Young core uplifting golf

There is crying in golf, and that's a good thing. Jason Day turns on the waterworks after nailing down the PGA Championship Sunday. (Gerry Images)

There is crying in golf, and that’s a good thing. Jason Day turns on the waterworks after nailing down the PGA Championship Sunday. (Gerry Images)

A new generation of players has slung the PGA Tour over one shoulder and begun briskly toting it out of the Tiger Woods Era.

Yes, there is a beating heart to professional golf – a rather vital one it turns out – even while the most dynamic, galvanizing player that has ever been turns 40 at the end of this year while becoming downright painful to watch, in a fat-Elvis kind of way.

Just keep putting Jordan Spieth and Jason Day in the final group on Sunday, and everything will be just fine.

The television ratings from the just-completed final major of the year are in, and more eyeballs gazed upon all or part of the weekend’s PGA Championship telecast than at any time since 2009 (when Woods lost to Y.E. Yang).

The top three-ranked players in the world are all well south of 30 – Spieth, Rory McIlroy and Day. Seven of the top 20-ranked players are all 20-somethings. Then there’s Dustin Johnson, just 31 and positioned to overpower one of these big events some day if his head ever gets right.

And it’s not just their birth certificates that make them appealing. They play some spectacular, daring golf, rising to the moment and baring a full menu of emotions along the way. In other words, this is a genuinely likable bunch that provides terrific sporting theater. Dare we say it: Tiger who?

When defending FedEx Cup/Tour Championship winner, 28-year-old Billy Horschel, passed through Atlanta Monday to promote next month’s playoff finale at East Lake, he spoke to the large and lasting impact this young core will have.

“We have a lot of 20-something-year-olds playing well, that’s just the way the game is going,” Horschel said. “Everyone is coming out younger and more confident and more ready to play. And when the guys in their 20s get to their 30s, that doesn’t mean that we’re going to go off and die in the desert. We’re still going to be good players, we still going to be the ones leading golf for the next 10 or 15 years.”

And, speaking specifically on Day’s appeal after winning his first major Sunday, Horschel added, “You want to see a guy who’s a human being and Jason showed that on the 18th green (when he broke down sobbing). He’s not a robot; he’s a person just like the rest of us.”

The rumors of golf’s demise in the age after Tiger have been greatly exaggerated.

Reader Comments 0

4 comments
Delbert_D
Delbert_D

"this is a genuinely likable bunch"

With the exception of Patrick Reed.

ShovelPlease
ShovelPlease

We're not there yet, but I look fondly to the day in the future when I can watch a golf telecast that doesn't show Tiger standing around staring into space while several other golfers are hitting untelevised crucial shots. 

FlatTire
FlatTire

Maybe another reason numbers are up right now is because people know they aren't going have to hear commentary every 30 seconds about Tiger Woods is….. (

about to hit; 

do you remember when Woods wore green back in 2000 whatever; 

Woods hit in the bunker;

Woods just coughed; 

Woods just sneezed;  

Woods just took a bathroom break I wonder what brand of toilet paper he will use; 

Woods ate such and such for breakfast and looks to be ready;  

Woods changed his swing;  

Woods isn't happy; 

Woods just signed an autograph

Woods can't find his ball………..

Rickster_
Rickster_

I'm glad to see the Tiger Woods era slipping into history.