January 2nd, 2014

My golf predictions for 2014,

Every PGA Tour season offers surprising performances, both good and bad, and 2014 will be no exception. That means some of my predictions will hit and others will flounder. Either way, it’s fun to look ahead at what we might expect from the game’s most significant talent. There’s certainly no science to predicting who among them will rise and who will fall, but I am taking a stab at it nonetheless.

Bubba Watson
 Since his 2012 Masters victory, Bubba Watson has struggled to show even a glimpse of the form that earned him the green jacket and status as one of the top young American golfers in the game.He has failed to win a single tournament since that signature victory. There are times in competition when it appears Bubba would rather be someplace else, doing something different. If that continues, Bubba will struggle to put four solid rounds together. Additionally, accuracy is always an issue for the long-hitting Bubba, who puts plenty of pressure on himself playing from off fairways and wide of greens.
What I expect from Bubba in 2014?
 He is just too great a talent and too bright a personality not to put things back together sooner rather than later. He’s likely not ready to win a second major this year, but he will capture his fifth career PGA Tour title before the summer.
The golf is better with players like Bubba challenging for titles.

Adam Scott
Adam Scott certainly raised the bar on expectations with his breakthrough 2013 season. If anyone is up to the challenge of equaling or exceeding them, it’s the talented and charismatic Australian.
After winning the 2013 Masters and challenging down the stretch of both the British Open and PGA Championship, Scott went from unfulfilled potential to one of the top-three golfers in the world. His putting was good, his sweet swing dialed in and a world of confidence fueling him; the sky is the limit for Adam heading into this year.
With the Masters win, expectations will be high for Adam to add another major to his resume in 2014, along with a couple PGA Tour titles. If he stays healthy and keeps his putter steady, Adam is a good bet to do both.
 What I expect of Adam in 2014?
Adam has perhaps the best golf swing in the game, and he’ll continue to show why many consider him the best player in the sport this side of Tiger and will do so in major championships just as he did last year.
Adam finally got his first major in 2013, but he could, have had at least one other before his Masters triumph. He’ll have ample opportunity to make it two in 2014.

Jason Day
It’s hard to imagine that a player of Jason’s skill and talent has just one PGA Tour victory to his credit, but that is indeed the case.
Despite playing well in numerous majors and other significant events during the past couple years, the 25-year-old Australian has only one victory to his credit and numerous near-misses possibly wearing on his psyche.
Yet, what Jason lacks in achievement he more than makes up for in potential, which is just bursting to explode. In 2013, he posted strong showings at the Masters, U.S. Open and PGA Championship. With the experience that came from competing so often in 2013, Jason should be poised to add to his one PGA Tour victory total and is absolutely near the top of a short list of golfers ideally positioned to win a first major championship.
 What I expect from Jason in 2014?
 Jason is simply too good to be held down for much longer, and with the experience he gained this year, the kid is a good bet to claim a second career victory before heading to Augusta National, where he will be among a handful of golfers in contention for a green jacket on Sunday. If he doesn't get it there, watch out for Jason at Pinehurst in June.

Henrik Stenson
For my golf swing model I use Henrik and no other golfer played better in the second half of the 2013 season than Henrik Stenson, who captured the FedEx Cup title back in September and adding the Race to Dubai crown. Stenson also posted top-five finishes at both the British Open and PGA Championship and has risen to No. 3 in the world. A significant way to improve upon his 2013 season was to win a major championship.I have followed Henrik with my son Nicholas at Thracian Cliffs Volvo Match Play,I wanted my son to see what a good golf swing visually looks like.The key to winning a major in 2014, as it typically is with Stenson, will undoubtedly rest with his short game. He is among the most accurate drivers in the game and has more than enough power to attack even the longest golf courses.
What do I expect from the world No.3 in 2014?
He will continue to rank among the finest players on both the PGA and European tours, yet doubts linger as to whether his putting is good enough to claim a major championship.

Tiger Woods
What can I say about NO.1 and the greatest golfer in the world? He won five times on the PGA Tour last year. Tiger hasn't won a major championship since 2008 and patience is all but gone to see him claim that elusive 15th. The world No. 1 will be 38 next year, so there’s time to get his chase of Jack Nicklaus’ 18 majors going again, but nagging injuries and the rise of exciting young talent are growing barriers to the effort.
 What I expect of Tiger in 2014?
 Tiger is simply too good and the opportunities to win majors in 2014 too golden for him not to finally breakthrough. In fact, it wouldn't surprise me to see Tiger win  two of them to cut his Nicklaus deficit in half, beginning with a fifth green jacket next April. Just for good measure, the game’s top talent will win another five or six PGA Tour events, a third FedEx Cup crown and yet another Player of the Year award along the way.