Now that the 2013 PGA Season is firmly in our rear-view mirror and the 2014 season is just around the corner it’s time to start thinking about the new majors season. Not only did the 2013 season produce a ton of first-time winners on the PGA Tour, it also gave us three new major champions. What a season! In order for 2014 to out-perform the last campagne we should be in for some great golf.
It all started with the first major of the year at Augusta National and Adam Scott overcoming the Aussie Curse to give a whole continent its first Green Jacket. The end of the Masters was, in my opinion, the most exciting duel we had seen at Augusta in years. Along with Scott, other first-time major champs include Justin Rose at the US Open, and Jason Dufner at the PGA.
The only previous winner was Phil Mickelson, and after Lefty finished as a bridesmaid for the sixth time at the US Open, he won a tournament that no one though he would ever win. That’s why I love sports.
With all of that said, who do we think will end the drought and get that first major in 2014? ….Can Tiger Woods get number 15? ….Can Phil get that evasive US Open title?…you know, the ont that has slipped through his fingers ever since Payne Stewart beat him at Pinehurst in 1999? ….I don’t know about you, but I can’t wait until April.
With the growing list of golfers who have the game to win a major and have had good careers, but no major yet is not that long. Matt Kuchar, Steve Stricker, Lee Westwood, Dustin Johnson, Henrik Stenson and Ian Poulter. So who is going to break through this year?
The Masters .. Augusta National Golf Course
An obvious pick to win the Masters this year has to be Tiger Woods. Tiger has the game, and four Green Jackets to prove it. He knows the greens, the golf course, and had he not had a large debacle at the 15th hole on Friday last year, may have won number five on Sunday afternoon.
We haven’t had a repeat winner at Augusta since the 2001 and 2002 seasons when Tiger did the double duty, so I don’t think Adam Scott can really be declared the favorite in April.
If Dustin Johnson has spent some of the off-season time working on his short game, I would like him for a Green Jacket this year, but I’m not sure he has made the commitment to that part of his game yet. When he does, look-out, Augusta is not the only course that isn’t safe.
I know you’re going to think I’m a little goofy here, but I am going with the other Johnson. That’s right…. Zach. Zach Johnson was playing pretty well down the stretch at the end of the year and took on Tiger at Sherwood Forest, beating him at his own tournament in a playoff.
Zach is a one-trick pony with his little draw, immaculate wedge play, and with his ability to putt, puts him at the top of my list for his second Green Jacket.
US Open .. Pinhurst Resort
I would love to just give Phil Mickelson the trophy and be done with it, but how much fun would that be? No…in our system he’s going to have to do it the hard way, and earn it. I don’t think this will be Lefty’s last chance, but I also don’t think this is his year either.
Again, you are going to have doubts about what I have been smoking, but I like Rory McIlroy to be on his game again this year, and be very competitive. If he gets through the early part of the season including the Florida swing without dental problems, I like him at Pinehurst.
The Open Championship .. Royal Liverpool Golf Club
They haven’t played the Open Championship at Royal Liverpool since it was okay to call it the British Open. The year was 2006 and Tiger Woods was dominating the entire world of golf. He shot a four-day total of 18 under par, and won his third, and last Claret Jug. I think it will be a battle with Henrik Stenson, but Tiger will prevail for his set of four.
The PGA Championship .. Valhalla Golf Course
The last time the PGA Championship was played at Valhalla was 2000 and you guessed it, Tiger won that one as well. I think the PGA Championship comes down to a three-horse race. Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy, and Henrik Stenson. Sorry Matt Kuchar, you’ll get one soon, but not this year. After-all there are only four every year, and I don’t think this is your year.
Tiger would be the sentimental pick, and Rory always plays tough at the PGA, but I think Henrik Stenson needs to put the exclamation mark on his career, and that exclamation point after the success he had last year will net a major in 2014.
Hey…picks are are just that, picks. It’s almost like throwing darts at a board full of names and you have to pick someone, so these are my early picks to win the four majors in 2014.
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