SCOTTSDALE, ARIZ. -- If you have a couple of seconds on Saturday morning, glance over the Waste Management Phoenix Open leaderboard. If the hosts of the event penciled together a group of golfers we could have leading, this would be it.
Camilo Villegas is tied for the lead with a guy named Mark Wilson at 11-under. Then the fury of youngsters come. Anthony Kim. Ryan Moore. Rickie Fowler. Alvaro Quiros. It reads like a who's who of the next golfing generation.
What's at stake for the men up top?
If Villegas wins he is legitimately the hottest golfer on tour, and nobody is talking about the biceps or the haircut. He was a missed three-footer away from making the finals a week ago at the Accenture, and it would be his third victory on tour in three seasons.
If we had Ryan Moore walk away with the trophy, it would lay truth to the David Duval theory, that all a college prodigy has to do is get that first victory, and then the spout begins to overflow.
Kim's win would be huge for the 24 year old. Breaking through in his sophomore season on tour with two wins, Kim struggled in 2009 and everyone has awaited his inevitable comeback. So far this week, Kim has yet to make a bogey, and if he could somehow play the front nine (17 pars, one birdie) like he has played the back nine (nine pars, nine birdies), this could be a runaway.
Fowler would be a different story. Not since Tiger has a youngster came out of his amateur status as dominate as Rickie. Barely 21, Fowler has three top-10s as a pro, including a playoff loss in this here state. A win would mean the hype was quickly answered.
And then comes Quiros. Not nearly as well known around these parts, the Spaniard winning would keep with the J.B. Holmes corollary that long hitters dominate at TPC Scottsdale.
No matter the outcome, just know that the 2010 Waste Management Open has already been a success ... and we still have two more days.