Youngsters Jordan Spieth and Lydia Ko take golfing world by storm

Jordan Spieth, Lydia Ko  © John David Mercer, Anne-Marie Sorvin
Both men and women’s golf was rejuvenated in 2015 by the emergence of new world number ones, with young duo Jordan Spieth and Lydia Ko bursting onto the scene.

Spieth turned professional in 2012 but before this year only had one PGA Tour win under his belt, after scooping the John Deere Classic in Illinois in 2013.

However, the Dallas-born starlet etched his name into history books by winning both the US Masters in April and the US Open in June.

The 22-year-old became the youngest golfer to win both competitions in the same year, with Tiger Woods previously achieving the feat at the age of 26 in 2002.

Only a select group of players have won the first two majors of a respective year, including Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer, Ben Hogan and Craig Wood.

Spieth tied the US Masters 72-hole record set by Woods in 1997 with -18, while also becoming the youngest US Open champion in the space of 92 years.

The American also came tied fourth in the Open Championship and was runner-up in the PGA Championship in an incredibly consistent 12 months.

Spieth’s showing in the last major of the year saw him overtake Rory McIlroy and become world number one.

The passionate youngster’s emergence will give the United States Ryder Cup team hope ahead of next year’s clash with Europe at the Hazeltine National Golf Club in Minnesota.

The US team has been defeated in the last three Ryder Cups, but Spieth's prolific individual form could well play a part in shifting the balance of power.

Countryman Zach Johnson’s Open Championship triumph will only add more confidence.

Australian Jason Day also overtook McIlroy and became world number two. A dramatic play-off win at St Andrews, Scotland in the Open Championship was the 28-year-old’s highlight.

World number three McIlroy was recently named the European Tour Golfer of the Year for the third time in four years after a triumvirate of tour victories in 2015.

These included wins at the Dubai Desert Classic, the WGC-Cadillac Match Play and the World Tour Championship last month.

The Northern Irishman participated in three of the four majors, with his best performance gaining him fourth place at the US Masters.

Injury to Woods also robbed golf of one of its superstars, with it remaining to be seen if the 39-year-old can regain former glories given the young generation that have come through in the last couple of years.

Meanwhile in women’s golf, prodigious Lydia Ko became the youngest-ever world number one at the age of 17 back in February.

The New Zealander completed a stunning year by winning the Evian Championship in September, becoming the youngest female to win a major in the process.

World number two Inbee Park of South Korea is Ko’s closest rival, with the 27-year-old winning two major tournaments in 2015 – the KPMG Women's PGA Championship and the Women’s British Open.

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