It may seem as ifevery rising young golfer comes from somewhere else—particularly Australia orSouth Africa—but Uncle Sam's cupboard isn't bare. In addition to the promisingyoung Americans who have already emerged (Anthony Kim, Kevin Na), there aresome serious up-and-comers waiting to break through. Here are five you may nothave heard of yet but almost certainly will in the future.
1. JAMIELOVEMARK, 19
Stats: the tall (6' 4") Californian who plays at Southern Cal had abreakout June, winning the NCAA title as a freshman and then losing in aplayoff as an amateur at the Nationwide tour's Rochester Area CharitiesShowdown. He's 3 for 3 in making cuts on the PGA Tour, with his best finish a39th at the Buick Invitational, at which he had a first-round 66.
Skinny: Could'veeasily turned pro after a hot run this year but will stay in school until atleast next summer.
2. RICKIE FOWLER,18
Stats: A freshman at Oklahoma State, Fowler was the youngest player on thisyear's victorious Walker Cup team (3--1 individual record) and won twoprestigious amateur titles (Sunnehanna and players). He has a win and a fourthin his first two collegiate starts and shot a seven-under 63 at olympia Fields,which tied Vijay Singh's course record.
October 28, 2007
Skinny: Fowlersays he'll spend four years at Oklahoma State and graduate. If he keepswinning, we'll see.
3. JEFF OVERTON,24
Stats: the '05 Indiana grad is one of only six players to make it through allthree stages of Q school and earn a PGA Tour card in the same year hegraduated. A late surge last year helped him keep his card, and now he's 108thon the money list, with a tie for second at the Wyndham Championship.
Skinny: Cut fromthe Zach Johnson mold, Overton's been on a slow but steady upward curve sincehigh school.
4. COLT KNOST,22
Stats: after wrapping up his career at SMU last spring, Knost, the 2007Conference USA player of the year and winner of three collegiate titles, wonthe U.S. Publinks and the U.S. Amateur and turned pro. He finished 49th in hisfirst Tour start, at the Texas Open, and since then was 38th at the Frys.comopen and missed the cut at the Fry's Electronics.
Skinny: Solid,but can he handle the sky-high expectations?
5. PHILLIPFRANCIS, 18
Stats: Now a freshman at UCLA, Francis was the most accomplished junior playersince Tiger Woods, winning the first of his 147 titles at age four. In additionto winning the 2006 U.S. Junior, he also won the Junior Worlds four straighttimes, which broke Woods's record of three. Francis made his PGA Tour debutthis summer, at the John Deere and U.S. Bank, but missed both cuts.
Skinny: No singleaspect of his game makes you say, "Wow." He's simply very good ateverything.