Young guns rising: Which player 25 and under is most likely to win next on PGA Tour?

February 10, 2017; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Bryson DeChambeau hits his tee shot on the 12th hole during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Spyglass Hill Golf Course. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports Kyle Terada/USA TODAY Sports

Young guns rising: Which player 25 and under is most likely to win next on PGA Tour?

PGA Tour

Young guns rising: Which player 25 and under is most likely to win next on PGA Tour?

It isn’t exactly news to say a new generation of golfers are taking over the professional sport. Actually, it’s already happened over the last few years.

But it’s seemed to be an especially potent trend in the 2016-17 PGA Tour season. The last seven PGA Tour events have seen winners in their 20s, with five of those coming from guys who are under 25.

Here’s a rundown if you’ve forgotten:

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Anyway, the youth revolt has been successful and is not slowing down. Plenty of the players above can help keeping ensuring that, but what emerging prospects can make the youth movement even deeper?

Here’s our list of players 25 or under who are most likely to win on the PGA Tour for the first time next:

Patrick Rodgers is loving his new race-inspired putter. (Getty Images)

Patrick Rodgers, 24

This list is going to be teeming with former World No. 1 amateurs for obvious reasons: Rodgers kicks off that trend. It feels like his career has started out more slowly than expected, which is crazy when he already has three top 3s on the PGA Tour at this age. Already some close calls, and had his most promising start yet three weeks ago at the Farmers Insurance Open, where he shared the 54-hole lead before finishing T-4. It’ll honestly be surprising if he doesn’t win a PGA Tour event this year.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 04: Byeong Hun An of Korea walks up to the fourth green during the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 4, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

Ben An, 25

He had a 54-hole lead just two weeks ago at the Waste Management Phoenix Open and was up three shots with nine holes to play. An let the win slip through, but he’s already close. The former U.S. Amateur champ has showed his stuff on the European Tour (winning the 2015 BMW PGA Championship) but now owns a full PGA Tour for the first time. As we said, he’s already sniffed victory early in his first full Tour campaign. If he can become a better Sunday closer, watch out.

SAN DIEGO, CA - JANUARY 28: Ollie Schniederjans plays his shot from the second tee during the third round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South on January 28, 2017 in San Diego, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Ollie Schniederjans, 23

The hatless wonder already won on the Web.com Tour last year and placed sixth on the money list to earn his PGA Tour card. How’s he done in his first full season on the big circuit? Only two top 10s already in eight starts. Considering his talent (he’s also a former World amateur No. 1) and seamless transition to the pros, Schniederjans’ first PGA Tour win could come at any time.

SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 02: C.T. Pan of Taiwan plays his tee shot on the fifth hole during the first round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 2, 2017 in Scottsdale, Arizona. (Photo by Jared C. Tilton/Getty Images)

C.T. Pan, 25

Let’s add another former World No. 1 amateur to this list. Like Schniederjans, Pan cruised through the Web.com Tour in 2016 (only minus a win). And if it wasn’t for Jon Rahm’s heroics, Pan may very well have won the Farmers Insurance Open, as he finished T-2. Pan hasn’t shown much consistency in his rookie Tour season, though, missing six of 10 cuts. He needs to show more stability week-to-week, but he’s still dangerous regardless.

LA QUINTA, CA - JANUARY 21: Bryson Dechambeau lines up a putt on the 18th hole during the third round of the CareerBuilder Challenge in Partnership with The Clinton Foundation at La Quinta Country Club on January 21, 2017 in La Quinta, California. (Photo by Jeff Gross/Getty Images)

Bryson DeChambeau, 23

This guy is impossible to miss, considering his penchant for the unique. At times, DeChambeau’s ways can get him side-tracked (he’s been in a battle with the USGA this season on whether the putters he’s using for his side-saddle stroke are conforming) and his record has been rocky since a T-4 in his pro debut last year at the RBC Heritage. But DeChambeau, the 2015 U.S. Amateur and NCAA Individual champion, has unmistakable talent and did follow up a rough 2015-16 campaign by winning a Web.com Tour Finals event to earn his PGA Tour card. DeChambeau is certainly a work in progress, but he still has great promise.

Cameron Smith finished the U.S. Open with rounds of 69-68 on the weekend.

Cameron Smith, 23

The Aussie didn’t exactly excel on the PGA Tour as a full-time member in 2015-16 (finishing 157th in the FedEx Cup standings), but he did earn his card back in the Web.com Tour Finals. So far, he’s having a better 2016-17 season, with 7-of-9 made cuts and two top 25s. Still, he remains a bit unpolished in PGA Tour play. He’s a supreme young talent (he finished T-4 at the 2015 U.S. Open) and once he solidifies things more, he’ll be contending a lot.

 Beau Hossler waits for the playoff to begin during the U. S. Men's Amateur at Olympia Fields in Olympia Fields, Ill.

Beau Hossler, 21

This is a tricky one. Hossler doesn’t have PGA Tour status, so he’ll get pretty limited starts on the circuit in 2017. But he did lead the U.S. Open in the second round at age 17, so why can’t Hossler win on a limited slate this year? What’s more likely, though, is to really look out for him once he has a PGA Tour card in tow. The reigning winner of the Haskins Award Presented by Stifel, Hossler did see his pro aspirations sidetracked at first as he dealt with shoulder surgery. But he already has a mini-tour win and seems like his talent will shine on the PGA Tour soon enough.

Matthew Fitzpatrick of England during the first round of the 2016 Honda Classic.

Matt Fitzpatrick, 22

Now we really start to get into a dicier section. Fitzpatrick has made it clear he eventually wants to go at it full-time on the PGA Tour and has said his five-year exemption on the European Tour for winning the season-closer in Dubai gives him a few years to make a run at the American circuit. But as of now, Fitzpatrick doesn’t have a PGA Tour card, so he can only get limited starts in 2017. Another ex-World No. 1 amateur, Fitzpatrick could still win even if he doesn’t have a full go yet. The Englishman did make 12 PGA Tour starts, a hefty amount, without a card last year, so it’s more than a couple events Americans will see him in this year. Regardless, U.S. fans should get to know this Ryder Cupper’s name more and more this year.

Thomas Pieters, shown at the 2016 Arnold Palmer Invitational

Thomas Pieters, 25

This Belgian runs into a similar issue as Fitzpatrick. If Pieters played the PGA Tour full-time, he might top this list (or not be on it at all, considering his likelihood of winning). But he doesn’t. In fact, this week will mark just his seventh PGA Tour start ever, and he’s yet to finish top 20 in a Tour event. But even in limited PGA Tour starts, you can’t discount the Belgian. He may be Europe’s brightest young star, and you could’ve said that before his breakout Ryder Cup performance, too. So he deserves consideration here.

Feb 4, 2017; Scottsdale, AZ, USA; Michael Kim with his approach on the 11th during the third round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open golf tournament at TPC Scottsdale. Mandatory Credit: Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Michael Kim, 23

A couple of wildcards to finish. Kim is a former college player of the year who has methodically found his way in pro golf. It hasn’t been flashy, but his second year on the Web.com Tour in 2015 earned him a promotion, and he did enough in 2015-16 to keep his PGA Tour card for this year. He’s posted a T-3 – his best Tour finish – in the 2016-17 season. In all honesty, he could be years from his first PGA Tour victory but don’t be surprised if you see his name atop any leaderboards in the near future.

February 12, 2017; Pebble Beach, CA, USA; Patrick Cantlay hits his tee shot on the 18th hole during the final round of the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am golf tournament at Pebble Beach Golf Links. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Cantlay, 24

An even bigger wildcard here. He just completed his first competitive start in golf ANYWHERE in three years as he dealt with injury and the tragedy of a close friend passing. But he finished T-48 in that first competitive start back, which is honestly really impressive! And this is yet another former World No. 1 amateur on this list. He was a world-beater just a few years ago, and has a round of 60 in PGA Tour competition on his resume. It’ll take time for the rust to come off and his immediate PGA Tour future is in doubt as he only has 10 starts on a medical extension to keep his place on the Tour this year. Still, he’s playing again, and once he gets things going, he’ll be back in the conversation.

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