New order likely to hold sway at Valhalla

Mon Aug 4, 2014 2:02pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

(Reuters) - This week's PGA Championship in Louisville, Kentucky is likely to deliver further confirmation that a new world order is establishing itself in the game with players such as Rory McIlroy and Adam Scott now leading the way.

While Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els and Vijay Singh have been golf's dominant figures over the past two decades, the present and immediate future appears to belong to McIlroy, Scott, Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer and other 'young guns'.

Masters champion Watson and U.S. Open winner Kaymer have each won two majors while in-form McIlroy, who clinched his third at the British Open last month in wire-to-wire fashion, will be aiming for a career grand slam at next year's Masters.

Australian world number two Scott landed his first major championship crown at the 2013 Masters and ever since has been a perennial contender in golf's blue riband events, recording four top-10s in his last six starts.

As Scott prepares for the year's final major, the PGA Championship at Valhalla Golf Club beginning on Thursday, he is well aware of a gradual 'changing of the guard' at the game's highest level.

"There are these first‑time winners, a change of the best players in the game ... some new faces, guys winning their first major and now guys winning their second or third, establishing the greatest players of this era of the game now," said Scott.

"That's probably what we're seeing. We'll be looking back and talking about Bubba and Martin and Rory in the future, much like we spoke of Ernie, Phil, and Tiger, Vijay, Retief (Goosen) and (Padraig) Harrington.

"There weren't that many guys out here with multiple majors for a while. I think we're getting to another level of the game now where we're seeing the new era of great players."   Continued...

Aug 3, 2014; Akron, OH, USA; Rory McIlroy tees off on the sixth hole during the final round of the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational golf tournament at Firestone Country Club - South Course. Joe Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports