The 5 best young golfing talents on tour today
Post by golf journalist, Joshua Carr
The 2015 golfing year showed what incredible youngsters there are now on both the professional and amateur tours, who aren’t afraid to battle it out against the well known names. With the 2016 season soon to be getting into full swing, which youngsters should be looking out for?
Where better to start than one of the biggest names of 2015, Jordan Spieth. It may come as a surprise that the level headed American is only 22, especially after winning the first two majors of the 2015 season, and you’d be wrong to not even consider the ex-University of Texas golfer to add to his major championship tally this year.
Spieth was a five time winner on the PGA Tour in 2015, which included those two memorable wins at The Masters and the US Open, and will be hoping to emulate his form this coming season. Although the stats don’t hold up nicely for a double major winner, Spieth will be hoping he can break the curse of struggling to perform the season after hitting it out of the park, just like Rory McIlroy after his impressive 2012 and 2014 seasons.
But, there is just something about the young American that suggests he can overcome the pressure and perform at highest level throughout the 2016 season.
Matthew Fitzpatrick has been tipped for big things and it is no wonder why. The 21-year old enjoyed an impressive career as an amateur, which saw him finish as top amateur at the 2013 Open Championship as well as winning the US Amateur in the same year. He became the first Englishman to win the US Amateur in 102 years.
Fitzpatrick secured his tour card for the 2015 season after making it through the 2014 European Tour Qualifying School and has racked up some incredible stats. He was the youngest player in the field in his maiden European Tour victory at the British Masters; he is one of the most accurate players on the European Tour, hitting 70% of fairways and 75% of greens in regulation; he is the youngest player within the top 100 golfers in the world and he had more top three finishes in 2015 than anybody else with 5 podium finishes.
All the facts and figures suggest that the former amateur world number one is in for an exciting season on the European Tour this year and is definitely one to look out for.
Image - Sky Sports Facebook
Paul Dunne first hit the limelight during the 2015 Open Championship after he shot two rounds of 69 followed by a third round 66 to end the third day co-leader with one round to go. This was the first time since 1927 that an amateur has lead the Open Championship going into the final day. The pressure ultimately got to the Irishman after he shot a final round of 78 to drop to tied 30th. However, being in the final group at the Open Championship could work in the youngster’s favour as he now knows what immense pressure there is leading a major, similar to that of Rory McIlroy at the 2011 Masters.
Dunne was a part of the successful GB&I Walker Cup team in 2015 and said that he didn’t see the transition from amateur to professional as a “big deal,” it just seemed like the “next thing to do.” Dunne was one of the coolest people during the final round of Qualifying School as he posted a final round of 72 to finish -10 and gain his tour card.
Unlike Fitzpatrick, Dunne hasn’t won as many major events as an amateur but does posses a calm attitude that rarely wilts under the pressure.
Marcus Kinhult is possible one of the most exciting prospects to start life on the European Tour this year. At just 19 years old, you may think that the Swede is too young and inexperienced to prosper on Tour but think again.
In 2014, aged just 17, the self-proclaimed “golf-geek” made his debut on the European Tour as an amateur in the Nordea Masters. The teenager, who was still in school at the time, spoke like a seasoned pro when he faced the media and ended up T21. A year later and the Lytham Trophy champion was tied for the lead after 36-holes. Unfortunately two poor rounds followed and the Swede finished T33.
A few weeks later at the Omega European Masters, Kinhult again showed what quality he possesses as he finished T10 over the four days. It is the Swede’s calm nature both on and off the course that will give him an advantage over many on the European Tour. I expect the youngster to break through in the near future after gaining his tour card at Q-School for the 2016 season.
Emiliano Grillo has already began his 2016 season with a bang after his win at the Frys.com Open as the PGA Tour 2016 season technically starts in October 2015. And don’t be surprised if you see the Argentine’s name at the top of leaderboards throughout the 2016 season as the young golfer possesses a huge amount of talent.
Having turned pro in 2012, Grillo struggled to adapt to life on tour but in the past 18 months, the Argentine has finally showed us what he is made of. The Argentine gained his PGA Tour card after finishing 2nd on the Web.com Tour money list in 2015 and hasn’t looked back since. Grillo does spend time on both the European and PGA Tours, which arguably will make him a better all round golfer if he can keep up with all the travelling.
With his win at the Frys.com Open, I fully expect the youngster to push on and have a successful season on both tours. For the next couple of years he may just be a name that appears now and again in the top 10’s of the bigger tournaments on the two tours but in the smaller fields, Grillo is definitely worth a bet.
There are plenty more golfers beginning their rookie seasons on tour or looking to break through in the coming 12 months. These five golfers all have the quality and mind-set to progress on their respective tours and don’t be surprised if you see any of these players contending in the majors throughout the season.
Be part of the action with a selection of unique golf tournament experiences, from playing in a pro-am with the stars to watching the action at golf’s most illustrious events. Whether it’s the Masters or The Open, The Ryder Cup or WM Phoenix Open, build your own bespoke package with the experts at Golfbreaks.com.
What do you think? leave your comments below (Comments)