A year ago, Tiger Woods fell from grace and an ominous, dark cloud formed and hovered over the 2010 golf season.
But as the media frenzy ensued, it was, surprisingly, the young players who revitalized the golf world with their vigor and abundance of talent.
More than ever before, young professional golfers, typically under the age of 30, consistently contended and captured victories (10) on the PGA Tour in 2010. They established an unmistakable presence on Tour.
At the forefront of this youth uprising was Rory McIlroy, the 21-year-old Northern Irishman, who enjoyed the most success among his peers. McIlroy was simply sensational, carding two top threes at major championships, performing exceptionally for the European Ryder Cup team, and notching his first PGA victory in a dramatic, come-from-behind bout in the form of a course-record 62 to claim the Wells Fargo Championship.
Make no mistake, the under-30 generation laid the groundwork in 2010 for what will be their official coming out party in the 2011 season. Here are 10 of the most promising players from the 2010—five you know and five you probably don’t—who have the capacity and potential to breakthrough next season.