Sitting here I was thinking about something that I wrote about in my Top 10 Golf Stories of 2018. I made a bold prediction based on pretty much nothing regarding my pick to win The Masters in April. Seeing that I went that far with it… I’m going to make Major predictions for the 2019 season on both the LPGA and PGA Tour.
Let’s see how close I get.
The Masters – I went out on a limb about the 2019 Masters Tournament in the article yesterday that led to this piece. My prediction was that Tommy Fleetwood would win the Green Jacket in 2019. While everyone on Tour and in the field has the game to win on any weekend one half of Ryder Cup craze “Moliwood” will break through and claim his first Major. Justin Rose will be right there when the dust settles too.
U.S. Open – Ah yes! The carnage and horror of how the USGA sets up their courses. I’m a huge fan! Always a test that wears down the field I hope that 2019 is no different. It’d be easy to predict Brooks Koepka because he really guts it out to hang in during the battle of attrition that is the U.S. Open. Not this year though. Bryson DeChambeau broke through in a big time way in 2018. 3 wins on Tour. He can win on golf’s biggest stages, won the U.S. Amateur in 2015. He wins at Pebble Beach in June.
The Open Championship – Royal Portrush is the venue in 2019. The golf course in Northern Ireland was first formed in 1888. It has stood the test of time much like the cliffs that border the golf course have been beaten and battered over time. The last few Open Championships have been graced by good weather. 2019 will be a test like so many Open Championships before it. One weekend… four seasons. I’m picking a player to win from the European continent. His name… Francesco Molinari. He’ll repeat as the Champion Golfer of the Year. Grizzled veteran Bernhard Langer will give us thrills if he’s in the field.
PGA Championship – Courses for the PGA Championship generally get set-up with the players in mind. That said, we aren’t going to see a USGA-style Bethpage Black set-up. It’ll be a little friendlier. Accuracy, length, putting and a deft touch will still be required to get around the Tillinghast layout. Picking a Brooks Koepka repeat is a thought but what fun would that be? My prediction is a young gun. A pretty young gun at that. Cameron Champ will win the final Major of the year. He has the tools to collect the Wanamaker Trophy.
ANA Inspiration – The 40th Anniversary of this tournament. Previously, it was called the Kraft Nabisco Championship and The Dinah Shore. No matter what name you call it remember that the ANA Inspiration is the first Major Championship contested every year (PGA Tour included). Who’s going to take the leap into “Poppies Pond”. I’m looking right at Brooke Henderson to make the fabled leap. She’s tasted victory in Major Championships before. Get her towel and robe ready.
U.S. Women’s Open – The U.S. Women’s Open is going to be contested in the “Palmetto State”. The Country Club of Charleston is the host venue (founded in 1900) and it’s a course steeped in history. As you might expect the course will be set-up in typical USGA fashion for the ladies. While I haven’t been there (I haven’t been anywhere really) I will say that by looking at the pictures it sort of reminds me of ANGC. The combination of intimate green complexes with false fronts and solid bunkering adds to the effect. The greens will be fast… so who was the best putter on the LPGA Tour in 2018? She may not have been the best but third is pretty close. Who was third? That was World #1 Ariya Jutanagarn. Ariya win’s the U.S. Women’s Open. Dame Laura Davies is going to make some noise here.
KPMG Women’s PGA Championship – Minnesota golf fans. Hazeltine National Golf Club is the host site for the 3rd of 5 major championships on the LPGA Tour. Name an important USGA tournament and there’s a chance that Hazeltine has hosted it. It’s also hosted the PGA Championship and a Ryder Cup (with another slated for 2028). For the first time since 1966 the women return to walk it’s marvelous tree-lined fairways. Well thought out hazards protect the “old girl”. Precision is a priority. It’s not going off of the radar to pick the winner of this tournament. I like current World #3 So Yeon Ryu.
The Evian Championship – The first of two Major Championships to be contested in consecutive weeks. It’s going to be a matter of who’s feeling “it” the first week. I really can see Lexi Thompson winning The Evian. She struggled with being mentally drained and body image in 2018. She took some valuable time off from professional golf in 2018 to focus on herself and it paid off when she came back fresh and won the CME Group TOUR Championship. I really like Lexi to claim her second Major here.
AIG Women’s British Open – The last Major Championship of the year for the women takes place at Woburn Golf Club. My pick might seem like a bit of a darkhorse but I actually like Dame Laura Davies to win. Maybe because I would love to see some history made. dame Davies still plays great golf and can contend with the younger gals on the LPGA. Woburn looks like a typical parklands-style golf course and looking at it it looks like it could be any course in North Carolina. Towering pine trees with large greens… who knows. Maybe she could do it. If not her than look no further than Charley Hull.
2019 Solheim Cup
2019 is a Solheim Cup year. The American team wins handily at Gleneagles.
Until The Next Tee!!