Wednesday, January 07, 2009

Sergio wins U.S. Open, and other predictions

Is this finally the year Sergio Garcia gets a grip on a U.S. Open trophy, at Bethpage in New York?

Before the first official shot of the 2009 PGA Tour season is struck and before John Daly can do anything else, allow me to make five predictions about things that will happen on tour this year.

Like me standing on a tee with trees left and water right, this can’t have a good outcome. But since it’s the first swing, maybe a mulligan will be in order.

1. Sergio Garcia wins the U.S. Open at Bethpage.

He’s going to win a major, probably multiple majors, and I think he gets the first one this year. If he wants to answer any remaining questions about how good he is and if he’s tough enough, a victory at Bethpage would do it.

Remember, that’s where he went through his re-gripping phase and the gentle New Yorkers were so kind to count off each re-setting of his hands. It’s up to him in New York, New York.

2. Tiger Woods comes back as good as ever.

Notice I didn’t say better than ever. That’s a big ask.

When he disappeared after the U.S. Open last June, Woods had won 10 of his last 13 worldwide starts, had two seconds and a wimpy fifth-place finish.

He says he’s better physically than he’s been in 10 years and I don’t think he forgot how to play since June. Welcome back.

3. Quail Hollow lands a major championship.

It’s just a hunch but it’s never been a secret that the club would like to host a major. The Wachovia Championship contract expires after 2014 and it’s not outrageous to think a PGA Championship could come to Quail Hollow sometime after that.

4. Tim Clark finally wins in the U.S.

For several years, the former Wolfpack golfer has been a steady presence on the global golf scene, often in major championships. To this point, however, he hasn’t won a PGA Tour event. This is the year that changes for Clark.

5. Greg Norman makes the cut at the Masters.

Just having the Shark back at Augusta will be great fun but he showed in the British Open last summer that he can still summon some magic from his game. It’s too much to ask for him to contend at the Masters but having there for the weekend would be great.


Anonymous said...

I just don't think Sergio's going to be able to win THIS Open. I'm not a big fan--anyone who spits in a cup isn't going to get my respect--but that doesn't mean he's not a good player. But I bet the fans at Bethpage give him all he can take plus some. That, plus the pressure he'll be putting on himself to overcome the fans, will probably wear him out before the end.

balance said...

I'd like to see Sergio win more consistently on tour, and a major. He's clearly got the physical talents...most fans don't understand just how well he drives the ball. He's been fortunate to have had no serious injury issues. I puzzle about how he continues to struggle with the mental side of golf which affects the vital putting component of his game. I'm pulling for him.