Ten bold predictions for the 2013 golf season
Here are 10 predictions that will are sure to go horribly wrong by mid-April at the latest.
|Expect big things from Dustin Johnson in 2013. (GettyImages)|
With a new season starting this week (in prime time no less!), I decided it was time to bust out 10 predictions (you shouldn't bet any substantial amount of money on) for 2013.
Let's get to them.
1. Someone from England will win a major -- This doesn't seem like a real bold prediction until you remember that England has gone major-less since Nick Faldo's win at the 1996 Masters. So if you're scoring at home, in the last 16 years, Tiger Woods has 14 majors, the entire country of England has zero. Luke Donald, Ian Poulter, Justin Rose, Lee Westwood -- the stage is yours.
2. All four major winners will be first-timers -- It's only happened twice since 1970 (2011 and 2003). But with a fresh crop of baby-faced bombers now fully baptized into the Tour waters combined with some veterans desperate for their first time, I think it happens again in 2013.
3. Dustin Johnson will top the money list -- Johnson finished in the top 15 in money earned per event played last year ($178K) as well as posting the second-best top-10 percentage on Tour (47 percent of his tournaments played ended in a top-10 finish). All this, and he basically didn't play from the end of February until the beginning of June because of an injury. All that adds up to a big year for D.J.
4. We will welcome another golfer to the double-digit wins club -- The list of golfers with 10 or more PGA Tour wins is not lengthy (107 people total), but it will get a little bit longer in 2013. Those on the brink include Zach Johnson (nine), K.J. Choi (nine), Sergio Garcia (eight) and Adam Scott (eight).
5. Tiger Woods and Rory McIlroy will finish 1-2 in a tournament -- Even more stunningly, television executives will not be caught sabotaging other golfers' equipment to make this happen. The top two players in the world are locked in to have a great back-and-forth season. I, for one, am thrilled I get to watch it play out.
6. Louis Oosthuizen will post top 10s at all four majors -- The South African is poised to have his best year as a professional after finishing second at the 2012 Masters and going T-6, T-6, second, fifth in four tournaments to close out 2012. I don't think Oosthuizen closes the deal on a major, but he'll be in the hunt every time.
7. Peter Hanson will win PGA Tour rookie of the year -- The big Swede will take down bigger names Martin Kaymer, Nicolas Colsaerts and Ryo Ishikawa to take rookie of the year honors on Tour.
8. Tiger Woods will fire Sean Foley by the end of the year -- And go it alone for the twilight of his career. Woods doesn't handle this whole major drought thing well. It will continue in 2013, and Foley will be next in a long line of victims.
9. The biggest equipment story of the year will not be about anchored putters -- The anchored putter ban story is already more played out than Tiger Woods sex jokes. It will be replaced midyear by friendly banter of figuring out how to shorten the game. The reason? The U.S. Open is at Merion Golf Club, which is going to measure under (!) 7,000 yards. Under! Vitriol will abound, and it will make the anchored putter backlash look tame by comparison.
10. Adam Scott wins his first major -- Predicting major winners is like trying to predict what Lindsay Lohan will get arrested for next, but I think Scott finally breaks through in 2013. He is hardened from his British Open collapse last year, and that will ultimately make him a better performer in big tournaments. Plus, he's got the entire world on his side after giving us these heartbreaking images from Royal Lytham and St. Annes.
|Adam Scott is heartbroken at the British Open. (GettyImages)|
|Adam Scott reflects on what could have been. (GettyImages)|
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