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Next on the tee: The top 25 golfers under age 25

Matthew Wolff and Collin Morikawa are just two of the players under 25 years old ready to make a big impression in golf. Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

The PGA Tour's newest stars and most heralded rookies in recent history just graduated from college.

Viktor Hovland, Collin Morikawa and Matthew Wolff are 22 years old or younger and wrapped up their collegiate careers this past spring.

They didn't wait long to make their presence known on the PGA Tour, as Wolff and Morikawa have already won -- and Hovland might be the most talented player among the three.

The talented trio looks like golf's next edition of young guns, and they headline ESPN's list of the top 25 players under the age of 25. The list is completely subjective, and there really isn't a firm criteria in how they're ranked. To be clear:

  • It's a combination of performance, talent, potential and results.

  • The list only includes players who have made at least five PGA Tour starts, or, in the case of a trio of amateurs, are guys who played at American colleges or high schools.

There are plenty of names that you'll probably recognize and a few that might not be so familiar.

There were a handful of PGA Tour stars, including Xander Schauffele (25), Bryson DeChambeau (25), Jordan Spieth (26) and Justin Thomas (26), who just aged out of the group, so you won't see them here.

Here are the top 25 players under 25:

1. Jon Rahm (24 years old)
The big Spaniard is ranked sixth in the world and has already won three times on the PGA Tour and five more times internationally, with more than $16 million in career earnings. His performance in majors is on the uptick with consecutive top-10s at the Masters and top-5s at the 2018 PGA Championship and the U.S. Open in June. He has 12 top-10s in 19 tour events this season.

2. Viktor Hovland (21)
The ultra-talented Norwegian didn't secure his PGA Tour card during the regular season, but he is trying to do so by finishing among the top 25 point-getters in the Korn Ferry Tour finals. He tied for 11th at this past week's National Children's Hospital Championship. Even though Hovland hasn't won yet as a pro, his immense talent is undeniable. He was the low amateur at both the Masters (tied for 32nd) and U.S. Open (tied for 12th) and also finished fourth at the Wyndham Championship. Hovland won the 2018 U.S. Amateur at Pebble Beach and won the 2019 Ben Hogan Award as the top collegiate golfer as a junior at Oklahoma State.

3. Collin Morikawa (22)
The former Cal Berkeley star didn't wait long to win as a pro. He won in only his sixth Tour start when he birdied four of the last five holes at the Barracuda Championship in late July. The breakthrough came after he finished tied for second at the 3M Open (losing to Matthew Wolff on the 72nd hole) and tied for fourth at the John Deere Classic. Morikawa already has won more than $1.75 million in nine Tour starts and qualified for the FedEx Cup playoffs. He would rank first in fairway accuracy (78.6 percent) and second in greens in regulation (72.7 percent) if he had enough rounds to qualify.

4. Matthew Fitzpatrick (24)
We're still waiting for the Englishman to reach his potential on American soil, with much of his success so far coming in Europe. He was runner-up at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March, finishing 2 shots behind Francesco Molinari, and also tied for fourth at the WGC-FedEx St. Jude Invitational. Overall, Fitzpatrick has only five top-10s in 56 tour events. He won the 2016 World Tour Championship, 2015 British Masters and the European Masters in 2017 and '18.

5. Matthew Wolff (20)
The former Oklahoma State star with the unorthodox swing probably didn't get as much hype as he deserved going into his rookie tour season. He won six times as a collegian (he was 83-under par in 35 rounds at OSU last season) and won the 2019 NCAA individual title by five strokes. But then Wolff caught the golf world's attention when he won in just his third event as a pro by making a 26-foot putt for eagle on the final hole of the 3M Open. He joined Tiger Woods and Ben Crenshaw as the only golfers to win an NCAA individual title and PGA Tour event in the same year. He was only the eighth Tour player since 1970 to win in four career starts or fewer.

6. Sung-jae Im (21)
The South Korean started playing golf when he was 3, beat his father when he was 8 and was the leading money winner on the Web.com Tour in 2018 (he was the second-youngest winner in Web.com history when he won the '18 season opener at 19). He is the top Tour rookie in FedEx Cup points this season and was the only one to advance to East Lake. He has 15 top-25s in only 34 events. Other Tour pros have raved about his swing, and International Team captain Ernie Els hinted that Im might be in line for a captain's pick to the Presidents Cup (he is 11th in the International Team standings).

7. Si Woo Kim (24)
Kim, from South Korea, won twice during his first two full seasons on the PGA Tour with victories at the 2016 Wyndham Championship (he shot 60 in the second round) and 2017 Players Championship. He is ranked 64th in the world with more than $10 million in career earnings. He struggled down the stretch this season, however, missing the cut in nine of 12 events, before tying for 28th at the BMW Championship.

8. Haotong Li (24)
The Chinese golfer spends most of his time on the European Tour, but he has had some success in majors and events on American soil. Li is one of the eight international automatic qualifiers for the Presidents Cup. He finished third at the 2017 Open Championship at Royal Birkdale and was tied for ninth at the WGC-Dell Technologies Match Play in late March. His biggest win came in the 2018 Dubai Desert Classic, when Rory McIlroy squandered a two-shot lead in the last eight holes of the final round.

9. Aaron Wise (23)
The former Oregon star needs to find his form from May 2018, when in consecutive events he tied for second at the Wells Fargo Championship and won the AT&T Byron Nelson, setting a tournament scoring record at 23 under par. Wise had two more top 10s in 2018, finishing tied for sixth at the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational and tied for fifth at The Northern Trust, but had only one top 10 in 21 events this season. He has earned about $4.8 million in 58 Tour events.

10. Joaquin Niemann (20)
The former No. 1-ranked amateur in the world and 2018 Latin American Amateur champion from Chile is only scratching the surface of his game. He bypassed the Korn Ferry Tour by earning his PGA Tour card at the age of 19 in his eighth Tour start. He struggled at times in his second season with four top 10s in 28 events. He found his form late to make the FedEx Cup playoffs and fired a final-round 66 at The Northern Trust to advance to the BMW Championship, where he tied for 31st.

11. Jazz Janewattananond (23)
The player known as "Smooth Jazz" splits his time between the Asian and European tours, but he hopes to one day play on the PGA Tour. He caused a stir at the PGA Championship at Bethpage Black in May, when he had birdies on four of the first 10 holes to fire a 3-under 67 and grab a share of second place. He finished tied for 14th and then missed the cut at The Open in July. He is No. 10 in the Presidents Cup standings and is in contention for one of Els' captain picks. In 2010, he turned pro at age 15 and spent two weeks as a monk at a Buddhist temple in his native Thailand in 2016.

12. Sam Burns (23)
Back issues and then a broken ankle -- he was injured while grabbing a rebound while watching kids play basketball in his neighborhood -- hampered what had been a so-so first full season for Burns on tour. He finished tied for third at the Sanderson Farms Championship, ninth at the RBC Heritage and tied for seventh at the 3M Open. He'd already made the FedEx Cup playoffs before he was hurt, earning him a tour card for next season.

13. Cameron Champ (24)
Champ, a former All-American at Texas A&M, looked like one of golf's next big stars when he had a wire-to-wire victory at the Sanderson Farms Championship in October in his ninth Tour start. He followed that with four more finishes in the top 12, but then the wheels came off. In his next 18 starts, he missed the cut 11 times and withdrew once. Champ was third on Tour in driving distance (328.4-yard average), but struggled with his accuracy off the tee (50 percent).

14. Scottie Scheffler (23)
The former University of Texas star locked up his PGA Tour card during his rookie season on the Korn Ferry Tour and won his second event this past weekend. He led the KFT in birdies and was third in points during the regular season. In May, he came from six shots back and fired a 9-under 63 in the final round to win the Evans Scholar Invitational for his first pro victory. He also finished second twice. He was a member of the 2017 Walker Cup team and made the cut at the 2017 U.S. Open and finished tied for 27th as an amateur.

15. Robby Shelton (23)
The three-time All-American at Alabama finished second on the KFT in points and secured his PGA status for 2019-20. Shelton won the Knoxville Open and Nashville Golf Open Benefiting the Snedeker Foundation and had three other top 5s this past season. At Alabama, he helped lead the Crimson Tide to an NCAA championship in 2014, was named SEC golfer of the year and won the Phil Mickelson Award as the country's top freshman. He finished third at the 2015 Barbasol Championship, the highest finish by an amateur since Mickelson won the 1991 Tucson Open.

16. Kristoffer Ventura (24)
Ventura was born in Mexico, raised in Norway and educated at Oklahoma State, where he teamed with Hovland and Wolff to lead the Pokes to the 2018 national championship. He's fluent in three languages and already has secured his Tour status for 2019-20 by finishing fourth in The 25 while playing in just eight KFT events during the regular season. He won the Utah Championship and Pinnacle Bank Championship.

17. Doc Redman (21)
The 2017 U.S. Amateur champion spent most of this season playing on the Mackenzie Tour in Canada. But he shot a 62 in a Monday qualifier for the inaugural Rocket Mortgage Classic in Detroit and shot rounds of 68-67-67-67 to finish solo in second. That earned him a spot in The Open, where he finished tied for 20th. The former Clemson star earned special temporary membership for the remainder of the 2018-19 season and won more than $1 million in seven tour events.

18. Beau Hossler (24)
Hossler briefly led the 2012 U.S. Open at Olympic Club as a 17-year-old amateur and seemed destined for big things. Last season, he was runner-up at the Houston Open, losing to Ian Poulter in a playoff, and tied for second at the Travelers. His sophomore season on Tour wasn't nearly as good, however, as he didn't finish better than a tie for 15th at the Genesis Open in February. He lost his Tour card for 2019-20, but reclaimed it when he tied for second at the Nationwide Children's Hospital Championship, securing his spot in the KFT Finals 25.

19. Curtis Luck (23)
The Australian had three top 25s in his rookie tour season and is fighting to retain his status in the KFT finals. He tied for seventh this past weekend. The 2016 U.S. Amateur champion made the cut in 18 of 36 PGA starts and has earned about $800,000. He tied for fifth at the Zurich Classic with partner Hank Lebioda and was tied for 13th at the Valspar Championship.

20. Brandon Wu (22)
Here's how Wu spent his summer: He helped Stanford claim a national title by winning each of his three matches at the NCAA championships; he became the first amateur since 1967 to qualify for the U.S. Open (tied for 35th) and The Open (missed cut) without an exemption; and he was the stroke-play medalist at the U.S. Amateur at Pinehurst. Wu has already graduated from Stanford (he received his diploma on the 18th green at Pebble Beach), and he'll play on the Walker Cup team at Royal Liverpool on Sept. 7-8. He hasn't yet announced when he'll turn pro.

21. Cole Hammer (19)
Hammer, a rising sophomore at Texas, is currently the No. 1-ranked amateur in the world. He reached the semifinals of the 2018 U.S. Amateur and won the 2018 Western Amateur. At Texas this past season, he won the Phil Mickelson Award as the top freshman and helped the Longhorns reach the finals of the NCAA championships, taking down Matthew Wolff 4&3 (with eight birdies) in the semifinals. He finished in the top 10 in 11 events and tied for medalist honors in three tournaments. He'll also represent the U.S. at the Walker Cup next month.

22. Shubhankar Sharma (23)
The Indian golfer has won eight times internationally -- six times on the Professional Golf Tour of India and twice on the European Tour -- and has a pair of top 10s in 18 PGA starts. He tied for ninth at the 2018 WGC-Mexico Championship, tied for 10th at the CIMB Classic in October and tied for 51st at the Open Championship. Sharma is attempting to get his PGA Tour card in the KFT finals.

23. Maverick McNealy (23)
The Stanford graduate was formerly ranked the No. 1 amateur player in the world and will be a PGA Tour rookie next season. He finished 23rd in KFT points and had three top 10s in 20 starts this past season, including a runner-up at the LECOM Suncoast Classic. At Stanford, McNealy won 11 times, tying Tiger Woods and Patrick Rodgers for the most in school history.

24. Vincent Whaley (24)
Whaley, from Georgia Tech, was the last player from the KFT to earn his PGA status -- and he had to wait two days to learn if his points total would hold up after missing the cut in the final event. He made the cut in 15 of 23 events during his rookie pro season, including three top-10s. He was a two-time academic All-American with the Yellow Jackets.

25. Akshay Bhatia (17)
Bhatia has already announced that he plans to skip college and turn pro on his 18th birthday in January. He has signed with a management and marketing company, but remains an amateur because he hasn't been paid. The Wake Forest, North Carolina, resident will be the youngest player ever on the U.S. Walker Cup next month at Royal Liverpool Golf Club. He received a sponsor's exemption and missed the cut at the Valspar.