The 2014 Open Championship felt like a changing of the guard in golf, and to be honest, it was a pretty cool feeling. It goes to show that there is much more to the game than Tiger and Phil going head-to-head or steady eddy Matt Kuchar, Instead, this tournament showcased the names we will be talking about for the next decade to come.

Rory did what he does in Major victories, and that is dominate the field. Sure, it was only a 2 shot victory, but lets be honest, there was no one really challenging him all week. His personal issues seem to be behind him, and he finally looks comfortable with his new Nike clubs. Rory is 25, has 3 legs of the career grand slam, and knows how to turn on an extra gear that only Tiger and Jack knew existed.

Rickie Fowler has sneakily been the best player in majors all year. His T-5 at the Masters was impressive, and his T-2 at the US Open was obviously noteworthy, but The Open was different. His Butch Harmon crafted swing looked beyond sharp, and clearly has proven to hold up under pressure. Even on an off day Sunday, he was able to fire a 5 under par bogey-free round. The world has never been more connected through social media, and the next generation of golfers not only idol this young man, they feel a true connection with him. One day we will look back on ‘Tricky Rickie’ as someone who altered the image of golf.

Sergio Garcia and Tiger went head-to-head back in 1999 at the PGA Championship, in an epic battle that everyone thought would spur a long time rivalry. Well, that never came into fruition, but Sergio is still only 34, and has a ton of quality golf ahead of him. He showed grit, imagination, and incredible passion in his T-2 at The Open. He seems to have his life in order, so only time will tell if this high point in his career will lead to something even bigger down the road.

Matteo Manassero, the Molinari brothers, DJ, and Dubuisson all had notable performances, and are players to keep an eye on in the future, for their own unique styles of play and approach to the game.

Everyone who thought Tiger being in contention is the only way for golf to be entertaining, was proven wrong this week.  There wasn’t a 20 foot putt on the 72nd to win the championship, or ear-numbing roars from the crowd, but the body of work over 4 days by all the young guns in golf showed me, and millions of other fans, that our sport is going to be just fine. It was a pleasure to watch, I’m just upset its over.