When Irish playwright George Bernard Shaw wryly observed that, “Youth is wasted on the young,” he had not yet seen this year’s crop of young golfers who will descend upon the 2014 Masters Tournament in Augusta, Ga.
In no time in recent history has there been a better, more accomplished and more prepared group of youngsters on the professional scene.
This A-list of golfers who are 26 years old and younger includes American and international players who have a combined total of 42 professional wins and two major titles.
At only 24, Rory McIlroy is the most successful among the group with 11 wins, including two major titles. With Tiger Woods missing his first Masters in 20 years due to back surgery, McIlroy is among the favorites to don the green jacket.
The precocious group comes in all shapes and sizes. They hail from France, Italy, Australia, Scotland and Japan as well as Georgia, New York, Vermont and Texas. They may be self-effacing, like Harris English; self-important, like Patrick Reed; or simply unintimidated, like last year’s Rookie of the Year Jordan Spieth.
No matter where they are from, how big they are or how loud, they should be no less respected or feared due to their age.
And don’t be surprised if you see one of these young men step up to the podium on Sunday at Augusta.