Adams: Golf Belongs To The Young; Tiger Still On His Way Back

Twenty-somethings, including Masters champion Patrick Reed, dominated Augusta National this past weekend

After Hours With Amy Lawrence
April 09, 2018 - 9:23 am

USA Today Images


Patrick Reed won his first major championship Sunday, shooting a 15-under 273 to win the Masters. Reed, 27, is the fourth straight Masters champion to win his first career major, and he gives American golf something about which to brag: 

All four defending major champions are American, and all are under the age of 28. The other defending champions are 27-year-old Brooks Koepka (U.S. Open), 24-year-old Jordan Spieth (Open Championship), and 24-year-old Justin Thomas (PGA Championship).

What does this say about the game of golf?

“It obviously speaks volumes about how strong the game of golf is in terms of young United States players,” Golf Channel insider and Sirius XM PGA Tour Radio host Matt Adams said on After Hours with Amy Lawrence. “But remember: there are young players from all over the world that are featuring in that mix as well. Rory McIlroy had a bad day, yes, but he got himself in position through three rounds at the Masters. Jon Rahm is someone that we have to keep a very close eye on with as well as he’s playing.”

McIlroy tied for fifth at Augusta National, while Rahm, who is from Spain, finished fourth. Reed edged Rickie Fowler and Jordan Spieth by one and two stokes, respectively. Fowler, 29, is the elder statesman of that bunch.

“Right now the game of golf does belong to the young,” Adams said. “However, there are a couple of veteran names that have been making some noise. You got Phil Mickelson that’s already won this year. You got Tiger Woods that started knocking on the door, even though he didn’t have the Masters that everybody had hoped for. So we’ve got a really cool balance in the game. If I had to put a percentage on it, would say it’s probably 75 or 80 percent belonging to the young defined by players under 30 years old. But then the other 20 to 25 percent are more cagey veterans that add even more color to the golf season in 2018.”

Woods shot a three-under-69 on Sunday to finish one-over for the weekend. While he was never in contention, it was still an impressive showing for the 42-year-old.

“I don't think he’s as close as a lot of people I think had hoped he is, but I think he is beyond the point that we reasonably could have expected,” Adams said. “He’s still on his way back. He’s still progressing – and he’s doing incredibly well considering everything that he’s gone through, where he’s coming from to where he is right now. So I think it’s a reasonable expectation to say Tiger did as much as we can hope that Tiger could do at this point in his comeback, even though I think he’s ahead of schedule with what he has gone through. I think the expectations that we have for Tiger Woods – because he sets his own bar so high – it, at times, can be a little bit unrealistic.”