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Ranking the 10 Best Players Under Age 25 on PGA Tour

Mike DudurichContributor IJanuary 9, 2017

Ranking the 10 Best Players Under Age 25 on PGA Tour

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    It's no secret who the best player on the PGA Tour who has yet to reach his 25th birthday.

    Rory McIlroy put his name squarely on the spot with his play of the last two years.

    The rest of the list of the top 10 players in that category revealed some interesting names. Some of them you'll recognize, some are a little more under the radar.

    Some you'll agree with, some you won't.

    Either way, check out the list.

10. Matteo Mannassero

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    Matteo Mannassero hasn’t won yet on the PGA Tour, making you say, ‘Hey, what’s he waiting for? He’s 19.”

    But he does already have three professional wins: the Castello Masters Costa Azahar, the 2011 Maybank Malaysian Open and the 2012 Barclays Singapore Open.

    He also became the youngest player to make the cut at the Masters in 2010 when he did so at 16 years, 11 months and 22 days old.

    It’s about time for Mannassero’s debut party on the PGA Tour and with the three pro wins under his belt, he has a good chance to hit the ground running.

9. Seung-Yul Noh

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    What would you think the future might look like for a 20-year-old like Seung-Yul Noh who has already won on the European and Asian Tour and then posted three top-10s in his first year on the PGA Tour.

    He also banked $1.6 million. He already has a reputation of being a very good ballstriker.

    Considering he’s made the cut in five of six major championships that he’s played in, including the three he competed in last year, his reputation is well-deserved.

    He hits the ball a long way, but like most other young players, he needs to find some accuracy and work on his putter.

8. Jamie Lovemark

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    Jamie Lovemark was one of those “can’t miss” guys coming out of Southern Cal. He was a two-time AJGA All-American, won the 2007 NCAA Championship.

    He won the Mexico Open in 2010 on the Nationwide Tour and, on a sponsor’s exemption in 2009, he lost in a playoff in the Open.

    He has battled back problems the past two seasons and has struggled to keep his playing card. He’ll rely on sponsor’s exemptions to get into events, hopefully get healthy and be able to show off his enormous talent.

7. John Huh

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    The John Huh jokes may not be around very long if this 22-year-old builds on what was a very good 2012.

    In addition to picking up his first win and a runnerup, he finished 25th in FedEx Cup points. How good was his year?

    Well, he was named the PGA Tour rookie of the year beating out such notables as Charlie Beljan, Jonas Blixt, Bud Cauley and Ted Potter, Jr. Huh became the first player of Korean descent to win that award.

    It certainly didn’t hurt his confidence any that his first win came in a playoff in which he came from seven strokes behind thanks to a six-birdie and an eagle round of 63 to get into a playoff with Robert Allenby. He won with a par on the eighth playoff hole to win in just his fifth PGA Tour start.

6. Harris English

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    Harris English, a tall native of Georgia is a power player and that will take him places on the PGA.

    He averaged 308.2 yards off the tee in 2012 and that was good enough for 10th in that category.

    At age 23, however, he knows he needs to make improvements in his short game to become the kind of complete player he strives to be.

    Three top 10s in his first full year is a great start, but all indications point to the idea that the best is yet to come.

    In his senior year at Georgia, English won the Nationwide Children’s Hospital Invitational. He added a second and third-place finish on the Nationwide Tour after he turned pro later that summer.

5. Bud Cauley

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    William “Bud” Cauley will turn 23 in less than two months and has already established himself as a player on the PGA Tour.

    He became the first rookie of 2012 to post consecutive top-10s when he finished in a tie for fourth at the Arnold Palmer Invitational and a tie for eighth at the Shell Houston Open.

    That gave him four top-10s in 19 starts. Not a bad way to start your first season on tour, one that would eventually earn him $1.7 million.

    He’s definitely in that group of next great ones once he gets his feet firmly on the ground playing against the best in the world.

4. Ryo Ishikawa

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    Ryo Ishikawa, known as the Bashful Prince in Japan, played his first events on the PGA Tour at the ridiculous age of 17.

    Admittedly he hasn't had a great deal of success to this point, a second in the Puerto Rico Open in 2012 and a fourth in the World Golf Championship Bridgestone Invitational in 2011 being his best finishes.

    But he became a rock star at home because of his dominant play as a teenager and the top 10s in the last two years show evidence he has a big future ahead of him even at the ripe old age of 21.

    Believe it or not, he owns nine career Japan Tour titles, including the Crowns in 2010 when he put a final-round 58 on the field.

3. Russell Henley

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    Do you need to know anything more about this 22-year-old than he birdied the last five holes to win the Sony Open in his first start as a PGA Tour member? That actually defies any logic, but gives you an idea of the potential Russell Henley has.

    Two tournaments, a win and over a million made for yet another super talent out of the University of Georgia.

    He won the Fred Haskins Award as top collegiate golfer last year and has made the cut in each of the last two U.S. Opens, including tie for 16th in 2010 and the low amateur.

2. Rickie Fowler

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    Rickie Fowler finally got a victory on the PGA Tour last year at the Wells Fargo Championship.

    When he arrived on tour full-time in 2010, he did so with basket full of hype.

    Much was expected of the 24-year-old and it took him longer than many people thought to get that first win.

    He’s a role model for youngsters, who come to tournaments wearing his trademark orange from head to toe.

    He has the opportunity to be something special if he gets himself into contention more and finishes a few more times.

1. Rory McIlroy

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    Two major championships, both runaway victories, winner of the money lists on both the PGA and European Tours leave little doubt as who the best player under 25 is on the PGA Tour.

    Rory McIlroy won’t be 24 until May and has all the game necessary to be a mega-star.

    Some day we’ll be kicking in the “Quest to Pass Jack” countdown as McIlroy’s trophy case fills with major hardware.

    His transition to his new Nike clubs will be brief and he should have a great summer.

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