Lucas Herbert claimed his first European Tour title after winning a dramatic play-off against Christiaan Bezuidenhout at the Dubai Desert Classic.

Final rounds of 68 propelled the duo into a share of the lead at nine under par after they had started Sunday six shots behind overnight leader Wu Ashun.

Herbert was in trouble after finding the water in the first play-off hole but saved himself with a brilliant shot before taking the title with a two-putt birdie.

The 24-year-old, a fitting champion on Australia Day, dedicated his first Tour triumph at his 50th attempt to those affected by the devastating bush fires back at home.

"It's the best thing ever, it's so good," said Herbert, who was born in Victoria. "We've got a bottle of scotch at home to celebrate back in Australia so I can't wait to get into that with the boys.

"There's some pretty average stuff happening in Australia right now with the fires, and Cam Smith said it a couple of weeks ago when he won [in Hawaii], everyone around the world is behind us and hopefully we can keep fighting harder than what I did on that first play-off hole.

"That's nothing compared to the firefighters and volunteers that are putting out the fires, so I'm sending all my love back home."

Bezuidenhout seemed most adept at dealing with the wet and windy conditions, as Wu double-bogeyed the 10th before further dropped shots on the 11th, 13th and 15th saw him drop out of contention.

However, with a two-shot lead on the 18th fairway, Bezuidenhout sent his third shot into the water and only a terrific putt limited the damage to a bogey.

That gave Herbert an opening, having gained shots on the 11th, 13th and 17th, and he duly delivered with a birdie finish to force the play-off.

Herbert exclaimed, "Oh my God – that may be the worst shot I've ever hit", as he sent his second shot into the water from the fairway, but a superb approach from the drop zone saw him match Bezuidenhout with a par five.

A thumping drive from back on the tee put the pressure on the South African, who found the rough behind the green and missed a birdie putt by inches, allowing Herbert to tap in for the trophy.

Sebastian Soderberg raced into the record books as he completed the quickest round in European Tour history at the Dubai Desert Classic on Sunday.

The Swede was the first man out on the course and at times sprinted between holes to rush through the final round in a record-breaking 97 minutes.

Soderberg birdied the fifth hole and bogeyed four others en route to a three-over 75, equal to his second-round score and superior to the five-over 77 he carded on Saturday.

"I just tried to play as fast as possible," the 29-year-old told the European Tour's media channel.

"I felt like it would be a fun thing to do and I didn't necessarily think it would hurt my game too much.

"I said we would try to go as fast as possible the first five, six holes, but I took my time - or a little time - on putts and all the shots and just ran in between.

"I played quite well in the beginning, so we just kept going. I struggled the last two days so I figured it wouldn't really hurt my game just to jog in between and not think too much. I think three over is not bad, with zero fairways hit."

Younger brother Jasper caddied for Soderberg and admitted it was difficult at times to keep up the pace.

"Feeling better now," he said. "There were some tough spots out there. Not running for a while, I got to catch my breath. Now I'm feeling pretty good about it."

Wu Ashun took advantage of a "happy Chinese New Year shot" as he seized the lead after the third round of the Dubai Desert Classic.

The 34-year-old from China has three previous wins on the European Tour and gave himself hope for a fourth as a five-under-par 67 secured a one-shot lead.

Wu led by four at one stage, after successive birdies at 10, 11 and 12, but a dropped shot at the 16th and no further gains left him 11 under after 54 holes and allowed the field to close in.

Frenchman Victor Perez moved to one behind as he matched Wu's 67, while Englishman Tom Lewis scorched to a 65 and shared third place on nine under with Americans Kurt Kitayama and Bryson DeChambeau, who posted 68 and 70 respectively.

Eddie Pepperell fell from first place overnight to sixth on his own after a level-par 72.

Wu must have had an inkling it would be his day when his second shot at the first, out of the rough, cleared the greenside bunker and zipped across the green and straight into the hole for an eagle.

He picked up a shot at the third too, chipping in to seize the lead, before the streak of birdies after the turn looked like making it a procession.

It was not that way in the end, but Wu nevertheless heads into the final day at the top of the leaderboard.

Asked about his stroke of fortune at the first, Wu said: "That's like a happy Chinese New Year shot. The first hole, and the second shot's unbelievable for me, for a very good start. I was very happy."

The chip-in at three also had Wu celebrating.

"I've been working hard on my short game, but some days you get lucky and can chip from everywhere," he said in a European Tour interview.

"You get a good feeling and I got the good feeling today."

Going into the final round, Wu hopes his experience as a multiple winner on tour will influence the outcome.

"That is always good experience," he said. "So I feel very, very comfortable and very relaxed for playing the final round."

Eddie Pepperell holds a one-shot lead at the halfway stage of the Dubai Desert Classic after carding a second round of 67.

The Englishman followed up Thursday's 69 with seven birdies and two bogeys to move to eight under par, a stroke clear of Dean Burmester, who was involved in a car crash on Wednesday, Bryson DeChambeau and Robert Karlsson.

Pepperell was six under through 13 holes only to see his form falter when the broadcasters started paying close attention.

"I was happy with how I was feeling early and I got off to a nice start," said the 29-year-old.

"For the most part, it was very, very good until the cameras came along. I must have been concerned with how I was looking because then I started struggling!"

DeChambeau opened with three consecutive birdies and made three further gains at the 10th, 13th and 14th holes after a slip at the par-four sixth for the second day in a row.

A further birdie at the 17th allowed the 2019 winner to recover from another dropped shot on the par-three 15th and end the day in a tie for second.

Tommy Fleetwood is four strokes off the lead after a brilliant 65 propelled him back up the leaderboard following an opening round of 75.

Compatriot Lee Westwood also enjoyed a 10-shot swing, his four under for the day just enough for him to make the cut after a miserable opening 78 that included six bogeys.

Graeme McDowell was less fortunate, the 2010 U.S. Open champion finishing at three over after failing to recover from a double bogey at the fifth.

Thomas Pieters recovered from a dramatic mid-round slump to snatch the first-round lead at the Dubai Desert Classic.

The Belgian began on the back nine and made a storming start with five birdies by the turn, but a double-bogey six at the first and another dropped shot at the second threatened to undo his good work.

Yet Pieters showed his steely side by making three birdies in succession from the fifth, signing for a five-under-par 67 and a one-shot cushion at the top of the leaderboard.

The impressive effort nudged him ahead of American David Lipsky, whose 68 contained no such dramas.

At one stage Lipsky, who also began at the 10th hole, was five under too, but a dropped shot at the fourth halted his charge.

South African Shaun Norris would have held the outright overnight lead but for a calamity at his final hole.

He was another to start at the 10th, and the 37-year-old reached the ninth sitting pretty on six under; however, a triple-bogey seven after finding water resulted in a sorry slide back into a share of third on three under.

Norris had plenty of company on that mark at Emirates Golf Club, with 11 players alongside him including England's Eddie Pepperell, Sweden's Robert Karlsson, Dane Soren Kjeldsen and China's three-time European Tour winner Wu Ashun.

American Bryson DeChambeau was in a group of four on two under, with major winners Padraig Harrington, Sergio Garcia and Louis Oosthuizen all one under, the same mark as Ian Poulter. Open champion Shane Lowry was tied for 30th after a level-par 72.

Thursday's round was one to forget for Lee Westwood, though, four days after his triumph at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The 46-year-old Englishman earned over €1million for his efforts last week but faces a likely missed cut in Dubai after starting with a 78, six over par, that left him down in a tie for 113th place.

Former Masters champion Danny Willett was another off the pace, a four-over 76 leaving him with plenty of ground to make up on Friday.

Jack Nicklaus, the most prolific winner of major championships in golf, celebrates his 80th birthday on Tuesday.

To mark the occasion, here are 18 facts about the Golden Bear, one for each of his major victories.

 

- Despite his unmatched success at the highest level, Nicklaus only defended a major title on one occasion, at the 1966 Masters.

- Before turning professional, Nicklaus won two U.S. Amateur titles in 1959 and 1961. The second of those wins saw him thrash Dudley Wysong 8 and 6.

- He is one of only two players, together with Tiger Woods, to have completed the triple career grand slam by winning all four majors at least three times. Nicklaus achieved the feat in 1978, claiming his third Open title at St Andrews. Woods followed suit 30 years later with his third U.S. Open win.

- Nicklaus' final appearances at each of the four majors coincided with victories for Woods - at the 2000 U.S. Open, 2000 US PGA Championship, 2005 Masters and 2005 Open.

- There were five years - across three decades - in which Nicklaus claimed two major wins: 1963, 1966, 1972, 1975 and 1980.

- Nicklaus' memorable Masters victory in 1986 was his sixth, the most of any player. He played the back nine in six under par as he become the oldest winner of the tournament at 46.

- The most successful seasons of Nicklaus' career - in terms of PGA Tour wins - came in 1972 and 1973. He won seven tournaments in both of those years.

- The Golden Bear held sole possession of the 54-hole lead at a major on eight occasions and went on to seal victory every time.

- His record margin of victory at a major was achieved at the 1965 Masters, a tournament he won by nine strokes. Gary Player and Arnold Palmer were joint second, with the trio having shared the lead after 36 holes. Nicklaus' nine-shot victory was a record triumph at Augusta until Woods won by 12 in 1997.

- Nicklaus holds the record for the most top-10 finishes at every major, recording 22 top-10s at the Masters, 18 at the U.S. Open, 18 at The Open and 15 at the US PGA. His overall tally of 73 major top-10s puts him well clear of nearest rivals Sam Snead (48) and Tom Watson (46). Woods has 41 to date.

- The last PGA Tour cheque of Nicklaus' illustrious career earned him $11,130, when he finished in a tie for 63rd at the 2004 edition of the Memorial Tournament, aged 64.

- A teenage Nicklaus finished 12th on his PGA Tour debut, at the 1958 Rubber City Open. He was only one off the lead after 36 holes.

- In an stunning run from the 1973 Masters to the 1976 Masters, Nicklaus recorded top-10 finishes at 13 successive majors. Hogan holds the record with 18.

- Nicklaus was awarded the Congressional Gold Medal in 2014 - the highest civilian honour available in the United States. He became only the seventh athlete to receive the honour and the third golfer after Byron Nelson and Palmer.

- When Nicklaus won The Open for the fourth and final time in 1980, it represented his 15th consecutive top-six finish at the event. That remarkable streak featured three of his four wins and six of his seven runner-up finishes.

- Nicklaus won the 1956 Ohio Open as a 16-year-old amateur, beating a host of professional players. He credited the win to Snead, having played an exhibition with the golfing great after round one of the tournament.

- In 17 consecutive seasons from 1962 to 1978, Nicklaus won at least two events on the PGA Tour. He also finished in the top four in the money list in each of these seasons.

- Last but not least, Nicklaus' haul of 18 majors remains the benchmark. Woods claimed his 15th, after an 11-year barren spell, at last year's Masters, but still has lots of work to do to catch Jack.

Lee Westwood held off a final-round charge from birthday boy Tommy Fleetwood to take victory in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The Englishman scooped his 25th European Tour title, and first since triumphing at the Nedbank Challenge in November 2018, as a five-under-par 67 took him to 19 under for the week.

Fleetwood and Frenchman Victor Perez finished off with rounds of 63 for a share of second place with Matthew Fitzpatrick, who had a 67, but it was Westwood's day as he finished two clear.

With his 47th birthday approaching in April, this performance in the desert was a timely reminder of Westwood's enduring class, and it means he has scored European Tour wins in four decades, having first made his mark in the 1990s.

He held a one-shot lead overnight from Bernd Wiesberger and Francesco Laporta, but neither man challenged on the final day, falling back to eighth and a share of 17th respectively after rounds of 72 and 74.

Instead it was Westwood's compatriot Fleetwood and Perez mounting an assault, the latter helped by an eagle at the par-five 18th.

They came close, but Westwood held his nerve at the last by making his third birdie on the 18th of the week to guarantee his success.

When reminded about his career longevity in a European Tour interview, Westwood said: "It's been a good week. I can't believe I'm that old! It's getting harder."

Westwood is set to climb into the world's top 30, having started the week in 63rd, and a Ryder Cup ticket could be coming his way.

"I'm not sure I can take any more Ryder Cups," he said. "I've played 10 and it was good watching the lads last time.

"Obviously if there's a chance of that I might as well go for it. But it's just nice to keep proving that you've still got it."

Fleetwood was bidding to win this event for a third time after consecutive successes in 2017 and 2018, and on his 29th birthday it was a stunning effort to get close to Westwood.

He said: "Every week we play, somebody's going to play great golf, and at the moment that's Lee, but I'm very, very happy with my weekend. I feel like I played some really, really good golf.

"It was nice getting the juices flowing on the last few, knowing that I could post a score."

South African Louis Oosthuizen had a 66 to take fifth on 15 under, with his countryman Shaun Norris going one better with a 65 for a share of sixth with England's Ross Fisher, who closed out his week with a 67 score.

Martin Kaymer signed off with a 65 and Sergio Garcia had a 70 as the former major winners tied with Wiesberger and Scotland's Scott Jamieson for eighth on 13 under.

Francesco Laporta shot a sublime nine-under 63 to take a one-shot lead at halfway in the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

The 124-ranked Laporta lit up the back nine at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on Friday, birdying six of the last eight holes to move above Matt Fitzpatrick and Rafa Cabrera Bello, .

Laporta charged 49 places on the leaderboard to head into the weekend in the mix for a first European Tour title.

He hit the turn in 33, having made three gains on the front nine of a bogey-free round.

"I just want to enjoy the weekend," said the 29-year-old surprise front-runner, who will tee off on 10 under on Saturday.

"I played solid all 18 holes, my putting was solid, my driver, my irons. 

"I gave myself a lot of opportunities for birdies and so when I had the opportunities, I took them. Every time I was putting for birdie, I made it. It was a great day."

Fitzpatrick had set the clubhouse target with a five-under 67 following four birdies in the last six holes.

The Englishman is bogey-free for the week, sitting in a share of second with Cabrera Bello, who shot a four-under 68.

Cabrera Bello's countryman Sergio Garcia, Li Haotong and Renato Paratore are two shots adrift of Laporta.

Lee Westwood and Louis Oosthuizen are among five players on seven under, while world number one Brooks Koepka slipped back to three under with a three-over 75.

Defending champion Shane Lowry will not be retaining his title after the Open champion missed the cut.

World number one Brooks Koepka shot a blemish-free 66 on his comeback and was two shots off the lead after the first round at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship.

Koepka was playing in his first tournament since October, when he aggravated a knee injury, and the four-time major winner was able to quickly find his rhythm in the United Arab Emirates.

Having started with a birdie at the 10th, Koepka was four under at the turn before making further gains at the second and third.

The American was unable to pick up further strokes on his final six holes, though, and he ended the day two adrift of co-leaders Shaun Norris and Renato Paratore, both of whom shot eight-under 64s.

"It feels good to be back," Koepka told Sky Sports.

"I've missed the competition, obviously, and I played really solid.

"Missed a few putts there early if I really want to pick it apart but drove it really well, controlled the ball flight and controlled distances really well and that's what you have got to do out here."

While the closing stages of Koepka's round were solid rather than spectacular, Norris and Paratore both shot up the leaderboard by finishing with a flourish.

Norris picked up seven shots in nine holes from the eighth while Paratore carded four successive birdies to finish.

Italian Paratore, who has one previous European Tour win to his name, lost in a play-off at his most recent tournament in Mauritius while South African Norris has had nine top-10 finishes in his last 14 events worldwide.

Spanish duo Rafa Cabrera Bello and Sergio Garcia sat in the group at five under while Branden Grace, a winner in his native South Africa last week, was among those a stroke further back.

Brooks Koepka feels everyone in golf will benefit if Tiger Woods can stay fit for the duration of 2020.

Other than his PGA Tour record-equalling 82nd win at the Zozo Championship in Japan, which arrived in October, Woods struggled for form and fitness in the aftermath of his sensational win at The Masters last year.

He had knee surgery in August after missing the cut at the US PGA Championship and The Open, as well as finishing in a tie for 21st at the U.S. Open.

Koepka, who himself suffered a serious knee injury in 2019, hopes Woods will be back to his best and knows his fellow American is still capable of achieving serious success at the age of 44.

"Hopefully his body holds up because it's good for the game, it's good for golf, it's good for everybody," Koepka said to Omnisport after being asked about Woods' prospects for this year and beyond.

"It all depends on his health, I don't know how he's feeling. I'm not in his body. But if he's healthy obviously he can win, we all know how good he is, I don't think that's in question. 

"But it all depends on his body. If he feels good he can definitely compete, he can win, there is no question."

Woods will make his return to the course at next week's Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines, while Koepka will open his campaign at the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship on Thursday.

That European Tour appearance will be four-time major winner Koepka's first outing since he withdrew from the CJ Cup with his knee injury in October.
 

Koepka was talking ahead of the Abu Dhabi HSBC Championship presented by EGA, where they were predicting the future of the game and how it could change over the next 10 years. They were joined by members of the HSBC Future Falcons junior golf programme - an initiative which has introduced nearly 80,000 children to golf since its launch.

Branden Grace carded a stunning final-round 62 to claim the South African Open title ahead of reigning champion Louis Oosthuizen.

Grace, who was one over after two holes, enjoyed a superb day on the Firethorn Course in Johannesburg, with an eagle three at the fourth the highlight of a nine-under-par score.

He surged past fellow South African Oosthuizen, whose 68 included an ace at the eighth, and signed for the same score he famously achieved in the third round of the 2017 Open Championship.

With a total score of 21 under, Grace finished three strokes clear of 2010 Open champion Oosthuizen, who had slept on a one-shot lead, while Marcus Armitage ended the tournament a further two back in third.

"That was remarkable," Grace said in quotes reported by the European Tour website. "I played flawless golf and I can't remember the last time the putter was that hot.

"This is the one I really wanted. This means so much to any South African, winning on home soil, the guys get so behind you and it's such an emotional feeling."

Grace did not initially offer much of a hint of what was to come and he slipped further off the pace with a dropped shot on the second hole.

But that setback proved the catalyst for a superb round which featured eight birdies in addition to his eagle.

Oosthuizen, who won this event by six shots last year, was unable to build on his hole in one – sealed courtesy of a fortuitous bounce – with a solitary birdie his only other gain on a blemish-free card.

Elsewhere in the field, 18-year-old amateur Jayden Trey Schaper closed with a chip-in birdie to finish in a tie for sixth. 

Louis Oosthuizen is primed to claim back-to-back South African Open titles on home soil after taking a one-shot lead in Johannesburg on Saturday.

Defending champion and home favourite Oosthuizen went into the third round at Randpark Golf Club three shots off the pace but carded a bogey-free seven-under 64 on the Firethorn Course to hit the front on 15 under.

The 2010 Open Championship winner scrambled magnificently, playing some magnificent shots amid the rough and trees, to remain ahead of Marcus Armitage.

Armitage surged into contention after a pair of eagles in a brilliant 62, with only a bogey at the last denying him a share of the lead.

Jaco Ahlers is a shot back in third, with 18-year-old South Africa amateur Jayden Trey Schaper among a five-man group on 12 under.

Overnight leader Tapio Pulkkanen fell five shots off the pace set by the impressive Oosthuizen.

Tapio Pulkkanen moved into pole position at the South African Open on Friday, with defending champion Louis Oosthuizen three shots off the pace.

Pulkkanen, yet to claim a win on the European Tour, shot a five-under 66 on the Firethorn Course to take a one-shot lead on 11 under for the tournament after two rounds in Johannesburg.

Jaco Ahlers could have gone into moving day level with the Finn after birdies on the 15th, 16th and 17th, but a costly bogey at the last saw him slip into a group of five players on 10 under.

Thriston Lawrence was also part of the tie for second after carding four birdies and an eagle in a flawless 65, with amateur Jayden Trey Schaper keeping him company after going five under on the back nine.

Oosthuizen signed for a two-under 69 to drop into a share of 11th with Branden Grace. Overnight leader Johannes Veerman was unable to match his stunning 62 in round one, slipping to a four-way tie for seventh on nine under with an even-par 71.

Johannes Veerman finished day one of the South African Open in stunning fashion to card the lowest round of his European Tour career and claim a one-shot lead.

The American - ranked 327th - has been in excellent shape early in the 2020 Race to Dubai, securing a pair of top-10 finishes, after battling to make it through the Qualifying School last year.

That form continued in Johannesburg as he carded a bogey-free 62 on Thursday on Randpark's Bushwillow Course, topping the leaderboard at nine-under.

Heavy overnight rain contributed to a slightly slower start, but Veerman played the back nine in 29 with four straight birdies from the 15th.

"It was a good round of golf today," he said. "The course was set up to go low out there.

"The wind didn't blow hard, the rough isn't long and the greens were receptive, so there was a good number out there.

"I kept hitting a lot of good shots on the front nine but I didn't make as many putts as I did on the back nine. On the back nine, I made two long ones of 40-plus feet.

"I hit 17 greens today, so that's a lot of chances I had for birdie."

Veerman's nearest challengers were Nino Bertasio and JC Ritchie on eight under, and Branden Grace played the best Firethorn Course round of the day to join five others a further shot back.

There were four home hopefuls in the top nine, while defending champion Louis Oosthuizen had a share of 10th on six under.

The 37-year-old went bogey-free but lost momentum after three consecutive birdies ending at the 12th, playing each of the remaining holes at even par.

The evolving world of sport means a new decade is likely to see widespread change.

With superstars like Lionel Messi, LeBron James, Roger Federer and Lewis Hamilton unlikely to be plying their trades in 2030, the stage is set for new names to come to the fore.

Omnisport's team of writers have tipped 20 20-year-olds to do just that over the next 10 years.

 

Men's football: Joao Felix

A €126m move from Benfica to Atletico Madrid made Joao Felix the second most expensive teenager in football history. His career in LaLiga is yet to truly ignite but the forward's lavish gifts are beyond doubt as he faces up to the decade when Cristiano Ronaldo will leave the stage for their native Portugal. Joao Felix is the anointed heir.

Basketball: Luka Doncic

The 2018 EuroLeague MVP and 2019 NBA Rookie of the Year, Doncic's incredible rise has continued unchecked this season – he is averaging 28.8 points, 9.5 rebounds and 9.0 assists for the Dallas Mavericks. He should earn a first All-Star appearance this season and make his bow in the playoffs, where you would expect to see him featuring regularly in the coming years.

Cricket: Prithvi Shaw

Opening batsman Shaw became the youngest Indian to score a Test hundred on debut in 2018 and followed that up with a half-century in his second appearance. However, last year was one to forget for Shaw, who had injury problems before serving a six-month doping ban having taken a substance typically found in cough syrups. A first-class double hundred last month suggests he is ready to make up for lost time.

Tennis: Marketa Vondrousova

Although she was unable to win a title on the WTA Tour in 2019, Vondrousova was the runner-up at the French Open – one of three final appearances last year – and having risen to 16th in the world rankings she looks set to break the top 10 soon. The Czech's unorthodox playing style and penchant for drop shots makes her a particularly entertaining watch.

Formula One: Lando Norris

Norris enjoyed an excellent debut season in Formula One, helping McLaren to an impressive fourth place in the constructors' championship. After landing three straight points finishes to end the year, he carries momentum into 2020 and looks capable of challenging Charles Leclerc and Max Verstappen over the next 10 years.

UFC: Chase Hooper

Featherweight Hooper was awarded a development deal after winning the second season of Dana White's Tuesday Night Contender Series in 2018 and is the youngest fighter on the UFC roster. He improved his unbeaten mixed martial arts record to 8-0-1 by stopping David Teymur in the first round of a thoroughly impressive UFC debut in December.

American football: Trevor Lawrence

The NFL is blessed with talented young quarterbacks like Patrick Mahomes, Lamar Jackson and Deshaun Watson, but the potential star of the 2020s will not enter the league until 2021 at the earliest. Clemson's Lawrence possess the size, skill and nerve to succeed at the next level. He is still yet to lose a game in college and is one win away from back-to-back National Championships.

Sport climbing: Janja Garnbret

Sport climbing will make its Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020 and Garnbret is a favourite for success. She successfully defended her bouldering and combined titles at last year's world championships and added gold in the lead discipline. The Slovenian's tally of 14 International Federation of Sport Climbing titles is unprecedented.

Rugby league: Tom Flegler

Front-rower Flegler enjoyed a hugely promising breakthrough year with Brisbane Broncos in 2019, featuring 23 times in his maiden campaign. He has reportedly knocked back a host of lucrative offers to remain with Brisbane in 2020 and will now aim to make an even bigger impact.

Women's football: Georgia Stanway

Vastly experienced for her age, Stanway joined Manchester City from Blackburn Rovers and made her Women's Super League debut at 16 in 2015. She won her second FA Cup with a goalscoring player-of-the-match display as City beat West Ham 3-0 in 2019's Wembley final and was the youngest member of an England squad Phil Neville led to the World Cup semi-finals. If the Lionesses are to take the next step over the coming decade, expect Stanway to play a vital role.

Rugby union: Marcus Smith

Harlequins fly-half Smith is knocking on the door for full England selection after an impressive first two years of his club career. He was man of the match in last July's win over Barbarians, which fans of Eddie Jones' side will hope is a sign of things to come over the next decade.

Golf: Matthew Wolff

The PGA Tour welcomed a host of talented rookies in 2019, but Wolff may just be the best of the bunch. A standout college player with an unorthodox swing that generates enormous power, he won last July's 3M Open in only his third professional start.

MotoGP: Fabio Quartararo

After Jorge Lorenzo, the only man to defeat Marc Marquez in a MotoGP world championship, retired, and with Valentino Rossi nearing the end of his career, fans are looking to the next generation. That group looks set to be led by Quartararo, who will ride a factory-spec Yamaha for 2020 after claiming six pole positions and seven podiums in a magnificent rookie season.

Golf: Nasa Hataoka

Already fifth in the women's world rankings, Hataoka has claimed three LPGA Tour titles in the past 18 months, after becoming the first amateur to win a major on the Japan LPGA Tour back in 2016.

Baseball: Vladimir Guerrero Jnr

Guerrero has a lot to live up to but has already shown enough to suggest he may follow his father into baseball's Hall of Fame. Having signed for the Toronto Blue Jays as a free agent in 2015, Guerrero served his time in the minors before making his debut in the Major Leagues last April. He spent the rest of his maiden season displaying the kind of power that has marked him out as a star of the future, hitting .272, mashing 15 home runs and knocking in 69 RBI. By the end of the next decade, his may well be the face of baseball.

Ice Hockey: Quinn Hughes

Hughes, who could not even debut for the Vancouver Canucks until he recovered from an ankle injury in March, is an elite defenseman who also sat top of the rookie assist chart in late December.

Swimming: Michael Andrew

This year is an Olympic one and for the first time since the 1996 Games, Michael Phelps will not be in the pool. The United States needs a new swimming hero, and the hope is that Phelps' namesake can be the next star. Andrew was the youngest US swimmer to ever turn professional when he did so at 14 and, having finished fourth in the 50 metres butterfly at the 2019 World Aquatics Championships, he appears primed to be a breakout star in Tokyo.

Tennis: Denis Shapovalov

Shapovalov finished 2019 at a career-high ATP ranking of 15th, having won his first title in Stockholm. Expect his threat at the 2020 majors to be very real.

Athletics: Sydney McLaughlin

At the 2019 World Athletics Championships in Doha, gold in the 4x400 metres relay followed silver in the 400m hurdles for McLaughlin. Only a Dalilah Muhammad world record was enough to deny her the victory.

Boxing: Joseph Adorno

Currently plying his trade in the lightweight division, Adorno was brought up in Puerto Rico and his thunderous left hook has drawn comparisons to Miguel Cotto – the great four-weight world champion hailing from that boxing-mad island. Promoters Top Rank will look to step up Adorno's level of opposition in 2020, although anyone climbing into the corner opposite a young man boasting a 14-0 record with 12 knockouts should make sure they get well paid.

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