Here's my list of top-10 players under 30 who look most ready to win a major. Notably, it's different than my listing last week of the 10 best players under 30. There's a difference, after all, between being talented and being ready to win a major. Plus, below, there is a review of the notable under-30 performances from the last week:
UNDER-30 MAJOR THREATS
1. Rory McIlroy (20)
2. Anthony Kim (24)
3. Camilo Villegas (28)
4. Ross Fisher (29)
5. Martin Kaymer (25)
6. Andres Romero (28)
7. Hunter Mahan (27)
8. Sean O’Hair (27)
9. Justin Rose (29)
10. Nick Watney (28)
Who took steps forward last week?
Martin Laird: The 27-year-old Scot was in contention on the weekend at the SBS Championship, tying for fourth place. Still, Laird doesn’t have much of a major championship resume and needs some stronger showings in deep-field events to crack our top 10.
Ryan Moore: The 27-year-old American carried some strong momentum at the end of last season into the new year with his tie for sixth place.
Charl Schwartzel: The 25-year-old South African won the African Open for his fourth European Tour title. Schwartzel, though, was the highest ranked player in the field at No. 66 in the world. His win vaulted him to No. 51.
Who stepped back?
Sean O’Hair: The guy was terrific under final-round pressure, making seven birdies and no bogeys in his first 16 holes Sunday to give himself a chance at victory, but we’re left remembering the bad shot he hit at the 72nd hole, a 3-wood he snap-hooked deep into the brush. It’s probably unfair to call it a step back (O'Hair tied for fourth), given it was the first event of the year and he was trying to make something happen with an eagle with Ogilvy just making birdie behind him. If O'Hair had pulled off that shot, we would be buzzing about the clutch nature of his final round. Still, the snap hook is stuck in our heads.
Dustin Johnson: With an impressive start at the SBS Championship, Johnson looked like he was going to send a strong message in the season-opener, but a sloppy run in the middle of the tournament cost him. Winter rust showed on his way to a tie for 16th.