2011 preview: 11 Tour youngsters to watch
Saturday, January 1, 2011
Rickie Fowler and Rory McIlroy are obvious young players who will continue to have an impact on the PGA Tour in 2011. But the impact of youth won't stop at them in the upcoming season, and we sat down to highlight 11 players to watch out for in 2011.
Youngest to finish first on the Nationwide Tour money list, and I expect him to stay at the top of the list of newcomers to the Tour. A great scrambler who plays his best golf on Sunday – that’s a deadly combination.
After regaining his card at Q-school, the second-year pro will know his way around this year and is my pre-season pick for most improved player.
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Took a little longer for Kirk to get to the big tour than I expected. But after two victories and ranking first on the Nationwide Tour in the all-around category, he’s ready for prime time.
College standout at UCLA notched a win and seven top 10s during his one Nationwide season. Look for him to make an immediate impact on the West Coast Swing.
The Venezuelan capped off a sensational year by winning the Argentina Open by six shots. High hopes ever since he Monday qualified for a Tour event at age 16.
Gained invaluable experience playing in three majors as an amateur. Expect big things from the long-hitting Clemson grad.
Led the Nationwide Tour in driving distance. Our Sean Martin thinks Stanley is the pick of the litter of the newbies. With his tremendous work ethic, I’m hard-pressed to disagree.
The hotshot missed nearly his entire 2010 campaign after undergoing surgery on his left wrist. Is he fully healthy? Luke Donald and Trevor Immelman both took a while to regain (and still trying to regain) their form from similar injury.
Benefited from his two years of seasoning on the Nationwide Tour more than anyone else debuting on Tour. A late bloomer, Piller can putt with the best of them. Think Brad Faxon.
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Here’s the bio on him (his first name is pronounced Bee-O, according to the Tour). Kim, 20, lived in California from age 12 to 16 and was one of the world’s top 20 amateurs when he turned pro, thanks to victories in the Japanese and Koreans amateurs in 2008. Here come the Korean men.
The Stanford grad likely will lead rookies in practice rounds played with Tiger. Not many go from college straight to the Tour these days, but he can be a birdie machine. Will need to work on his pace of play.