Veterans Not Ready To Concede PGA Tour To Young Guns
(Source: USA Today)

Veterans Not Ready To Concede PGA Tour To Young Guns

Young players dominated the PGA Tour season early, but a recent push by major champions has turned the tide.

Anthony Distler

It was supposed to be a year of transition. Young players in their 20's were going to become the big name players on Tour, while the veterans were going to step aside and allow for the future of the game to take over.

At the beginning of the season, it all went according to plan. The first five tournaments were won by first time winners, with the first two being won by rookies. Jordan Spieth, the present and future of the PGA Tour, won the Tournament Of Champions, and it appeared as if veteran players were cast aside.

Great players, however, won't go down without a fight, and a string of past champions and major winners would begin to pick up.

It started with Jason Dufner at the Career Builder, where the 2013 PGA Champion returned to the winners circle. The next week, Brandt Snedeker won at Torrey Pines in the middle of a windstorm. The Tour returned to some normalcy, when Hideki Matsuyama battled Rickie Fowler in Phoenix in a contest between two young superstars. 

The following week at Pebble Beach, however, saw 39 year old Vaughn Taylor, who hadn't won in 11 years, taking down 45 year old Hall of Famer Phil Mickelson. The past two weeks has seen two time Masters winner Bubba Watson and former World Number One Adam Scott hold up trophies. 

If recent trends tell us anything, is that young players shouldn't expect an easy time taking over the PGA Tour.

This shift has changed the narrative of the season. What started as a year of young players, it has turned into the year of the comeback. Players such as Mickelson, Vijay Singh, and Boo Weekley, all of whom haven't won in a while, have been knocking on the door this season, while players such as Taylor, Scott, and Dufner show that their winning ways aren't over. 

Because golf is a week to week sport, it is impossible to predict if that narrative continues. Young players aren't going to be held back, and they will win their fair share of tournaments. These veterans, however, have proven that they're not going to pushed into the retirement home.