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 New World Order: Golf rookies

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Very Active Golfer
Very Active Golfer

Posts : 763
Join date : 2010-01-27
Age : 54
Location : Metro Manila, Philippines

PostSubject: New World Order: Golf rookies   Thu Jan 12, 2012 1:41 pm

This week at the Sony Open in Hawaii, exactly two dozen fresh-faced newbies will take their first baby steps toward establishing a career on the biggest traveling circus in professional sports.

We're here to separate the clowns from the midgets from the elephants.

Purely by comparison, it's going to be difficult for this year's crop of Qualifying School and Nationwide Tour rookies to match up favorably with the 2011 class, which might have been the best ever as it relates to depth. Sure, it helped that generational stars like Jim Furyk, Tiger Woods and Phil Mickelson took a season-long siesta -- combining for one victory -- and opened the doors for an infusion of new blood. But the rookies still had to deliver the goods when it mattered, and frequently, they did.

Technically, six different PGA Tour rookies amassed a total of seven wins in 2011, including a pair of major championships, plucked by Charl Schwartzel and Keegan Bradley. Now, nobody really considers the former to be a true rookie, since he was an established European Tour player already, but Bradley was a front-runner for top-player honors after collecting two wins as a freshman.

The general feeling on the Nationwide was that this year's class of graduates wasn't nearly as deep as its predecessor, which included the likes of Bradley, Brendan Steele and Chris Kirk, who all won PGA Tour events in 2011. But given the parity of last year, that's by no means a scorecard that has already been turned in and logged into the scoring computer.

We certainly won't obsess over the perceived talent drop-off from last year's rookie crop, mostly because the first-timers of 2012 are every bit as interesting as any in recent memory. As for their talent level, well, check back in November.

With 24 rookies set to make their debut this week at Waialae Country Club, here’s a subjective list of the 10 most talented, if not most interesting, prospects as we've handicapped them heading into the new season. Let's see who best handles the on-course hazing.

10 New Guys to Watch out are:

1. Bud Cauley
2. Sang-moon Bae
3. Seung-yul Noh
4. Danny Lee
5. Harris English
6. Jason Kokrak
7. Ted Potter
8. Erik Compton
9. Richard Lee
10. Billy Hurley

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Junior Golfer
Junior Golfer

Posts : 230
Join date : 2009-12-14

PostSubject: Re: New World Order: Golf rookies   Thu Jan 12, 2012 2:22 pm

What about your own countryman (boy)? How do you think he will fare?


January 11: Miguel Tabuena of the Philippines will start the new year by playing amongst the US PGA Tour stars at the Sony Open in Hawaii starting Thursday.

The 17-year-old Tabuena, who narrowly missed out on a 2012 Asian Tour card by US$250 when he finished one rank outside the top-61 on the Asian Tour Order of Merit last season, will look to make amends at the second PGA Tour event this year.

Inquirer Golf reports that Tabuena’s uncle Martin Nievera played an important role in convincing the title sponsor Sony to extend an invite.

Tabuena made headlines last season when he became the youngest Asian Tour member after finishing in the top-40 of the Qualifying School as an amateur before turning professional.

The excitement of playing in his first US PGA Tour event was evident when Tabuena, who played a practice round on Tuesday with Major winner Corey Pavin and Paul Goydos, tweeted, “I can't wait to play in my first PGA Tour event!”

Former Asian Tour Order of Merit winners Arjun Atwal of India, Noh Seung-yul of Korea and Liang Wen-chong of China will also be in the field alongside Asian Tour honorary members Vijay Singh of Fiji and K.J. Choi of Korea. Bae Sang-moon of Korea, a three-time Asian Tour winner, will also make his debut in the event.

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