It is always fun in sports to try to look into the future and see who the next stars are who are coming up. We really haven't had a dominant player in golf since the glory years of Tiger Woods, but it is looking now that we might have witnessed in 2014 the heir apparent. And what would be an even greater treat would be a rivalry between a couple of golfers that are head and shoulders above the rest.
That rivalry may be shaping up between Rory McElroy and, surprise! Rickey Fowler. Obviously the name of McElroy is no surprise after his dominant 2014. The two major championships wins gives him a total of four majors, and he's been named PGA player of the year in two of the last three years. Plus he was able to do something that has eluded Tiger Woods during his career: have a dominating performance in a Ryder Cup. No one doubts that McElroy will be one of the top players for years to come.
Rickie Fowler however might still be a bit of a reach. He has yet to win a major and has only one win on the PGA Tour, that being in 2012. Even he admits that he is a couple of steps behind McElroy at this point. But though he hasn't been able to break through in the win column he has exhibited the game that could thrust him to the top. In 2014 Fowler was able to finish in the top five in all four major tournaments. Only Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus, who each did it twice, were able to have such a consistent year in the major tournaments.
No less an expert than Rory McElroy himself has said that Fowler is the most likely candidate to become Rory's chief rival. Although both are the same age, 25 years old, McElroy turned pro two years before Fowler. Both consider the other a friend and have the utmost respect for their respective games. And although traditional rivals do not need to meet on the same venue in golf as often as they do in tennis, rivalries definitely add to the intrigue to golf, as with every sport.
The fact is we haven't had a good rivalry since Woods and Phil Mickelson. But for us that have been around the game for a while we look back at Nicklaus-Palmer, Nicklaus-Watson and Faldo-Norman, and it is one more thing that adds spice to golf competition.
Generating club head speed, and as a result distance starts in the back swing. Read more on the four aspects of a good golf swing, broken down into their individual components. Sean O'Kelly is an avid golfer and writer living in Chicago.
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