Jason Day win confirms change of the guard

Mon Aug 17, 2015 3:29pm EDT
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By Mark Lamport-Stokes

KOHLER, Wisconsin (Reuters) - Jason Day's breakthrough victory at the PGA Championship served notice that a changing of the guard is now complete with an exciting posse of young guns set to dominate the majors for the next decade.

Newly crowned world number one Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy are already established as the game's leading duo but Australian Day, 27, American Rickie Fowler, 26, and rising Japanese talent Hideki Matsuyama, 23, are in hot pursuit.

Six of the last seven major championships have been won by twenty-somethings, proof positive that the 'Big Five' era of Tiger Woods, Phil Mickelson, Ernie Els, Vijay Singh and Retief Goosen is over.

"The game now is certainly very healthy, exciting and strong," American Paul Azinger, who won the 1993 PGA Championship at Inverness and has since been become an acclaimed golf analyst on television, told Reuters.

"We are beginning to blend into a post-Tiger era. This year in all four majors, it seems like the same cast of three or four characters are right at the top.

"Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Jordan Spieth have all been in contention, and now Rory McIlroy is back after his injury absence (a ruptured ligament in his left ankle)."

Northern Irishman McIlroy, now aged 26, won the last two majors of 2014 and the remarkable Spieth, who celebrated his 22nd birthday last month, clinched the first two majors this year before tying for fourth at the British Open and finishing second behind Day at the PGA Championship on Sunday.

"Jordan Spieth continues to amaze," said Azinger. "I don't know if anybody would have even thought we would ever see anybody like him with that maturity at such a young age.   Continued...

Aug 16, 2015; Sheboygan, WI, USA; Jason Day poses with the Wanamaker Trophy after winning the 2015 PGA Championship golf tournament at Whistling Straits. Mandatory Credit: Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports