Tiger Woods and 25 Predictions For This Season's Majors

Immer Chriswell@@immerrangeCorrespondent IFebruary 18, 2011

Tiger Woods and 25 Predictions For This Season's Majors

0 of 25

    UNITED STATES - AUGUST 06:  Tiger Woods wins his 50th PGA TOUR event during the fourth and final round of the Buick Open at Warwick Hills Golf and Country Club in Grand Blanc, Michigan on August 6, 2006.  (Photo by Michael Cohen/Getty Images)
    Michael Cohen/Getty Images

    It's finally starting to get around time where the Masters is closer than you think. It's creeping up. And it is such a cool feeling.

    This year, there will be a wide variety of talent, probably more than the four majors of golf have ever seen. Why? There is more depth on tour than ever. You can even see it at the junior levels now; the game of golf is developing talent at a great rate.

    To that, we do owe Tiger Woods a great thank you.

    So, who is going to do what? Here are my projections, broken down, for the 25 golfers who will perform the best at the majors.

Anthony Kim

1 of 25

    PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 17:  Anthony Kim hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during round one of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Counrty Club on February 17, 2011 in Pacific Palisades, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Last year, we saw the potential of Anthony Kim to go low at tournaments. That is, until his thumb surgery.

    So far, AK has not quite been up to the level he was at last year. However, I would give him a break. He is coming off a surgery that could have screwed up his chances. And it's not like he has been terrible.

    Three top 25s in the three out of four cuts he made, with one top 10.

    Despite everything, Anthony Kim is still one of the futures of American golf. It's not that bad of a thing, either. 

    So, here's how I see Anthony Kim performing this year:

    Masters: Top 25

    US Open: Top 15

    British Open: Outside Top 25

    PGA Championship: Top 25

Steve Stricker

2 of 25

    DOHA, QATAR - FEBRUARY 03:  Steve Stricker of the USA during the first round of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club on February 3, 2011 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    While he's not the most electrifying player in the world, he certainly is one of the best at being consistent. And that is what makes Steve Stricker such an intriguing player to watch.

    There are not too many times where Stricker will blow up. He may not perform up to par, but he always seems to play respectably. 

    Two wins last year, nine top 10s total out of 19 cuts made, Stricker certainly is coming off a strong year. However, Stricker did struggle in last year's majors.

    So, here's what you should expect out of Steve Stricker:

    Masters: Top 25

    US Open: Top 25

    British Open: Outside Top 25

    PGA Championship: Top 25

Adam Scott

3 of 25

    KAPALUA, HI - JANUARY 09:  Adam Scott of Australia hits a shot during the final round of the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation course on January 9, 2011 in Kapalua, Hawaii.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    If only, if only. Adam Scott is truly the epitome of that statement. If only he could take his perfect swing to the course. If only he could find his short game. If only Adam Scott, the perfect person to be a face of golf, could put it all together.

    But he hasn't. Yet. I still believe in him. He took his game from a career low to winning the following tournament. That shows work ethic and potential. This year, I can see Scott inching closer to success. Despite already missing a cut this season, it's just something you have to believe in.

    So here's how I see the majors panning out for Adam Scott in 2011:

    Masters: Top 15

    US Open: Outside Top 25

    British Open: Outside Top 25

    PGA Championship: Top 25


Justin Rose

4 of 25

    LA JOLLA, CA - JANUARY 28:  Justin Rose of England waves after his putt on the12th hole during the second round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines on January 28, 2011 in La Jolla, California. (Photo by Donald Miralle/Getty Images)
    Donald Miralle/Getty Images

    The main reason I included Rose on this list is the lack of success in 2010 majors. And by lack, I mean he didn't play the weekend in any major (two he didn't play in).

    What's bad about Rose is he is very prone to streaks. However, his streaks can be much more short-lived. Like how he missed a cut after winning at AT&T National two weeks before.

    So, can Rose sustain any sort of play this year? Let's take a look at what the majors have in store for Rose:

    Masters: Top 25

    US Open: Outside Top 25

    British Open: Top 25

    PGA Championship: CUT


Ian Poulter

5 of 25

    DOHA, QATAR - FEBRUARY 04:  Ian Poulter of England in action during the second round of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters held at Doha Golf Club on February 4, 2011 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Andrew Redington/Getty Images)
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    He is quoted saying that at the top of his game, it would be just him and Tiger. Little did we know that not only would he not reach it yet, but Tiger isn't there right now.

    Poulter has played only once this year, finishing T6 at the Tournament of Champions. 

    The big issue that Poulter has is he divides his time much more equally between each tour, which sometimes costs him the competitive edge. However, Poulter has had success in each major, at different times. 

    So this year will shape up a little bit like this:

    Masters: Outside Top 25

    US Open: Outside Top 25

    British Open: Top 10

    PGA Championship: Top 25


Zach Johnson

6 of 25

    HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 15:  Zach Johnson plays a shot during the second round of the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club on January 15, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Zach Johnson has not had a good start to his year. Ever since the 2007 Masters, Johnson just hasn't performed as you would have hoped, with the exception of 2009. Yes, he has won a tournament or more every year since '07, but he just hasn't been consistent.

    He finished top 25 in one tournament, but that was the Tournament of Champions, with only 32 competitors.

    That is where I see the change in Johnson this year. Even though he has not started out strong, Johnson will improve and put himself into the talks at the majors. 

    With that being said, here's what is in store for Johnson at the four big events:

    Masters: Top 15

    US Open: Top 25

    British Open: Outside Top 25

    PGA Championship: Outside Top 25


Hunter Mahan

7 of 25

    PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 17:  Hunter Mahan tee shot on the nineth hole during the first round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club on February 17, 2011 in Pacific Palisades, California.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    I very much admit I underrated Hunter Mahan coming into this year. However, he has earned my respect to date.

    So far, he has a runner up, two total top 10s, an additional top 25 in his first four tournaments. Hunter has proven that his accuracy has put him ahead of many of the players on tour to date.

    I think that Mahan is another name American golf fans need to get used to. He is here to stay, and at 28 he has plenty of time.

    So, here's what Hunter should expect when he goes to play in the majors:

    Masters: Top 15

    US Open: Top 25

    British Open: Outside Top 25

    PGA Championship: Top 15


Jim Furyk

8 of 25

    PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 11:  Jim Furyk tees off on the 13th hole during the second round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on February 11, 2011 in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Ezra Shaw/Getty Images)
    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Last year, he won the FedEx Cup and PGA Player of the Year. Then Srixon dropped his sponsorship.

    Jim Furyk in 2011? Not quite up to last year. He has made only one cut out of three so far. But all hope is not lost. That was a top 10 finish.

    What Furyk needs is something to take his confidence to the next level in order to compete in a major this year. With the talent under him so much younger, his time is running out before he won't be in the hunt for majors.

    But for now, let's check out 2011:

    Masters: Outside Top 25

    US Open: Top 25

    British Open: Top 25

    PGA Championship: Outside Top 25


Tim Clark

9 of 25

    HONOLULU, HI - JANUARY 16:  Tim Clark of South Africa plays a shot during the final round of the Sony Open at Waialae Country Club on January 16, 2011 in Honolulu, Hawaii.  (Photo by Sam Greenwood/Getty Images)
    Sam Greenwood/Getty Images

    Right now, Tim Clark will enter the Player's Championship as the defending champion. While this isn't about that, I would bet on Clark placing in the top 15, but not defending.

    On to this year. Clark finished T2 at the Tournament of Champions and hasn't played on the PGA Tour since. But that doesn't matter. He is still a great golfer, and a layoff from the tour won't hurt him as much as it would the struggling golfer (*cough* Tiger).

    If you know Tim Clark, you may have been surprised to learn that last year was the first time he's ever won on the PGA Tour. Other than that, he posted a slew of runner-up finishes in the past years, to total at nine.

    So what's in store for Tim Clark?

    Masters: Top 25

    US Open: Top 15

    British Open: Top 25

    PGA Championship: Outside Top 25


Rickie Fowler

10 of 25

    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 07:  Rickie Fowler hits a tee shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 7, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    The 2010 PGA Rookie of the Year is looking for his first win, but a little earlier in his career than Tim Clark.

    So far, Fowler has not performed as I would have hoped, finishing no better than T13 in Phoenix. Yes, it's a good finish, but I wanted to see Fowler come out guns blazing like his golf swing.

    Fowler has plenty of time to develop, and it is easy to say you should see him sometime in the future hoisting a major trophy.

    However, I do not see that happening this year. But let's look anyway:

    Masters: Top 15

    US Open: Outside Top 25

    British Open: Top 15

    PGA Championship: Top 25


Bubba Watson

11 of 25

    PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 17: Bubba Watson hits his tee shot on the fourth hole during round one of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Counrty Club on February 17, 2011 in Pacific Palisades, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    I'm going to be honest...I don't know how Bubba Watson's golf swing works. It just does.

    And it has led him into the hearts of many golf fans. With his unconventional swing, backed by a sincere smile, Watson is an excellent representative for the game of golf. He is the best mix of exciting, funny and real.

    Last year, he managed to force a playoff with Martin Kaymer at the PGA Championship, only for his guts to get the best of him.

    This year, here's what you will be seeing from Bubba:

    Masters: Top 25

    US Open: Outside Top 25

    British Open: CUT

    PGA Championship: Top 15


Nick Watney

12 of 25

    LA JOLLA, CA - JANUARY 30:  Nick Watney hits his tee shot on the third hole during the final round of the Farmers Insurance Open at Torrey Pines South Course on January 30, 2011 in La Jolla, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Last year, Nick Watney's debacle at the PGA Championship played second fiddle to Dustin Johnson's bunker-or-not-a-bunker issue.

    However, don't forget that Watney was up there. And he has remained up there this year.

    Through three events, Watney has three top 10s. He's almost halfway to his total top 10s last year, eight. And it's only three events into his season (keep in mind he played 24 events last year). 

    What you have to like about Watney is his general composure. Despite his debacle, Watney is still an extremely talented golfer with a bright future.

    What I see for Nick Watney this year is as follows:

    Masters: Top 10

    US Open: Top 25

    British Open: Top 15

    PGA Championship: Top 10

Rory McIlroy

13 of 25

    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 13:  Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland during the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis course at the Emirates Golf Club on February 13, 2011 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Ross Kinna
    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    When is Rory going to cut the hair and put an end to the curls? Doesn't matter I guess, just figured I would pose that to you. So tell me in the comments what you're thinking.

    On to golf. McIlroy does seem to have the weight of the world on him. He has the blessing of Tiger Woods to take the No. 1 spot in the world during his career, something Tiger doesn't do.

    So, in other words, Rory McIlroy better get on his game to make Tiger a prophet. While I don't see a major this year, I don't put it past McIlroy to rack up the wins, even if it is in Europe.

    So, 2011 majors below:

    Masters: Top 25

    US Open: Outside Top 25

    British Open: Top 10

    PGA Championship: Top 25


Bill Haas

14 of 25

    SCOTTSDALE, AZ - FEBRUARY 07:  Bill Haas hits a tee shot on the 16th hole during the final round of the Waste Management Phoenix Open at TPC Scottsdale on February 7, 2011 in Scottsdale, Arizona.  (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    From obscurity to the bright lights of actually being shown on TV, Bill Haas is making his case that he is as good as his dad.

    That's a tall bill, but if this year's start indicates anything, he may surpass good old Jay.

    Haas has posted three top 10s and only one finish outside the top 25 in four tournaments. He finished in second at the Bob Hope Classic. And last year, he collected two wins. 

    So where does he go from here? Only up, from my view.

    Masters: Top 10

    US Open: Top 25

    British Open: Outside Top 25

    PGA Championship: Top 25


Lee Westwood

15 of 25

    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 13:  Lee Westwood of England during the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis course at the Emirates Golf Club on February 13, 2011 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty
    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    It's time to face facts: Lee Westwood is not winning a major this year. Personally, I think Westwood is being overrated and doesn't deserve the top spot in golf. He did not have to play to take it. How does that happen?

    Anyway, I am not predicting Westwood's lack of success because I am biased against him (bias will come later in this show). What I see in Westwood is the lack of finishing talent to win a major.

    Don't get me wrong, Westwood is great, just not major great until he starts to show it. He has blown opportunities multiple times to be in contention or win a major, and he has given no reason to believe otherwise.

    Yes, I know he finished second twice, but he didn't win. That is what is holding him back.

    So, 2011 will look like this for Westwood.

    Masters: Outside Top 25

    US Open: Top 15

    British Open: Top 10

    PGA Championship: Top 25


Louis Oosthuizen

16 of 25

    DOHA, QATAR - FEBRUARY 05:  Louis Oosthuizen of South Africa during the third round of the Commercialbank Qatar Masters at the Doha Golf Club on February 5, 2011 in Doha, Qatar.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images)
    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    Just a warning as to the next slides. They make up last year's major champions, and this year's predicted top two for each tournament.

    With that over, Louis Oosthuizen is the only new major champion that committed to play on the PGA Tour as a full member (plus the world No. 1 is not on the PGA).

    While I was extremely impressed with Oosthuizen's play last year, I don't see it translating to a huge, successful 2011. I think he is going to deal with growing pains, playing against much more depth in talent.

    However, I wouldn't rule him out of any major. I just don't see him winning any.

    2011 majors for Oosthuizen will be seen as follows:

    Masters: Top 25

    US Open: Outside Top 25

    British Open: Top 10

    PGA Championship: Top 15


Graeme McDowell

17 of 25

    ABU DHABI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - JANUARY 22:  Graeme McDowell of Northern Ireland in action during the third round of The Abu Dhabi HSBC Golf Championship at Abu Dhabi Golf Club on January 22, 2011 in Abu Dhabi, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Andrew Re
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    At the end of the year, Graeme McDowell was the best player in the world. No question.

    As for this year, that is yet to be seen. McDowell has only played once, placing third at the Tournament of Champions. While last year he was able to capture the US Open, this year I don't see it.

    Trust me, I see him winning, just not a major. And that doesn't mean that he can't contend.

    So, without further ado, I give you 2011 majors, Graeme McDowell Style:

    Masters: Top 15

    US Open: Top 10

    British Open: Top 15

    PGA Championship: Top 25


Masters Runner-Up: Matt Kuchar

18 of 25

    LA QUINTA, CA - JANUARY 21:  Matt Kuchar hits out of a bunker on the 17th hole during round three of the Bob Hope Classic at the Nicklaus Private Course at PGA West on January 21, 2011 in La Quinta, California. (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Finally! I got to the top two at each tournament. 

    Let's start with Matt Kuchar, my pick to be the runner-up at this year's Masters.

    What's not to like about him? He posted 20 top 25s, 11 top 10s and five top three finishes, including a win.

    He is the real deal. He has followed up last year with a three for three record in top 10 finishes this year. 

    Last year, he finished T25. This year, I'm calling it. T2. Now, let's address the other tournaments that he will be in, specifically the rest of the majors:

    Masters: Runner-Up

    US Open: Top 10

    British Open: Top 10

    PGA Championship: Top 25


US Open Runner-Up: Phil Mickelson

19 of 25

    PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 17:  Phil Mickelson hits his second shot on the second hole during round one of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Counrty Club on February 17, 2011 in Pacific Palisades, California.  (Photo by Stephen Dunn/Getty Images)
    Stephen Dunn/Getty Images

    Sorry Phil, but you are going to be stuck without a US Open for at least one more year.

    Everyone is calling for Hurricane Phil. By this, I mean the potential for the perfect storm of golf.

    Phil is playing well this year, even without his putter being up to standard. That is pretty impressive for a guy who leaned so heavily on his short game. Of course, this is correlated with his golf instructor, Butch Harmon, and his swing theory.

    What I see is Phil taking home, oh, say, three wins this year. That would put him at 41, if you're wondering.

    So, here's how the majors will look for Lefty:

    Masters: Top 10

    US Open: Runner-Up

    British Open: Outside Top 25

    PGA Championship: Top 15


British Open/Open Championship Runner-Up: Paul Casey

20 of 25

    PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 17:  Paul Casey of England plays his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club on February 17, 2011 in Pacific Palisades, California.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/G
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    I'm gonna say this until he is on the 2012 Ryder Cup team. Paul Casey was the biggest snub of the Ryder Cup in the last decade.

    Anyway...Paul Casey has plenty of game, no doubt. He is, as well, a well-liked individual.

    Of the past three years, Casey's biggest successes have come in the Open Championship, where he has a T3 and T7 out of them. 

    The reason I see this being more of a reality than any other major is simple: the rest are in the United States. Nothing against Paul Casey, but he has but one win on American soil. It just doesn't add up.

    2011, here we go:

    Masters: Top 25

    US Open: Outside Top 25

    British Open: Runner-Up

    PGA Championship: Top 10


PGA Championship Runner-Up: Tiger Woods

21 of 25

    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 13:  Tiger Woods of the USA during the final round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis course at the Emirates Golf Club on February 13, 2011 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo by Ross Kinnaird/Getty
    Ross Kinnaird/Getty Images

    I can guarantee you two things:

    1. You will see that face a few more times this year. 

    2. You are going to have to keep going to hear the rest of my Tiger predictions.

2011 Masters Champion: Dustin Johnson

22 of 25

    PEBBLE BEACH, CA - FEBRUARY 10:  Dustin Johnson plays a shot during the first round of the AT&T Pebble Beach National Pro-Am at Monterey Peninsula Country Club on February 10, 2011  in Pebble Beach, California.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/Getty Images)
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    I had to do it. My gut isn't completely with me on this, but my heart is.

    The Masters better have a tall green jacket for Dustin Johnson, because as of now, he is my Masters pick. And I don't plan on adjusting that.

    Now, why the Masters?

    Because he didn't blow it here last year. To be honest, I think that that is part of the thing about Dustin. This is where I see Dustin Johnson proving he can finish, to the entire golf world. Future finishes? I'm willing to be he gets a US Open and PGA Championship trophy to match those in the future.

    So, 2011 major list for a major champ:

    Masters: WINNER

    US Open: Top 15

    British Open: Top 15

    PGA Championship: Top 25


2011 US Open Champion: Tiger Woods

23 of 25

    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 13:  Tiger Woods of the USA in action during the final round for the 2011 Omega Dubai desert Classic held on the Majilis Course at the Emirates Golf Club on February 13, 2011 in Dubai, United Arab Emirates.  (Photo b
    Ian Walton/Getty Images

    I told you to keep clicking. Here it is. My big prediction. Tiger Woods will win the US Open, over Phil Mickelson. 

    Gotta love the classic prediction. But I seriously see this happening. I don't see the Masters as the place for Tiger this year. I think it will be the turning point of this year, if he hasn't hit one. If Tiger hasn't had success yet, he will run into it at the Masters.

    He won't win, but he will gain the confidence to take it to the field and win the US Open.

    Now let's not go crazy over this prediction. I know I set a lofty goal for Tiger. But it's because I think he is capable of it (I also think it is ridiculous to ask Tiger to retire if you're wondering still).

    So, you know two of four. What about the other two majors:

    Masters: Top 10

    US Open: WINNER

    British Open: Top 25

    PGA Championship: Runner-Up


2011 British Open/Open Championship Winner: Luke Donald

24 of 25

    PACIFIC PALISADES, CA - FEBRUARY 17:  Luke Donald of England plays his tee shot on the second hole during the first round of the Northern Trust Open at Riviera Country Club on February 17, 2011 in Pacific Palisades, California.  (Photo by Stuart Franklin/
    Stuart Franklin/Getty Images

    Did ya see that one coming? Don't try to tell me yes. But you should have.

    The stats don't lie. Luke Donald has everything it takes; now he just needs to take the Claret Jug. He has a great ball flight for Europe and a wonderful iron game. Of anyone, I like Luke Donald to break through in the coming years.

    Despite his lack of distance, he still manages his way around the course. In the last two years, he has a T5 and a T11 at the Open Championship. I love this pick so much, I can't lie I actually thought of Donald winning this before anyone else.

    But here's the other three majors as well:

    Masters: Top 10

    US Open: Outside Top 25

    British Open: WINNER

    PGA Championship: Top 15


2011 PGA Championship Winner: Sergio Garcia

25 of 25

    DUBAI, UNITED ARAB EMIRATES - FEBRUARY 10:  Sergio Garcia of Spain plays his second shot on the 13th hole during the first round of the Omega Dubai Desert Classic on the Majlis course at the Emirates Golf Club on February 10, 2011 in Dubai, United Arab Em
    Andrew Redington/Getty Images

    I'm not going to lie, this is slightly a bias, but mainly a strong belief. I believe that Sergio Garcia will win this tournament. I wouldn't have put it if it was just a personal wish.

    Sergio's love for the game is back, he is back to his old fiery self and now all he needs to do is put four rounds together to win. I think this win at the PGA Championship will be the second of 2011 for Sergio, and that leaves the European Tour open for that other win as well.

    What's key to Sergio is the same as always. Putting. Sergio was plagued his last two days at Dubai by poor putting. If he would have putted well, then you certainly could have seen a flamenco for the first spot between Alvaro Quiros and Sergio Garcia.

    With all of this said, Sergio's early 2011 should appear as follows:

    Masters: Top 25

    US Open: Top 25

    British Open: Top 10

    PGA Championship: WINNER


🚨 SPORTS NEWS ➡️ YOUR INBOX

The latest in the sports world, emailed daily.


X