For the first time in our 10(?)-ish year history, LG and I will be collaborating on our predictions for this major in-person. Also, we have a couple of guest predictions to see how a newbie does against the experienced guessers (my money is on much, much better).

JK
Winner: Jordan Spieth
Winning Score: -19
Runner Up: Rory McIlroy
Low PGA Professional: Johan Kok
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Luke List
Last Year’s Winner (Justin Thomas, OWGR #2) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Top 10
The Master’s Winner (Reed, #12) Will: Top 10
The US Open Winner (Koepka, #4) Will: Make Cut
The Open Champion (Molinari, #6) Will: Make Cut
Dustin Johnson (OWGR #1) will: Top 10
Justin Rose (#3) will: Make Cut
Rory McIlroy (#5) will: Top 10
Jon Rahm (#7) will: Miss Cut
Jordan Spieth (#8) will: Win
Rickie Fowler (#9) will: Top 10
Jason Day (#10) will: Make Cut
Tiger (#who cares) will: Make Cut
How many prior major winners will be in the Top 10: 6
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? -15? someone wins it
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Spieth completes the career slam

LG
Winner: Justin Thomas
Winning Score: -14
Runner Up: Rory
Low PGA Professional: Brian Smock
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Shubhankar Sharma
Last Year’s Winner (Justin Thomas, OWGR #2) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Win B2B
The Master’s Winner (Reed, #12) Will: Yell at a cameraman for jingling change. MC
The US Open Winner (Koepka, #4) Will: MC
The Open Champion (Molinari, #6) Will: Make Cut
Dustin Johnson (OWGR #1) will: Make Cut
Justin Rose (#3) will: Make Cut
Rory McIlroy (#5) will: Top 10
Jon Rahm (#7) will: Top 10
Jordan Spieth (#8) will: Top 10
Rickie Fowler (#9) will: Make Cut
Jason Day (#10) will: MC
Tiger (#who cares) will: Make Cut
How many prior major winners will be in the Top 10: 4
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Thomas goes out and wins it
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Bellerive sucks, just like the TaylorMade High Toe wedge.

KB (guest post)
Winner: Jason Day
Winning Score: -20
Runner Up: Sheffaffle.
Low PGA Professional: Someone I’ve never heard of.
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Thorbjorn ❤
Last Year’s Winner (Justin Thomas, OWGR #2) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Self combust from too many consecutive interviews. Make Cut.
The Master’s Winner (Reed, #12) Will: Do better than anyone wants him to. Top10.
The US Open Winner (Koepka, #4) Will: Try to keep up with his playing partners. Top10.
The Open Champion (Molinari, #6) Will: Fizzle out. Make Cut.
Dustin Johnson (OWGR #1) will: Be average all week then come out of nowhere Sunday to finish just short of the W. Top10.
Justin Rose (#3) will: Come back from injury too early. MC.
Rory McIlroy (#5) will: Top10.
Jon Rahm (#7) will: MC.
Jordan Spieth (#8) will: Make Cut.
Rickie Fowler (#9) will: Shoot low round at least two days and high round at least one. And be distracted by his fiancée the whole time. Make Cut.
Jason Day (#10) will: T10.
Tiger (#who cares) will: Keep losing swing speed until I beat him in a long drive contest. Make Cut.
How many prior major winners will be in the Top 10: 4
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Win
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Players sweat straight through their long pants.

TG (guest post)
Winner: Xander Schauffele
Winning Score: -9
Runner Up: Tommy Fleetwood
Low PGA Professional: Michael Block
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Russel Henley
Last Year’s Winner (Justin Thomas, OWGR #2) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Top 10
The Master’s Winner (Reed, #12) Will: Miss Cut
The US Open Winner (Koepka, #4) Will: Make Cut
The Open Champion (Molinari, #6) Will: Make Cut
Dustin Johnson (OWGR #1) will: Top 10
Justin Rose (#3) will: Top 10
Rory McIlroy (#5) will: Make Cut
Jon Rahm (#7) will: Miss Cut
Jordan Spieth (#8) will: Make Cut
Rickie Fowler (#9) will: Make Cut
Jason Day (#10) will: Top 10
Tiger (#who cares) will: Top 10
How many prior major winners will be in the Top 10: 4
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Everyone blows up
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Tiger with ladies of the evening

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This year’s contest will take place at the site of arguably the greatest meltdown in golf history, or possibly sports history.  Jean Van de Velde held a three stroke lead going into the 18th hole at Carnoustie in 1999.  It’s painful to watch, but here you go: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1dR1pkCGY80.

Happier memories of this course include it being the final stop on JK and LG’s trip to Scotland now two years ago.  We got a first hand look at why this course is called CarNasty.  It was one of the only times we were rained upon during the trip, and the course played VERY tough.  The course this week appear to favor a strong and creative short game given the baked out and fast conditions.  Perhaps the wind will kick up and give Carnoustie the teeth it is known for.  Expect dreams to be shattered around Hogan’s alley, and for the 17th and 18th holes to play meaningful roles in determining the winner or loser.

img_8303.jpg

LG:
WIN: Sergio Garcia
PLACE: Rory McIlroy
SHOW:  Henrick Stenson
Winning Score: -10
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Kiradech Aphibarnrat
Last Year’s Winner (Spieth) Will …: Make Cut
The Master’s Winner (Reed) Will …: Miss Cut
The US Open Winner (Koepka) Will …: Miss Cut
The current PGA Champion (Thomas) will …: Make Cut
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Sergio wins and redeems himself!
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Sergio winning, duh
Who is most likely to “Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie” it? I guess I’m going to have to say Rory given who I’ve got coming in second?
Will you watch on Sunday? Absolutely.
Tiger Woods will: Make cut and make a run
Sergio Garcia will: WIN
Dustin Johnson will: Make cut and make a quad somewhere
Jason Day will: Miss cut
Rory McIlroy will: Top 10 (2nd)
Phil Mickelson will: Make cut? honestly don’t care.

JK:
WIN: Russell Knox
PLACE: Tommy Fleetwood
SHOW: Tiger Woods
Winning Score: +2
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Beau Hossler
Last Year’s Winner (Spieth) Will … Make Cut
The Master’s Winner (Reed) Will …: Top 10
The US Open Winner (Koepka) Will …: Make Cut
The current PGA Champion (Thomas) will …: Make Cut
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 1
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Everyone else loses it
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? A Scot wins in Scotland
Who is most likely to “Sergio Garcia at Carnoustie” it? LG. I mean…this should obviously be called JVDV-ing it!
Will you watch on Sunday? Definitely
Tiger Woods will: Top 10
Sergio Garcia will: MC
Dustin Johnson will: Top 10
Jason Day will: Make Cut
Rory McIlroy will: Miss Cut
Phil Mickelson will: Miss Cut

Shinnecock Hills looks nuts.

JK:
Winner: Rory McIlroy
Winning Score: -2
Runner Up: Jason Day
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Alex Noren
Last Year’s Winner (Koepka) will…: Make the Cut
Masters Champion (Reed) will …: Top 10
British Open Champion (Spieth (OWGR #4)) will …: Miss the cut
PGA Champion (Justin Thomas (OWGR #2)) will…: Make the cut
Last week’s winner, DJ (OWGR #1), will…: Top 3
Justin Rose (OWGR #3) will: Make the cut
Jon Rahm (OWGR #5) will: Top 10
Phil Mickelson (6x runner up) will: Miss cut
Tiger Woods (duh) will: Make cut on the number
Will anyone break par for all 4 rounds?: no way
What will be the highest score that misses the cut?: +19
What will be the highest single hole score?: 11
What will be the major storyline of the tournament: Cory Pavin
Bold Prediction?: There are more Cory Pavin videos than Rolex commercials, and everyone forgets that Retief Goosen won it at Shinnecock more recently than Pavin.

LG might not be able to put in his predictions, so let me just fill in what I already know he’s going to say…
Winner: Tiger
Winning Score: -1,000,000
Runner Up: Tiger! He gets all spots!
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Who cares? Tiger!
Last Year’s Winner (Koepka) will…: Loser!
Masters Champion (Reed) will …: Loser!
British Open Champion (Spieth (OWGR #4)) will …: Loser!
PGA Champion (Justin Thomas (OWGR #2)) will…: Loser!
Last week’s winner, DJ (OWGR #1), will…: Loser!
Justin Rose (OWGR #3) will: Loser!
Jon Rahm (OWGR #5) will: Loser!
Phil Mickelson (6x runner up) will: Double Loser!
Tiger Woods (duh) will: TIGER!!!! WIN THAT SHIT!!
Will anyone break par for all 4 rounds?: TIGER!!!
What will be the highest score that misses the cut?: who cares? GO TIGER!
What will be the highest single hole score?: TIGER!
What will be the major storyline of the tournament: TIGER!
Bold Prediction?: TIIIIIIIIIIGER!

Prediction: 2018 Masters

April 5, 2018

Finally, it’s back. The golf season can start again. But it won’t begin if LG and I don’t pick our guys for this year. Without further ado, here it goes…

JK:
Winner: Justin Rose
Winning Score: -9
Runner Up: Tiger Woods
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Alex Noren
Last Year’s Winner (Sergio) will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): MC
The US Open Champion (Brooks Koepka) will …: MC
The Champion Golfer of 2017 (Jordan Spieth) will …: Top 10
PGA Champion (Justin Thomas) will …: Top 10
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10: 3
The Low Amateur will be…: Doc Redman
Does the Low Amateur make the cut?: Yes
Jordan Spieth will … Top 10
Jason Day will … MC
Rory McIlroy will … Top 10
Hideki Matsuyama will … Make Cut
Justin Thomas will … Top 10
Rickie Fowler will … Top 10
Adam Scott will … Make Cut
Bubba Watson will … Miss Cut
Sergio Garcia will … Miss Cut
Phil Mickeslon will … Top 10
Bernhard Langer will … Make Cut
Will there be a hole in one? Yes – 12…someone finally does it.
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? I already got it–this is awesome: https://www.cbssports.com/golf/news/watch-jack-nicklaus-grandson-hits-a-hole-in-one-at-the-masters-par-3-tournament/
What is your Bold prediction? Tiger Woods doesn’t fall out of contention.

LG:
Winner: Tiger Woods
Winning Score: -10
Runner Up: Rory McIlroy
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Xander Schauffele
Last Year’s Winner (Sergio) will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): make cut
The US Open Champion (Brooks Koepka) will …: MC hammer
The Champion Golfer of 2017 (Jordan Spieth) will …: top 10
PGA Champion (Justin Thomas) will …: top 10
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10: 4
The Low Amateur will be…: Doc Redman
Does the Low Amateur make the cut?: No
Jordan Spieth will … Top 10
Jason Day will … make cut
Rory McIlroy will … runner up
Hideki Matsuyama will … top 10
Justin Thomas will … top 10
Rickie Fowler will … make cut
Adam Scott will … mc
Bubba Watson will … make cut
Sergio Garcia will … make cut
Phil Mickeslon will … top 10
Bernhard Langer will … be there?
Will there be a hole in one? Yes.
What will be the major storyline of the tournment? Best masters of our lifetime. I’m sorry, JK, no one cares about the par 3 contest. It’s great, but no one will remember this.
What is your Bold prediction? Tiger wins green jacket #5.

We’re about to embark on Glory’s Last Shot, the redheaded stepchild of majors. Nonetheless, this one should be interesting thanks to the location (Quail Hollow) and the man who is on top of golf at the moment, Jordan Spieth. The dovetail is that the course, known for its tricky greens, should prove a masterful test for Spieth, who many consider the best putter in the game right now (and maybe ever). Will he complete the grand slam? We’ll know in a week. Until then, here are our predictions:

JK:

Winner: Jordan Spieth
Winning Score: -11
Runner Up: Rory McIlroy
Low PGA Professional: Mike Small
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Rafa Cabrera-Bello
Last Year’s Winner (Jimmy Walker) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the cut
The Master’s Winner (Sergio) Will: Top 10
The US Open Winner (Koepka) Will: Miss the Cut
The Open Champion (Spieth) Will: Win
Dustin Johnson (world #1) will: Top 10
Hideki Matsuyama (#3) will: Top 10
Rory McIlroy (#4) will: Top 10
Jon Rahm (#6) will: MC
Jason Day (#7) will: MC
Rickie Fowler (#11) will: Make the cut
How many prior major winners will be in the Top 10: 6
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Spieth hangs on after a few masterful rounds early
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Grand Slam Spieth

LG:

Winner: Hideki Matsuyama
Winning Score: -16
Runner Up: Dustin Johnson
Low PGA Professional: Brian Smock!  Let’s goooo!!!
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Tommy Fleetwood (If Rafa is an unknown, so is Tommy)
Last Year’s Winner (Jimmy Walker) Will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make Cut
The Master’s Winner (Sergio) Will: Make Cut
The US Open Winner (Koepka) Will: Make Cut
The Open Champion (Spieth) Will: Top 10
Dustin Johnson (world #1) will: See Above
Hideki Matsuyama (#3) will: Make Cut/Top 10
Rory McIlroy (#4) will: Make Cut
Jon Rahm (#6) will: Miss Cut
Jason Day (#7) will: Miss Cut
Rickie Fowler (#11) will: Miss cut
How many prior major winners will be in the Top 10: 3
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Hideki fires 62 one day to take the lead and hangs on.  Looks like every shot is a shank in the process.
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Spieth doesn’t Grand Slam.  Golf press instantly forgets that Japanese Phenom wins major and goes back to talking about how Speith will win the grand slam next year.

a.k.a the British Open; a.k.a. THE Open Championship.  Come on guys, get your branding together.

This year, the 146th playing of the world’s oldest major championship will be played at Royal Birkdale.  Previous winners have included Arnold Palmer, Lee Trevino, Tom Watson, Johnny Miller, Ian Baker Finch, and Paddy Harrington.  While length doesn’t really figure into the equation with Open courses, the setup at Birkdale has only 2 par 5s, and they show up at the very end of the round at 15 and 17.  The pundits say this takes the bombers out of the equation, but hey, what do they know?

In the spirit of continuous improvement, the PowerFade is experimenting with a new format for predictions.  Happy Open viewing!

1 | Spieth, Jordan | -12
2 | Kuchar, Matt | -9
3 | Li, Hao-Tong | -6
T4 | Cabrera Bello, Rafa | -5
T4 | McIlroy, Rory | -5
T6 | Grace, Branden | -4
T6 | Koepka, Brooks | -4
T6 | Leishman, Marc | -4
T6 | Noren, Alexander | -4
T6 | Southgate, Matthew | -4
T11 | Casey, Paul | -3
T11 | Kim, Chan | -3
T11 | Stenson, Henrik | -3
T14 | Connelly, Austin | -2
T14 | Dufner, Jason | -2
T14 | Johnson, Zach | -2
T14 | Matsuyama, Hideki | -2
T14 | Poulter, Ian | -2
T14 | Wood, Chris | -2

LG:
Relative to par, what will be the cut on Friday night? +4 close, +5

List three players that will Top 10 (in order):
1. Sergio Garcia T37, +2
2. Ian Poulter T14, -2
3. John Rahm T44, +3

List three players that will make the cut (other than above):
1. Rickie Fowler T22, E
2. Henrik Stenson T11, -3
3. Adam Scott T22

List three players that will miss the cut:
1. Kevin Chappell Cut, +8
2. Jason Dufner T14, -2
3. J.B. Holmes T54, +4

Will the winner come from the morning draw on Thursday or the Afternoon draw on Thursday? Afternoon Jordan Spieth, -12 – Teed off 4:47 AM Eastern time, which was 8:47 AM, i.e., in the morning draw

Will you watch the coverage? YES! no idea, LG?

JK:
Relative to par, what will be the cut on Friday night? E a little aggressive

List three players that will Top 10 (in order):
1. Rory McIlroy T4, -5
2. Dustin Johnson T54, +4
3. Rickie Fowler T22, E

List three players that will make the cut (other than above):
1. Henrik Stenson see above
2. Phil Mickelson Cut, +10
3. Tommy Fleetwood T27, +1

List three players that will miss the cut:
1. Ian Poulter see above
2. Rafa Cabrera-Bello T4, -5
3. John Daly Cut, +12,000

Will the winner come from the morning draw on Thursday or the Afternoon draw on Thursday? Morning correct

Will you watch the coverage? Nope. Just cut the cable (yikes!) managed to get some in on NBC Sports app

It’s nearly time for the most punishing week in the professional schedule: the United States Open.  This year, the tournament will be contested at the monstrously long (7812 yards from the tips on the scorecard) Pete Dye (vomit) design at Erin Hills.

Kevin Na provides a perfect preview of the conditions to be faced in the video below:

With that context in mind, here’s the PowerFade’s guide on how to lose your money gambling:

Actual Leaderboard
1 | Brooks Koepka | -16
T2 | Hideki Matsuyama | -12
T2 | Brian Harman | -12
4 | Tommy Fleetwood | -11
T5 | Xander Schauffele | -10
T5 | Bill Haas | -10
T5 | Rickie Fowler | -10
8 | Charley Hoffman | -9
T9 | Trey Mullinax | -8
T9 | Brandt Snedeker | -8
T9 | Justin Thomas | -8
12 | J.B. Holmes | -7
T13 | Brendan Steele | -6
T13 | Patrick Reed | -6
T13 | Si Woo Kim | -6
T16 | Matt Kuchar | -5
T16 | Steve Stricker | -5
T16 | Chez Reavie | -5
T16 | Eddie Pepperell | -5
T16 | Bernd Wiesberger | -5

LG:
Winner: Rory Mcilroy MC—correct answer was Brooks Koepka
Winning Score: -4 -16
Runner Up: Dustin Johnson (in a playoff) MC
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Stu Hagestad Xander Shauffele
Last Year’s Winner (DJ) will…: runner up MC
Masters Champion (Sergio) will …: Make cut correct
British Open Champion (Stenson) will …: Make cut MC
PGA Champion (Walker) will…: Miss cut correct, +6
Last week’s winner, Daniel Berger, will…: Make cut correct, +9
Rory will…: WIN no
Rickie Fowler will…: Top 10 correct, T5 at -10
Jordan Speith will…: Make cut correct, T35 at +1
Justin Rose will…: Make cut MC, +2
Jason Day will…: Make cut MC +10
Will Mickelson play in the event?: Yes. NO
Will anyone break par for all 4 rounds?: No Koepka and Snedeker both shot all red
What will be the highest score that misses the cut?: +35 +20, Walker Lee (a). Highest score by a pro was Wesley Bryan at +15
What will be the highest single hole score?: 11 no idea
What will be the major storyline of the tournament: Mickelson’s daughter’s graduation gets pushed forward an hour so he can make his late tee time to miss the cut with no driver in the bag. that would be awesome…
Bold Prediction?: Stu Hagestad isn’t bold enough???? apparently a bit too bold

JK:
Winner: Dustin Johnson
Winning Score: +2
Runner Up: Rory McIlroy
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Thomas Pieters MC
Last Year’s Winner (DJ) will…:  Back-to-back, assuming he doesn’t fall down the stairs again
Masters Champion (Sergio) will …: MC
British Open Champion (Stenson) will …: MC
PGA Champion (Walker) will…: MC
Last week’s winner, Daniel Berger, will…: Make the cut
Rory will…: Top 10
Rickie Fowler will…: Top 10
Jordan Speith will…: Top 10
Justin Rose will…: MC
Jason Day will…: Top 10
Will Mickelson play in the event?: No
Will anyone break par for all 4 rounds?: No chance
What will be the highest score that misses the cut?: +23
What will be the highest single hole score?: 9
What will be the major storyline of the tournament: The rough
Bold Prediction?: The big names do really well overall…not many unknowns making a play. couldn’t be more wrong–there wasn’t a single prior major winner in the top 20