Prior to the past couple of years, there was always a question circulating around the PGA Tour: Could the sport survive without Tiger Woods?
It seemed like for every injury or tournament that Woods decided to skip, any coverage or attention for that event was completely abandoned. If Tiger wasn’t playing, it wasn’t important.
But as Tiger’s career and personal life have been caught in an incredible downward spiral, we’ve actually seen an overhaul in the big names on the PGA Tour, which has changed the game for the better. Events continue to go by, and it begins to look more and more like we’ll never see that old Tiger, but the questions about the game without him look to be gone.
A big reason for that is the recent success of the younger generation of golfers sweeping the game, which have also helped to bring a new audience to the game as well.
The current world no. 1, Rory McIlroy, is barely 23. His dominating performance at the U.S. Open in 2011 put him on everybody’s radar as one of the best in the world, which he has obviously proving by claiming that no. 1 ranking.
In addition to McIlroy, the success of “The Golf Boys” has helped to even further elevate, and change, the game. Not only are these guys fantastic personalities for golf, but they are proving to be legitimate contenders on the tour, just as McIlroy has done.
The Golf Boys, which includes the likes of Hunter Mahan, Ben Crane, Bubba Watson, and Rickie Fowler, quickly went viral with their hit “Oh Oh Oh“, but lately it’s their play that has everyone talking.
Each of them have won at least one tournament since last October, with Crane winning the McGladrey Classic and Mahan winning a pair of tournaments since the new season got underway.
The biggest win of the quartet obviously belongs to Bubba Watson, who took home the green jacket at Augusta this year. His win firmly established the fact that it is a new era in golf.
Over the weekend, Rickie Fowler defeated McIlroy and D.A. Points on the first playoff hole at Quail Hollow to earn his first win on the PGA Tour. The win firmly not only finally established Fowler as a legitimate player on the tour, but brought some sort of vindication for the Golf Boys, who have now all collected wins within the last eight months.
The success of not only these four, but the rest of the young crop of golfers, is an incredibly great thing for the game of golf. There are surely no questions floating around now about what will happen when Tiger is gone and it’s really something that was kickstarted with the success of The Golf Boys.