Every golfing year is defined by 4 results. These results are the results from the Masters, the Open, the US Open and the PGA Championship. Collectively, these 4 are known as “The Majors” and winning one or more will truly define a player’s career. Good players can win on the European Tour or on the PGA tour; only great players can win a major. It takes even better players still to win multiple majors.
This year, I’ll be taking a long-range view now and try and pick out all 4 winners in this piece. This will constitute my entry for the GBS majors competition (free bets of tremendous value for the winner!). You can join and play here. I will also be doing previews for each separate tournament as we get closer to each one. The players may well vary as I get closer but more on that later.
This year, I have thought about who I think are the 4 likely major winners and then matched them to their most favourable tournament. The Masters is perhaps the easiest one to match as it is the same course every year and this tends to throw up a similar profile every year. The other 3 rotate on courses but still have shared traits between winners and all of this has led me to my 4 selections.
My major winners this year are: Henrik Stenson, Louis Oosthuizen, Tiger Woods and Jordan Spieth
Henrik Stenson: Masters 2014 Champion
Last year’s stand out performer finished the season with all guns blazing. He could do no wrong and although he hasn’t started great this year, he is beginning to play some really good golf again now. Stenson hits the ball over 300 yards off the tee and he putts with consistency under pressure. I think he is Europe’s best chance to break the American power struggle and if he is at his best, he will be certainly be there or thereabouts. He has plenty of experience at this venue recording multiple top 20s. He will need to reproduce last season’s blistering golf and I’m confident he can do so. This is my most confident selection from my 4.
Jordan Spieth: US Open 2014 Champion
These three are now a little more tentative. Spieth is widely regarded as the hottest youngster on the PGA tour. This discussion seems to centre around Harris English and Jordan amongst others who come and go. I think he has tremendous ability and this is shown by some of his scoring outbursts. The issue at the moment seems to be putting sets of holes and sets of rounds together. Of course, he will have to get this right to win a major, particularly one as testing as the US Open. Pinehurst is nearly 7500 yards in length and as with most US Opens, it will be a case of avoiding bogeys more than tearing up the course and shooting lots of birdies. Spieth may well need to score a few under par in order to balance out his mistakes but by the time this comes around, he will have experience at Augusta as well as more and more PGA Tour time. I believe he has unlimited potential and if he is to be as good as everyone wants/expects him to be, he needs to win majors. This is his first step to stardom!
Louis Oosthuizen: Open 2014 Champion
Ball striking, ball striking and more ball striking. The South African already has a 2nd place at Augusta, a top 10 at the US and a win in this tournament to his name. He clearly has the game and the mental fortitude to mix it when it really matters. Nothing seems to faze him and he could quite conceivably shoot 4 rounds of safe golf and post -12. If he does shoot -12 at Royal Liverpool, he will not be far from the action. He will most likely be taking home the Claret Jug. He can play in the wind, which is always a major factor in the British tournament. All that being said, his hopes will hinge on the fact that he can get (and keep) his putter hot – not always his strongest suit. Admittedly, he is one of my favourite players but this is a great opportunity for him to add to his majors haul.
Tiger Woods: PGA 2014 Champion
Perhaps the “easiest” major to win and this year the tournament will be taking place at Valhalla golf club. They have played here before in 2000 and our selection was the winner. Let’s hope good memories breed confidence and success! Put simply, I believe Tiger will break his 6 year drought and I do think this is his best opportunity. Unless he somehow reproduces his very, very best I doubt he can win either of the Opens any time soon. Augusta always brings out his competitive best but his early season form and niggling back injury are a massive worry for that. This tournament is months away and by the time it comes around many will have written him off. You do not poke a sleeping lion and this combined with his sheer talent and resilience will produce a great tournament (hopefully). All golf fans across the world need to see a top level Tiger again, the sport is missing something without it. I have tremendous faith in him!
There are plenty of class players I have dismissed here. The players I expect to see in and around the top 10s this year at the majors are as follows: Adam Scott, Charl Schwartzel, Dustin Johnson, Jimmy Walker, Zach Johnson, Graeme McDowell.
To conclude then, my four selections are: Henrik Stenson (Masters), Jordan Spieth (US Open), Louis Oosthuizen (Open), Tiger Woods (PGA).
The accumulator pays a cool 434927/1. This might be worth a shilling or two each-way! Good luck whoever you think and tweet me your selections whether you agree or disagree. I will be writing my Masters preview this week and this will be far more in depth and more along the lines of the two I have already written on this website. I will also re-emphasise the competition with the link above on this article. A fantastic bunch of guys over on the GBS facebook group and I urge you to come and join us. Plenty of competitions every week and a great chance to fire some golfing banter about! I hope you have enjoyed it and be lucky.