No. 10 -- Young Guns

By Dave Shedloski Illustrations by Dale Stephanos
December 06, 2009

Youth intoxicates with its potential, but the buzz tends to wear off quickly if promise is left unfulfilled.

A bumper crop of new talent emerged in 2009, and there is much to like about Rory McIlroy, Ryo Ishikawa, Rickie Fowler, Jamie Lovemark and Danny Lee. Throw Nationwide Tour dominator Michael Sim into the mix, too.

But golf never seems to run out of hotshot interlopers. What makes this group different?

"I know these guys a little bit," Fowler says. "We all have experience. More important, I think, is we have a pretty good level of maturity."

There is much to build on. Ireland's McIlroy finished in the top-10 in two majors, while Ishikawa acquitted himself splendidly as the youngest Presidents Cup player in history.

Fowler twice lost in playoffs, once on the PGA Tour and once on the Nationwide when he was still an amateur. These three are the most intriguing as 2010 looms. (By the way, only Lovemark is old enough to legally buy a drink in the U.S.)