Chip Shots: Young winners becoming millionaires

Global Golf In Full Swing




There’s so much happening in the world of golf. The PGA Tour is rolling out all their plans for the new season, which includes much more digital access for the fans, who can learn even more about the European Tour, LGPA Tour, and the PGA Tour trying to find workable fixes for slow play. We’re also seeing the winner’s circle filled with younger and younger athletes.

Decades after then-20-year-old Francis Ouimet won the U.S. Open Championship silver trophy, it seems that winning at a young age is back in vogue. With the evolution of new equipment, new training and coaching methods, emphasis on proper nutrition, and mental coaching techniques, the young golfers are landing in the winner’s circle. They come out on the PGA Tour just flat out ready to win.

Not only are the winners getting younger, but they also come from all over the world. Last year, 11 out of the 43 tournaments on the PGA Tour were won by non-Americans.

Two weeks ago, the 20-year-old Joaquín Niemann from Chile won handily. This past week, 26-year-old Sebastián Muñoz from Colombia took the honors in Mississippi. For a while, Muñoz didn’t think he had what it took to play with the “Big Boys” on Tour, and had almost resigned himself to returning to Colombia to work on the family’s rubber plantation. That was until he started winning at each level all the way to his first PGA Tour victory. Since the winner’s check was over $1 million, I guess his father will have to post a help wanted ad for work on the farm.

Meanwhile, across the pond, the European PGA Championship was played over the magnificent Wentworth Golf Club. Englishman Danny Willett, 31, came out on top despite a strong charge from 24-year-old Spaniard Jon Rahm. Willett experienced a downturn in his game after winning the Masters in 2016, but has now rebuilt his confidence and his game, and is back in the winner’s circle. With this victory, Willett became just the second player to have won the Masters and the European PGA Championship. The first being Sir Nick Faldo.

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