New York: The US PGA Tour will focus on promoting its crop of young players in 2011, Commissioner Tim Finchem said Thursday following a year in which Tiger Woods slipped from being a conquering force.
“I think the takeaway on the competition side of 2010, more than anything else, was the tremendous interest in young players coming up,” Finchem told reporters on a conference call summing up the past season and looking ahead.
While Woods went an entire year without registering a tournament victory for the first time in his career, players in their 20s including Dustin Johnson, Rickie Fowler, Louis Oosthuizen and Martin Kaymer were making their presence felt.
South African Oosthuizen, now 28, won the British Open and Germany’s Kaymer, 25, claimed the PGA Championship.
The long-hitting Johnson, 26, played in the final group of two majors and long-haired Fowler, 21, became the first US rookie ever chosen as a captain’s pick for the Ryder Cup.
“I’ve never in my tenure seen so much buzz and interest about rookies and young players creating exciting performances,” Finchem said about the emerging set that also includes Briton Rory McIlroy, 21, and Japan’s Ryo Ishikawa, 19.
“Actually, it has led us to conclude that we really need to focus on that dynamic as we go into 2011.”