It’s still pretty early in the 2014 season, but Augusta is going to come quick for a lot of players and the major championships will be underway. Tiger has looked rusty. So has Phil. Rory’s game seems to be coming around. Adam Scott was playing terrific golf and is now on hiatus. Even Sergio chalked up a win overseas. There have been first time winners and guys validating themselves with a second win. There are more guys with the game and the guts to win major championships than ever before, which makes the majors very unpredictable. But why not try!
I think the upcoming major championship venues beg for a throwback year. Has it really been that long since Tiger has won a major that we can call it a throwback year if he tallies one, or more? It certainly feels that way. He’s won on every course except Pinehurst No. 2, where he has finished in the top 3 twice. We all know Tiger is a creature of habit.
Here are my bold predictions for the 2014 major championships.
Winner: Tiger Woods
In Contention: Jason Day
Dark horse: Ryan Moore
Maybe it’s wishful thinking, but Tiger is overdue for another green jacket. The four time winner is almost always in contention at Augusta but his recent chances have been derailed by weekend putting woes. Despite a slow start this year, I think this is the year he finally has a good weekend on the greens and gets one closer to Jack. He put an emphasis on being rested this off season which will bode well for him to peak in April.
The US Open
Winner: Phil Mickelson
In Contention: Sergio Garcia
Dark horse: Graham DeLaet
A bit of a sentimental pick, who doesn’t want Phil to finally complete the career slam? He’s had success at Pinehurst No. 2 finishing second there in 1999 to Payne Stewart. Is it too much to ask to have Tiger and Phil pick up the first 2 majors?
I think this will be the year DeLaet picks up his first TOUR win, and also pops up on a leaderboard in a major. He’s one of the best ball strikers in the game and seems to have more and more confidence every time he tees it up. Go Canada!
The British Open
Winner: Tiger Woods
In Contention: Henrik Stenson
Dark horse: Thomas Bjorn
The Open returns to the site of Tiger’s 2006 emotional triumph. If the conditions are firm and fast again Tiger can leave his driver in the bag at Royal Liverpool and let his irons do the talking. Bad news for the rest of the field when Tiger plays from the fairway.
The PGA Championship
Winner: Henrik Stenson
In Contention: Rory McIlroy
Dark horse: Stephen Gallacher
Stenson has been playing too well not to get his first major this year. He’ll get redemption after a close call at the British Open. With Tiger being the last person to win at Valhalla in 2000, it was tough to pass on him. However, extensive changes to the course and new greens may take away some of his good vibes when he returns.
Stephen Gallacher might be someone to keep an eye on this year as he moves up the ranks and qualifies for more big events in the USA. Successfully defended the Dubai Desert Classic and played the first two rounds with Tiger and Rory. After making the turn on Sunday at 4-over, he battled all the way back to even par for his round to grab the title. That takes some guts. The guts required to contend in major championships.
Leave a reply with your own predictions and lets see who comes out on top!