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US Open 2011: Rory McIlroy and 5 Biggest Young Stars at Congressional

Ben CousinsCorrespondent IJune 9, 2016

US Open 2011: Rory McIlroy and 5 Biggest Young Stars at Congressional

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    BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 17: Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 11th hole  during the second round of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 17, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    Rory McIlroy has put on a clinic so far at the US Open. 

    So far, Rory has played rounds of 65, 66, 68 to lead the Open by eight shots. His performance has almost been Tiger Woods like.  

    But the tournament is not over and anything can happen. 

    Rory is only 22, and is tops on the list of the new age of golfers. 

    Here is a list of the top five young players performing at the Open.

    As always feel free to comment about the tournament, the young players on the list or anything about the world of golf, I'm always up for a little discussion.  

Matteo Mannassero

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    BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 18:  Matteo Manassero of Italy watches his tee shot on the seventh hole during the third round of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 18, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Matteo Mannassero is the youngest player on this list. 

    Mannassero is only 17. 

    Although the italian is not really in contention at T53 for the tournament, his accomplishments have been remarkable. 

    He is the youngest person ever to win a European Tour event, which he did at 16. 

    Mannassero is one of the great futures of the game, it will be exciting to see what this kid has in store for us in the near future. 

Jason Day

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    BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 18:  Jason Day of Australia watches a shot on the 15th hole during the third round of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 18, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Photo by Jamie Squire/Getty Images)
    Jamie Squire/Getty Images

    Jason Day was one of the big movers on Saturday. 

    His third-round 65 was good enough for him to jump from T25 to T3. 

    Jason Day has been in this position before, he finished T2 at the 2011 Masters. 

    At 23, Day has just started his career, one that looks very bright. 

Patrick Cantlay

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    BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 17:  Amateur Patrick Cantlay reacts to a missed putt during the second round of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 17, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    Patrick Cantlay is the first of two amateurs on the list. 

    The freshman at UCLA sits T15 at minus-one. 

    He currently has a one-shot lead for the low amateur honours. 

    Cantlay does have some experience in big events, he lost in the semifinals of the 2010 US Amateur Championship. 

Russell Henley

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    ATHENS, GA - MAY 08:  Russell Henley hits his second shot on the ninth hole during the final round of the Stadion Classic at UGA held at the University of Georgia Golf Course on May 8, 2011 in Athens, Georgia.  (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
    Michael Cohen/Getty Images

    Russell Henley is the second amateur to pop up on this list. 

    He currently sits at even par, good enough for T21. 

    The University of Georgia senior has quite a bit of experience at the professional level. 

    At last year's US Open at Pebble Beach, Henley finished tied for low amateur honours. 

    He also became only the second amateur in history to win a nationwide tour event at the 2011 Stadion Classic at UGA. 

Rory McIlroy

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    BETHESDA, MD - JUNE 17:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland hits his tee shot on the 14th hole during the second round of the 111th U.S. Open at Congressional Country Club on June 17, 2011 in Bethesda, Maryland.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    So far, the 2011 US Open Championship has been the Rory McIlroy show. 

    In the history of the Open, not one man had gotten his score to minus-13, until the second round, when McIlroy got to the magical number on 17.

    McIlroy now was an eight-shot lead going into the final round.

    Rory has learned a lot since his collapse at the Masters, which should help his chances tomorrow.  

    Rory has earned the respect of virtually everyone in the golfing community, most notably Padraig Harrington who boldly predicted that Rory will be the one to beat Jack Nicklaus' record of 18 major championships. 

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