The Masters Tournament– Heavy favorite Tiger Woods will recapture his first Major in 5 years. His last Major win was against Rocco Mediate at the 2009 US Open at Torrey Pines. Augusta National sets up so well for Tiger Woods and other players with Masters experience. Past Champions Fred Couples, Angel Cabrera, Phil Mickelson, and Zack Johnson will be in the mix for contention, but this will be Tiger Woods year at Augusta. Weather permitting look for a winning score around 11 under.
The US Open- This Historic event is being played at Pinehurst #2. This marks the 3rd time since 1999 that the US Opens has been held at Pinehurst #2. Everyone will remember when Payne Stewart made that miraculous 20 footer for birdie on 18 to win in the light rain. They will be showing the Payne Stewart fist pump statue a bunch during this telecast. US Opens champions like Payne Stewart are reserved for the ultimate grinder. This year’s ultimate grinder is Phil Mickelson. He has 6-second place runners-up in his career during the US Open. He wants to win this tournament more than any other player in the field. His sole mission for 2014 is to win the US Open. I believe he will accomplish his goal of winning the career grand slam in the Sand Hills of North Carolina by a narrow margin of victory. Winning score -2
The Open Championship- Royal Liverpool — The Rolling humps and hollows and the cool ocean breeze will make Royal Liverpool a classic Open Championship in 2014. The conditions here are ever changing and we could see cool 55 windy and light rain, or we could see hot dried out, fast and near impossible conditions like last summer at Muirfield. My prediction is that a world class player like Henrik Stenson, Top 10 player in the world will have his break-though major win. Stenson was agreeably the best player in the world to finish the 2013 PGA Tour season. He will have strong Top 10 finishes in the Masters and US Open, but he will enjoy all the hard work at Royal Liverpool, winning score -16.
PGA Championship—Valhalla, Louisville KY. Most recently Valhalla hosted the Ryder Cup 2008 with the US winning behind JP Hayes and Bo Weekly. Although they enjoyed success here in 2008, the winner of this years PGA Championship will be Matt Kuchar. It is Matt Kuchar’s tournament; he is one of the most consistent players on tour, and he always seems to get better as the season progresses. Kuchar is the #7 player in the world because he drives the ball long and straight which sets up hit brilliant short iron play. Look out for Kuchar around -14 this week.
By Claude Pope