Ten names to watch out for at Augusta in the years to come
Your Future Champions At Augusta
The US Masters rarely disappoints. When the cream rises to the top on the back nine on Sunday afternoon, Augusta National is a pressure cooker - only the toughest survive. Whilst this time is normally reserved for experienced, Major winners and past champions, the week as a whole provides a glimpse into the future. Who might we see pull on the coveted Green Jacket in the coming years? Here are ten players with Masters pedigree...
Lucas Bjerregaard, Denmark
The Dane took out Tiger Woods at the WGC Match Play in March. However, the 27-year-old has been making quite an impression on the European Tour in the last couple of seasons and he's looked comfortable on his Masters debut.
Justin Harding, South Africa
The South African won his first European Tour title at the Qatar Masters in March. That was his fifth worldwide victory in 12 months. He opened his Masters account with a pair of 69s and looks to have all the tools to succeed at Augusta.
Thorbjørn Olesen, Denmark
The Dane made his Ryder Cup debut at Le Golf National last year and is no longer a name that goes under the radar. There's more to come from the 29-year-old who represented his country at the Olympics in Rio in 2016. Has a best Masters finish of T6 (2013).
Hatong Li, China
The 23-year-old recorded the best finish by a Chinese player in a Major when he finished third at The Open in 2017. He's won twice on the European Tour, where he's becoming one of the most exciting young talents.
Matt Wallace, England
In 2017, Wallace won the Portugal Open - and he's never looked back. Three more victories have followed on the European Tour and the man from Hillingdon looks set to be one of England's leading contenders at Augusta for years to come, despite missing the cut on his debut.
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Cameron Smith, Australia
The 25-year-old closed out his 2018 Masters campaign with a 66 to finish in a tie for fifth. A winner on the PGA Tour at the 2017 Zurich Classic, Smith also successfully defended the Australian PGA Championship in 2018. A real talent.
Xander Schauffele, USA
A named we've seen quite a bit of already, but there's certainly more to come - which is frightening. The 2016-17 Rookie of the Year has now won four times on the PGA Tour and is making a habit of contending late on Sundays in the Majors.
Bryson DeChambeau, USA
Yes, yes, hardly a bold prediction, but you can't talk about future Masters champions without mentioning the 'Mad Scientist'. His scientific approach used to be all we talked about, now he has the wins to back it up. Just get a wriggle on...
Viktor Hovland, Norway
The first Norwegian to compete in the US Masters looks the real deal. His debut at Augusta came courtesy of his win at the US Amateur Championship last year. Glittering professional careers don't always follow, but the number one ranked amateur in Europe looks the real deal.
Aaron Wise, USA
The PGA Tour Rookie of the Year in 2018 looks to be a quick learner. The 22-year-old, who was born in South Africa, opened with a round of 75, went four shots better in round two, shot a 68 on Saturday and then closed with a five-under 67.
Of course, this is not to say the usual suspects won't have a say for many years to come. However, there are plenty of names set to make the step up and challenge at Augusta. Who will be next?
Michael has been with Golf Monthly since 2008. As a multimedia journalist, he has also worked for The Football Association, where he created content to support the men's European Championships, The FA Cup, London 2012, and FA Women's Super League. As content editor at Foremost Golf, Michael worked closely with golf's biggest equipment manufacturers, and has developed an in-depth knowledge of this side of the industry. He's now a regular contributor, covering instruction, equipment and feature content. Michael has interviewed many of the game's biggest stars, including six world number ones, and has attended and reported on many Major Championships and Ryder Cups. He's a member of Formby Golf Club.
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