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The Loop

The future is getting crowded

October 26, 2009

The hangover golf is going to experience once Tiger Woods decides to retire cannot be avoided, but the game's future is not without hope, either. More evidence surfaced on Sunday that a battle royal is in its formative stage.

Jamie Lovemark, 21, and Rickie Fowler, 20, tied for second in the Open, but even before that each came stamped with "stardom."

I agree with ESPN's Jason Sobel here, that we should "exercise caution when anointing one as the potential keeper of the throne." Anthony Kim and Jason Day have been instructive in this regard, neither of them sprinting to the head of the class.

But collectively, the future appears enormously bright. Those who figure to be a part of it beside Lovemark, Fowler, Kim and Day are Rory McIlroy, Ryo Ishikawa and Danny Lee, and no doubt a host of others waiting to emerge. The figurative fist fight that will emerge among them is certain to be entertaining and ensures that once Woods surrenders his grip on the game, it still promises to be in good hands.

-- John Strege