10 predictions for 2014
Lots of Tiger Woods, major winners, Masters field, and three guys I think will have big years.
The PGA Tour season starts on Friday (wait, it started in October so it continues on Friday with the Tournament of Champions) and I wanted to get some predictions in before we get going on 2014.
I did this last year and got three of 10 correct, whiffing pretty badly on a few.
Here are my 10 for 2014.
1. Americans will sweep the majors and Ryder Cup: I'm hedging a bit, I know, considering I picked Adam Scott to win the British Open but I think this is in play. The US was a Hunter Mahan Sunday meltdown at Merion from turning the trick in 2013, albeit in the Presidents Cup, not the Ryder Cup. But still.
2. Fans calling in rules from home will be completely removed from the game: And many of you will rejoice loudly. This is such a slippery slope and the main argument against it is that no other sport allows it. I think golf's leaders eradicate it from the game. They already took a big step in that direction.
3. A big name (top 25) player will be embroiled in a drug scandal: I don't know who it will be but Vijay Singh and his lawyer are sort of laying the foundation for such an event.
No sport has more invested in its individual stars and with motive comes potential culpability. I'd be surprised if something on a big-time golfer didn't come out in the near future.
5. Tiger Woods won't win five times again: Last year was special (as many of Tiger's years are) because of how efficiently he won. He won't replicate that...
6. But Woods will win a major: And it will be the PGA Championship at Valhalla. Or the Masters. Or both? Both would be very, very good for golf.
7. Keegan Bradley will win the money title: He's my pick for most likely to usurp Tiger and Mickelson as the face of American golf. He seems to have another gear in his drive that some of the other younger guys don't. An off year in 2013 means big-time accolades in 2014.
8. Harris English will end the season in the top 20: Jordan Spieth went from 800-plus to No. 22 at the end of 2013 so English's leap from No. 53 to top 20 will be far less dramatic. The kid's already a star and he has the game to be a multiple-major winner.
9. Rory McIlroy will win (at least) twice: He's got his swagger back, he's recently-engaged, and he's going to light it up in 2014. I'm counting both European Tour and PGA Tour wins, by the way.
10. This year will make or break Tiger's chase: We won't be able to measure this for a long time but I think if Tiger wins a major this year, he at least catches Jack Nicklaus. If he doesn't, that chase is over. He just turned 38 and he knows the tank isn't full anymore.
The Texas duo will chase from behind in Round 4, but they could be in for an epic day
After the drama of the Texas Open, it turns out the Englishman will in fact keep his card
George Coetzee got one of the great breaks in recent memory on Friday
Fowler misses cut but leaves us with a better idea of how to boot a gator off the course
Two of the PGA Tour's best were invited to hang out with Sean Payton and company
It's not a record, but it's not far off either