By Dave Begel Contributing Writer Published Apr 14, 2015 at 9:12 AM

It was such a small moment after 21-year-old Jordan Spieth made a shambles of Augusta National and won the Masters tournament in a style that has almost never been seen.

He marched off the 18th hole tied with Tiger Woods for the all-time low score in the storied event.

He hugged his caddie. Then a big embrace with his dad. Followed by a big embrace from mom. A hug for his brother. A chaste kiss for his girlfriend. A giant hug for grandpa. Then as he hugged two young family members his dad leaned over and said, as clear as day, "go to 18 Jordan."

Spieth turned away from the family and special fans and stepped onto the 18th green, hands held high,applauding the patrons over and over and over again. The crowd roared its tribute.

And then he turned and walked to the scoring tent, slapping every hand that stuck over the rope for a touch with greatness.

I was struck how 18 years ago another 21-year-old had won the Masters going away. Tiger Woods hugged his caddie. Then came the roaring emotional hug with his dad that seemed like it would never end. A brief hug for his mother and he strode down, firm face in place, toward the scorer’s table. He slapped nary a hand.

I point this out because while some, including me, have been worried about the future of professional golf.

What’s happened, of course, is that the virtually constant battle between Wood and Phil Mickelson is pretty much over. You can follow them and root for them if you want.

But the real action is now going to be between Spieth and Rory McIlroy. And it’s just about perfect.

They will fight each other in the majors. They will fight each other for the top spot in the world. One is American, the other is Irish. McElroy dates models and superstars. So far Spieth is with a long time girlfriend.

And they can both play. Boy how they can play. McIlroy is longer. Spieth probably has a slightly better short game.

But more than just their golf, they seem like good guys who recognize how important fans are to the world of the PGA Tour. McIlroy has an easy Irish humor mixed with a strong sense of pride. He is available. Spieth has that laconic Texas style with a firm case of confidence, He is available.

These two young men look like they will be the Palmer/Nicklaus of our day. Oh, other good young players will win tournaments. Some of the old horses will make a battle of it. Other people will win a major now and then.

But these two players seem ready to grab the PGA Tour by its crusty throat and move it into a new day. Much the same way that Magic Johnson and Larry Bird were the spark that lit the fire in the NBA.

Spieth’s performance in the year’s first major was hard to believe from someone so young. But he appears to have ice water in his veins and game that can’t be shaken.

His playing partner in the final round was Justin Rose.

"Every time I thought there might be a little chink in his armor he drain an eight- or 10-footer to keep us all way back," Rose said. "It was a truly special performance,"

Special. That’s a good word for Spieth and for McIlroy, and especially for the rivalry that’s brewing and may well be the salvation of professional golf.

Dave Begel Contributing Writer

With a history in Milwaukee stretching back decades, Dave tries to bring a unique perspective to his writing, whether it's sports, politics, theater or any other issue.

He's seen Milwaukee grow, suffer pangs of growth, strive for success and has been involved in many efforts to both shape and re-shape the city. He's a happy man, now that he's quit playing golf, and enjoys music, his children and grandchildren and the myriad of sports in this state. He loves great food and hates bullies and people who think they are smarter than everyone else.

This whole Internet thing continues to baffle him, but he's willing to play the game as long as keeps lending him a helping hand. He is constantly amazed that just a few dedicated people can provide so much news and information to a hungry public.

Despite some opinions to the contrary, Dave likes most stuff. But he is a skeptic who constantly wonders about the world around him. So many questions, so few answers.