PEBBLE BEACH, Calif. – The cast of golf's 'best young players' seems to change every week – from Rory McIlroy and Anthony Kim to Hunter Mahan and Alvaro Quiros, or whatever under-30 duo you can conjure. Thirty-six holes into the 110th U.S. Open, rarely have we seen a more intriguing double shot of youth.
Dustin Johnson and Ryo Ishikawa, both of whom begin the third round two strokes behind Graeme McDowell, might have more major-title potential than any aforementioned player besides McIlroy. Johnson, of course, might be the longest hitter on any tour. Ishikawa, who won't turn 19 until September, has a swing remarkably similar to Greg Norman's – and the same ultra-high ball flight.
Is either player ready to win a U.S. Open? Probably not, but the next 36 holes will go a long way toward expediting the process Johnson and Ishikawa must endure to win one. You're never too young to start factoring.