It’s hard to believe the 2015 PGA Tour season starts on Thursday. The Grateful Golfer gives us his predictions for the upcoming year.
2014 was an exciting year for golf. The Major Championships, as always, were the focal point of the golf season. Last year, the re-emergence of Rory McIlroy was a breath of fresh air for golfing fans. There were high expectations for the younger players like Jordan Spieth and Rickie Fowler to win their first Major, but unfortunately for both they finished the season without a win.
Professional golfers covet the four Majors: The Masters, US Open, The Open, and PGA Championship. Each event is unique because they test the skill and temerity of all competitors. The dream of every professional golfer, and amateur, is to win at least one Major Championship. For some, winning multiple Majors is almost unimaginable. To win the grand slam of all four Majors in one year is almost impossible. It is so rare that only one person has ever achieved this miraculous feat.
In 1930, Bobby Jones became the only player in modern golf to complete a grand slam. Several other players have come close, but none have been able to seal the deal. Given the skill of today’s players, it is very unlikely that anyone will follow in Jones’ footsteps anytime soon.
The 2015 Major Championships
The Masters – April 9-12, 2014
The Masters Tournament will once again be played at Augusta National Golf Club in Georgia. This is the first of the Majors and never disappoints. The ‘grip it and rip it’ style of players like Bubba Watson, seems to suit this course. Hitting the ball long and straight is the key to winning this year.
US Open – June 18-21, 2014
The US Open hosted by the USGA, will be played at Chambers Bay Golf Course. “With massive, rolling fairways, towering dunes, undulating greens and unpredictable coastal winds, the traditional links land course will provide the world’s best with a test unlike anything played at a U.S. Open.” Players like Phil Mickelson will have a distinct advantage because of their silky smooth short game.
The Open Championship – July 16-19, 2014
The Open, hosted by the R&A, will be played for the 29th time at the Old Course. St Andrew’s Golf Course will once again test the professional golfer’s ability to play in windy conditions. Course management and approach shots are critical at St Andrews.
The PGA Championship August 13-16, 2014
The PGA Championship hosted by the Professional Golfers’ Association of America, will be played at Whistling Straits, Kohler, Wisconsin, for a third time. “Open, rugged and windswept terrain defines the walking-only, links-style Straits course sculpted along two miles of Lake Michigan shoreline.” The weather will have an impact on the play at Whistling Straits and long iron play may be the X-factor for this event.
The Grateful Golfer’s Major Championship predictions in 2014, initially, were met with scepticism from golfing fans. However, as the year unfolded, except for The US Open, the predictions proved to be quite astute. The results were as follows:
- The Masters – Jordan Spieth – Tied for 2nd
- The US Open – Phil Mickelson – Tied for 28th
- The Open – Rory McIlroy – Won
- The PGA Championship – Rory McIlroy – Won
This year, Golf’s Grand Slam is safe. There is only one player, Rory McIlroy, who may have a chance at it, but it is highly unlikely it will happen. This year, there will be a first time unexpected Major Winner, but no multiple Major winner like last year. The following are the predictions for 2015 Major Golf Championships:
- The Masters – Rory McIlroy
- The US Open – Phil Mickelson
- The Open – Graeme McDowell
- The PGA Championship – Rickie Fowler
The Major tournaments are the highlight of every golfing season. 2015 will be no different. There is no question that the golfing pundits will have different predictions. Regardless, each event will be exciting to watch!
The Grateful Golfer, Pundit Arena.