Any golf season always revolves around what happens at the four majors and/or the Ryder Cup. That's the sharp reality of golf, especially in 2015 when golfers will be extra picky, selecting the specific tournaments in which they will play with more precision than ever before.
Even though it makes the other 48 weeks of the year seem less important, it sure does make those four major weeks feel like the only thing that matters in sports.
The Masters always overtakes the sports news cycle and with the US Open at a first-time venue, the British Open at St. Andrews and the PGA Championship at famed Whistling Straits, it will be another season of tremendous major championship weeks.
But what will happen?
You would have had to search long and hard to find somebody this time last year who would have rationally picked Rory McIlroy to win two majors in 2014 and Bubba Watson to beat a child into submission on the back nine at Augusta -- much less a European to win the US Open by nearly double-digit strokes.
Yet all of those things happened in 2014 and, strangely, none of them seemed out of place. I have no clue what 2015 has in store but here are my predictions for the majors anyway.
Masters: Tiger Woods
The hype will be too much for McIlroy to handle this year. I think the Ulsterman gets his career slam at some point, just not in 2015.
Woods, though, he's finished outside the top six one time at Augusta since 2004. One time. He probably should have won the thing in 2013, too. Maybe he won't win it next year, but you can bet he'll at least be in the mix on the weekend.
US Open: Henrik Stenson
If the Swede doesn't get it done in 2015, I don't think it will ever happen.
He finished T4 in 2014 at Pinehurst and the length of Chambers Bay will play into his long-iron-hitting hands.
We went from 2001-13 without having a year in which every major winner was a repeat but that won't happen again in 2015 (unless McIlroy wins them all.)
British Open: Rory McIlroy
I'm concerned that it's almost too obvious. A wide open bomber's course and McIlroy swinging for his second straight Claret Jug. What am I missing?
Last time the Open was at St. Andrews, McIlroy posted a second-round 80 (!) and still finished T3 -- a second-round 72 would have gotten him in a playoff and a 71 would have won him the tournament.
Of all the golfers at all the tournaments in 2015, this is the one of which I'm most confident (which means he'll ultimately miss the cut).
PGA Championship: Jason Day
At some point you just sort of have to say that it can't not happen. I flat out refuse to believe that Day will go major-less over his entire career.
In 2010 at Whistling Straits, Day shot a final-round 74 (which had nothing on Nick Watney's final-round 81) to finish four back of Martin Kaymer and Bubba Watson, so he's had some history at this course.
He'll tidy up the 2015 major season with two first-time winners and two legends taking home the hardware (or jackets).