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.
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.
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.
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)