Top guns Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson Adam Scott and Vijay Singh have all won US PGA Tour titles this year and so too have veterans Fred Funk and Mark Calcaecchia, but what’s happened to the rest of the game’s highest profile golfers?
Instead of the Jim Furyks, Ernie Els, Retief Goosens, Davis Loves, Sergio Garcias, Chad Campbells and Padraig Harringtons of this world being up among the winners, we are seeing a host of recent Nationwide Tour graduates getting there ahead of them.
Sunday’s winner of the Zurich Classic of New Orleans, 23-year-old Nick Watney, is the latest.
He follows Boo Weekley,who won the Verizon Heritage a week ago, Charlie Hoffman, who won threw Bob Hope Chrysler Classic in January, Mark Wilson, who won the Honda Classic in March and more famously Zach Johnson, who upstaged all of the World stars at the Masters earlier this month.
Other young guns like Charles Howell III and Aaron Baddeley have also started to turn their promise into Tour victories while some of the biggest names of the early 21st Century look on helplessly and what might well be a changing of the guard in American golf could so easily lead to the US fielding a dramatically changed Ryder Cup team next year.
Maybe all this is because there is simply too much money in it for the top players these days and the hunger among them has gone out of the game.
There were more than a million dollars at stake for the winner on Sunday, but hardly any big-name golfer of note bothered to turn up and I have to say that I can’t imagine the sponsor of the event being too happy with that.
Would you agree? Do we have too many fat cats floating around these days?
Cheers for now
Neville Leck