As golf's silly season winds down (the last PGA Tour tournament is this weekend, in Mexico) and we start thinking about next calendar year, I wanted to take a look at where the four majors will be played in 2014.
A short history of the courses, what the storylines will be, and (gasp) maybe even a few predictions. Let's jump in.
Augusta will not be bereft of stories next spring. This tournament is always filled to the brim with tales of greatness but mix in Tiger Woods' return to the ball drop incident, Adam Scott trying to repeat, and Jordan Spieth's first Masters and we could be in for a special tournament.
The Woods fervor will be at an all-time high, too. He hasn't won here since 2005 (we're coming up on a decade!) and how he plays here will set the tone for the rest of his 2014 season.
I can't wait for the calendar to flip so we can start rolling with the Masters talk. There's not a more intriguing sporting event all year -- as Scott Van Pelt noted on Twitter earlier this year that Augusta never disappoints. He's right.
2014 US Open
There will be no storylines other than the Phil Mickelson one. I mean, there will be, you just won't notice them because Lefty's quest for the career grand slam will overshadow them all.
As if there wasn't going to be enough attention paid to the event, Mickelson announced recently that he's cutting down his schedule all in an attempt to win the one that has eluded him.
Even better, the site of the '14 US Open is Pinehurst No. 2 which is where Mickelson first, and maybe most famously, came in second place.
Major winners at Pinehurst No. 2:
2014 British Open
You want more Tiger storylines? How about a return to Royal Liverpool Golf Club in Hoylake this year. Last time the Open was there, in 2006, Woods shot a final-round 67 to beat Chris DiMarco by two strokes (18 under to 16 under).
I love the international fervor that permeates this tournament, too. Between
Open winners at Royal Liverpool: Woods (2006), Robert De Vicenzo (1967), Peter Thomson (1956),
2014 PGA Championship
More Tiger Woods! More Tiger Woods!
Last time a major was at Valhalla in 2000 Tiger beat Bob May in that zany back nine that included a 31 (!) from both Woods and May. The famous Woods putt, chase, and point happened that year:
Valhalla was also the site of the 2008 Ryder Cup -- the last one the US team won (strangely, without Woods). You might remember it as "the tournament where Boo Weekley rode his drive like it was a horse."
Major winners at Valhalla: Woods (2000 PGA Championship),