Believe it or not, the 2014 PGA Tour Season actually gets started today with the Frys.com Open. So, while we just put a bow on the 2013 season, it is time to look ahead at the top storylines for the 2014 season.
Will Tiger get his Major mojo back?
In 2008, if I had told you, “Tiger won’t win a single major again,” you would have laughed at me. It would have been a deep belly, knee-slapping laugh. But we all know what happened in 2009 and it has been 5 (going on 6) major-less years for Eldrick T. Woods. As every PGA Tour season passes, Tiger gets older. His body breaks down more. And pressure mounts for the greatest golfer of a generation to taste Major Championship glory once again.
That pressure is real, folks. To me, it’s the main reason Tiger hasn’t closed out a Major in over 5 years. Sure, he has changed his swing. His putting has been suspect. But pressure is real, you guys. It will continue to grow as each major passes.
But the good news? I think Tiger will get it done at Augusta in 2014. Let’s look at the facts. First, in 2013, Tiger was for all intents and purposes a bad drop away from finding himself in a playoff with Adam Scott and Angel Cabrera. Second, Augusta National has been Tiger’s personal playground since the late 90’s. He usually finds himself in contention no matter what the state of his game may be. Finally, he has to win at some point. He has been close. He has won a bunch of non-majors. He is too talented not to win at least one more major in 2014.
For what it’s worth, I’m not the only one that is predicting a Tiger Major in 2014. Respected golf writers (as opposed to whatever I am) like Adam Fonseca at ChicagoDuffer.com agree! According to Adam, all four of 2014’s Major venues set up great for Tiger.
This could be the year Tiger gets back on track.
The Future is Bright for Many of the Tour’s Youngsters, Especially Jordan Spieth
I don’t know if you have noticed but there a lot of really good young players on Tour. Really, really good. Rickie Fowler, Rory McIlroy, Keegan Bradley, etc. There are some great players that are well short of their 30th birthday. The furthest away from the big 3-0, and coincidentally the best of the group, is Jordan Spieth. That’s right I said best of the group. Spieth is going to make a splash on Tour this year. And while the group I just mentioned will certainly make some noise in 2014, I think it will be Spieth that makes the biggest impact.
I think he will draw on his experience from the President’s Cup and catapult himself into super stardom. I could even see him winning a Major. PGA Championship anyone? It wouldn’t shock me. And it shouldn’t shock you either.
The Looming Anchored Putter Deadline
There are still plenty of dudes on Tour that use an anchored putter. Ahem, Adam Scott. But the day is fast approaching where these things will be illegal. So will we see any players go back to the short stick this year? I have no idea. I am sure many of the guys that use longer putters have experimented with shorter ones. But experimenting and using one in competition are two very different things. I would imagine very few players will switch putters this season as they continue to experiment behind the scenes.
PGA Tour Relationships
Is it just me or do we talk about Tour Pros’ wives and girlfriends a lot more than we used to? Maybe it is the information age we live in, but Lindsey Vonn, Caroline Wozniacki and Amanda Dufner made a lot of headlines this year. Now, the attention on them may or may not be warranted, but the fact is, they seem to have an impact of the performance of their significant others.
Fair or not, Rory’s game hasn’t been the same since he started dating Wozniacki, and their relationship has been pointed to as a possible reason for Rors’ poor play.
On the flip side, Tiger’s game has seemed to improve since he started dating skier Lindsey Vonn. He also is seemingly having more fun than he used to on the course. Coincidence? I don’t know, I am just pointing out the facts.
And Amanda Dufner? Well she’s pretty nice to look at and was right there when Jason Dufner won the PGA Championship and shined at the President’s Cup. Plus Duff knows there will always be someone there to carry his tin of Copenhagen. This obviously allows him to focus on golf more than in the past.
So that is what I am looking forward to. What about you?
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