’s best golfers. He was, of course, named after Tiger Woods, and was always destined to dedicate his life to golf. He played in the British Masters at Close House in 2017 at the age of 16. He missed the cut but showed his potential. Make a note of the name – you will be hearing plenty of it in the future. He won the Future Champions Golf World Championship 11-12 age category, becoming the first 11-year-old ever to do so.
If you saw Redman win the 2017 US Amateur Championship then you know why he is on this list. Two down to Doug Ghim with three holes to play in the 36-hole final, Redman holed a 60-foot putt for an eagle at the 16th and then produced a miraculous approach around the trees at the 18th – it landed 10 feet from the hole and in it went for a birdie to take the match to extra holes. Redman duly took the title on the first playoff hole. He had played the first 18 holes at Riviera Country Club in 66.
You know that you are watching a special talent when he can produce the goods on the world’s biggest stage. And that’s what Ghim did at The Masters in 2018. Not once, but twice. On his way to finishing the tournament as the leading amateur, he brought the house down in the first round when he took aim from the middle of the 18th fairway and looked on as the ball hit the green and disappeared into the hole for an eagle two. Not content with that, he came to the same hole on the final day and, after putting his approach into the sand, promptly holed a 30-yard bunker shot for a closing birdie.
Yes, yes, we know that the Chinese golfer has already won on the European Tour, but we include him on this list because we believe that he will become the first man from that part of the world to win a major. He is only 22 and he was good enough to hold off the challenge of Rory McIlroy to win the 2018 Dubai Desert Classic – and nobody achieves that unless they have a whole lot of game and a superb temperament.
Scheffler was born in Dallas and plays college golf at the University of Texas. In 2016 he qualified for the US Open at the age of 19 and after opening with a 69 he stumbled to a 78 and missed the cut by a shot. He qualified again in 2017 after coming through a playoff to secure the final spot and this time he played all four rounds, finishing one under par to claim low amateur honours.
The man that Scottie Scheffler beat to low amateur honours in the 2017 US Open was the aptly-named Cameron Champ. After 36 holes he was tied for eighth place and also led the driving statistics after coming through regional qualifying where, like Scheffler, he had to come through a playoff. He eventually finished one behind Scheffler. Was a member of the winning 2017 US Walker Cup team.
The youngest winner ever in the history of the European Challenge Tour with a three-shot wire-to-wire victory in the GANT Open in his first professional season. The German had a glittering amateur career. A former World Amateur Number One in his age group, who played off a handicap of an unbelievable plus 6.4 at 15, he represented Europe in the Junior Ryder Cup while aged just 14 and won all three in the German Men’s Match Play Championship plus the German Junior and Boys Championships.
Aged just 17 years and 341 days, Paratore became the third youngest player in the history of the Qualifying School to claim a European Tour card in 2014 after he finished third at PGA Catalunya Resort in his first event as a professional. In finishing 109th in the 2015 Race to Dubai, the Italian retained those playing rights in his maiden season. A brilliant amateur career saw him win the Men’s Individual Strokeplay Gold at the 2014 Youth Olympics in China, make two Junior Ryder Cup appearances for Europe and win the 2014 Portuguese Amateur Open Championship.
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