Are Fowler, McIlroy, Spieth the new Big 3?

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CHARLOTTE, N.C. – Rickie Fowler’s victory last week at The Players ignited a conversation that suggests that along with Rory McIlroy and Jordan Spieth, golf may be on the verge of a new “Big 3,” similar to the famous rivalry among Jack Nicklaus, Arnold Palmer and Gary Player.

On Wednesday at the Wells Fargo Championship, McIlroy conceded the possibility of a prolonged rivalry.

“We had the ‘Big 3’ in Arnie, Jack and Gary. Even years ago we had Phil [Mickelson] and Tiger and Vijay, Retief Goosen, Ernie Els, that was a pretty good group as well,” he said. “The potential is there. We could be fighting it out for tournaments for the next 15, 20 years. It should be fun.”

McIlroy – who won his first PGA Tour title at Quail Hollow in 2010 and finished second here two years later – also addressed the growing trend of younger champions on Tour.

“The amazing thing about this group of players is that we've come on Tour and we've been ready to win from the start,” the world No. 1 said. “A lot of guys have come out here and it hasn't taken them long to learn how to win. We don't play maybe with as much fear as some of the rookies used to in the past.”