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Is a new Golden Age of Golf upon us?

DOES Jason Day's win at Whistling Straits signal the beginning of a new 'Big Three' and a new Golden age of Golf?

FOR golf fans of a certain generation the term 'Big Three' needs no explanation. Arnold Palmer, Gary Player and Jack Nicklaus will forever be the 20th century's best known triumverate, responsible for professional golf's explosion during the 1960's.

But now, as 2015 passes the halfway mark, golf in the new millennium appears to have another 'Big Three' in the making.

As Australia's Jason Day claimed his first major title with a record breaking 20-under-par performance at Whistling Straits, he joined some elite company in what is shaping as a new Golden Age in golf.

After almost two decades of the overarching dominance of Tiger Woods, golf now looks to a future where the spoils of the game's major prizes will be shared more equally among its biggest drawcards.

For the past 18 months Jordan Spieth and Rory McIlroy have been a clear 'Big Two' but, despite several contenders, no obvious third had emerged. Until now.

Jason Day's win this week, and the manner in which he achieved it, puts him firmly in the conversation as one of the premiere players of his generation.

Rickie Fowler's tilt at the title, built around a 2014 that saw him finish in the top five in all four majors, ended in 2015 with results of T12, MC, T30 and 55 in those same events.

Day, on the other hand, ticks all the boxes. His 2015 Grand Slam results read T28, T9, T4 and WIN. Fittingly, he has also moved to third in the Official World Golf Rankings (behind Number One Spieth and Number Two McIlroy) and, like those two, brings youth, talent and results to the table.

Nothing in golf is assured but it would be a surprise if these three weren't the main names in the game for the next 10 years, albeit with a support cast that's impressive in its own right.

Just as Arnie, Jack and Gary had Tom Watson, Billy Casper, Lee Trevino and others to push them along so McIlroy, Day and Spieth have no shortage of great players in their rear view mirror.

Of the sub 30 set, Brooks Koepka, Hideki Matsuyama, Rickie Fowler, Justin Thomas, Patrick Reed, Russell Henley and our own Cameron Smith are just a handful of those ready to take their place in the theatre of the game.

Also not to be discounted are the over 30's including Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, Justin Rose, Bubba Watson, Jimmy Walker, Martin Kaymer, Louis Oosthuizen and others.

History will be the ultimate judge of how this generation stacks up in the pantheon of the game.

What is certain, however, is that golf fans will be the ultimate winners of any new Golden Age.

Watching the best players of their generation fighting it out at the game's biggest events promises to be an enthralling spectacle.

It would be fair to say there's never been a better time to be a professional golfer but it's a pretty good bet it's an even better time to be a golf fan.

PGA CHAMPIONSHIP FINAL ROUND WRAP:

 

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