2018 Major Championship Predictions

The tradition of trying to prematurely predict each major champion for the entire year continues with Golf is Mental’s 5th annual Major Championship Predictions. I seem to do this earlier and earlier each year, because sometimes in golf the less time you spend grinding over something and the less info you try to process, the better.

In my 2017 predictions I did predict that both Sergio and Spieth would be major champions, but unfortunately I mixed up which majors they would win, predicting Spieth at The Masters and Sergio at The Open. I’m still going to give myself half a point for that.

The Masters

Winner: Tiger Woods

Wow. Really? Yes. I’m going to be accosted for this, but I saw all I needed to see in the Bahamas. If Tiger stays that healthy, I’m looking for a surprisingly good year from him. I don’t care if he misses the cut at Torrey, or somewhere else. That’s going to happen along the way as he finds his competitive swagger again, but the guy could Top 10 at Augusta playing left-handed, and has contended there even when his game and life have been in shambles. If the new-and-fused Tiger is going resume his quest to take down Jack, Augusta is his best bet. He’ll dawn another green jacket this April and life will be good again. Book it.

Image via GettyImages
Tiger Woods receives the Masters green jacket from 1996 Masters champion Nick Faldo after Woods won the 1997 Masters tournament (Photo cred: TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP/Getty Images)

U.S. Open

Winner: Dustin Johnson

The last time Shinnecock Hills hosted a U.S. Open in 2004, the USGA let the course setup go off the rails a bit and a lot of people’s feelings were hurt. I don’t think they’ll let that happen again, but I do think they’ll be looking for a tougher setup after Erin Hills failed to instill any fear whatsoever in the players. The guys get to play somewhat fearless most weeks of the year, so I’m OK when the USGA tries to get in their grill a bit. A bomber who just DGAF about how the course is setup is going to win here, so DJ is the obvious choice. While Kevin Na and company are posting cry-for-help videos on social media about how tough Shinny is setup, DJ will be thinking about all the ways he can bring it to its knees.

The Open Championship

Winner: Tommy Fleetwood

The timing of this post may make this prediction appear like recency bias, but Fleetwood Mac has been on my mind to fill this spot well before his W in Abu Dhabi. The guy can flat out play and is clearly trending towards a major victory. He’s a ball striking machine and master of his traj, which will serve him well at place like Carnoustie. Tommy Fleetwood is no Jean van de Velde.

PGA Championship

Winner: Jordan Spieth

I’ll be honest, I didn’t know a ton about Bellerive Country Club before I looked it up for this post. The last time the Tour played here was in 2008 for the BMW Championship, where Camillo Villegas won. While I wouldn’t bet my pocket lint on Camillo winning a PGA Championship here, I have a hunch the course won’t favor any specific type of player. A few others who Top 10’d here in 2008 include Jim Furyk, Dudley Hart, KJ Choi, Tim Clark, Stephen Ames, Anthony Kim, Steve Stricker, and Aaron Baddeley…you get the idea (also, what a time capsule that leaderboard is!).

Anyway, seems like the kind of place Spieth could dissect with prudent iron shots and rolling in a bunch of 20 footers. After a majorless season thus far, and only a couple other random wins leading up to the PGA, the hyper-expectation What’s Wrong With Spieth crowd can finally rest easy.


Hmmmm, no Rory? No Rahm? There are dozens of studs who “should” win a major this year, but only 4 of them can. It is what it is.

Who do you have? (leave your picks in the comments section and if you beat me maybe you’ll get a prize)


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25 thoughts on “2018 Major Championship Predictions

  1. Good choices. Liking your call for Tommy Fleetwood in the Open: he is wondrous to watch on a good day. But harbour a hunch that this will be Rory’s year to do the business at Augusta. Cheers, Rob.

    1. Hey Rob,

      I don’t wish ill upon Rory at Augusta, I just tend to worry if he can putt those greens well enough for 4 days…we shall see. Could be an epic year at the majors.


  2. Love your bravado around Tiger…bold. As stated on Twitter, I am rolling with Rose (Masters), DJ (US Open), Fowler (Open) and Spieth (PGA). I’m rooting hard for Rory to have a massive come back season so he could runner-up all four and start creeping closer to Jack’s record of 19 runner up’s in majors. Cheers, Mike

    1. Hey Mike,

      I realize that predicting a Tiger win at Augusta is predicting the single greatest comeback achievement in all of sports, but I just have a feeling. Of course, its golf and I could be totally wrong. I like your picks…could be a thrilling season with all these great players appearing poised for a good year. I think Augusta is in Rory’s head…but I hope I’m wrong.


      1. I really think, with Tiger back and assuming he can play at a competitive level, that this is one of the more exciting times in the game in many, many years. Truth is, there’s likely almost 20 guys that a strong case could be made for to win any of the majors…and if a few of them bring their A game, Sundays at the majors could be dynamite!!

  3. Calling it here
    Masters- Dustin Johnson
    U.S. Open- Dustin Johnson
    The Open- Jon Rahm
    PGA Champ- Justin Thomas

    1. Hey Brian,

      I knew that one would get your attention! Based on what I saw in the Bahamas it is definitely premature to write him off…am I being over-optimistic that he’ll be competitively ready to win a major by April? I guess time will tell. Keeping his health will obviously be a big factor, not only for April but for years to come if this comeback is to be the real deal. It’ll be fun to watch!


  4. Great picks Josh! The entire golfing world will go nuts when he announces he will compete at Augusta. I think Spieth is always going to be a factor at the Masters and I am truly hoping for a dynamic leaderboard where we have the likes of Tiger/Phil battling against Spieth/Rory/DJ/JT….a battle of the generations would be amazing!

    Having said that, if I had to place money on it, here are my picks:

    Masters – Rose (so close twice before, he needs a green jacket in his collection)
    US Open – DJ (I think Shiny will be a beast, like Oakmont DJ will rise to the top)
    Open – Sergio (With the monkey off the back and birth of his daughter, Serg will get his revenge at Carnoustie)
    PGA – Spieth (agree with you on this, Spieth completes the slam in only his 2nd attempt)

    Can’t wait to watch this season unfold! Enjoy Tiger’s return tomorrow!

    1. Hey Cyrus,

      I like it! Rose is a great pick for The Masters…felt for him a bit last year, could have just as easily been his, it just happened to be Sergio’s time. I think it’s going to be a stellar year for the majors! A lot of exciting players poised for a big year.


  5. Josh.

    Tiger will win this season but im afraid it wont be any of the four majors. Here are my picks:

    Masters – Rory Mcilroy ( 4 top 10’s in a row and thats with his B game. The putter looks like its behaving already. Time for that Grandslam!!

    U.S Open : Branden Grace ( got the pedigree to be a U.S. Champ)

    The Open : Rickie Fowler (Plays great across the pond. Links suits his game. Have this sneaky feeling its his time for that elusive major)

    PGA : Joh Rahm ( call me superstitious. besides being a trend of having 1st time major winners. Four out of the last 5 pga’s have won their first major and there names all begin with the letter ‘J’ :). Not only that. Joh Rahm is an animal and a future golf sensation.



  6. The Open – Sergio – Carnoustie is a killer of a track played it a few times… Tommy top 5 – I do agree he’s a great striker -played Junior golf with him – always was one that was going places.

    The Masters – Dustin Johnson.. determined after his slip up last year.

    PGA – Rory

    US Open – Tiger Woods –

  7. With a mere hours to spare I get my picks in. With zero research! What is so awesome is how great everyone is playing now, Rahm, Tiger, Rory, Spieth, Phil, DJ, JD and on and on. Anyone could win.

    Master: Justin Rose
    US Open: Justin Thomas
    The Open: Ross Fisher
    PGA: Rickie Fowler

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