Prediction: 2017 Masters

April 5, 2017

It’s Christmas! No, it’s even better! IT’S MASTERS WEEK!

This is the week that LG and I wait for every year, the best week of golf of the year. 20 years since Tiger’s record-setting performance, I can’t wait to see how it plays out on Sunday.

Updates in Bold added 4/20/2017
Top 10:
1 Sergio Garcia -9 3
2 Justin Rose -9 5
3 Charl Schwartzel -6 F
T4 Matt Kuchar -5 F
T4 Thomas Pieters -5 F
6 Paul Casey -4 F
T7 Rory McIlroy -3 F
T7 Kevin Chappell -3 F
T9 Adam Scott -2 F
T9 Ryan Moore -2 F

JK:
Winner: Rory McIlroy T7 at -3. Correct was Sergio Garcia, happy to say
Winning Score: -9 correct
Runner Up: Jordan Spieth T11 at -1
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Matthew Fitzpatrick Solo 32nd at +4. Closest to “unknown” in the Top 10 was Kevin Chappell
Last Year’s Winner (Danny Willett) will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Make the Cut MC
The US Open Champion (Dustin Johnson) will …: Top 10 WD – back injury
The Champion Golfer of 2016 (Henrik Stenson) will …: Make the Cut MC
PGA Champion (Jimmy Walker) will …: Miss the Cut T18 at +1. Not bad
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10: 4 2
The Low Amateur will be…: Curtis Luck T46 at +9, but not LA. Low Am was Stewart Hagestad, T36 at +6
Does the Low Amateur make the cut?: No Yes he did, and so did the second best
Jordan Spieth will … Top10, second place close, T11 at -1
Jason Day will … Withdraw T22 at +2. Not bad
Rory McIlroy will … Win not exactly
Hideki Matsuyama will … Top 10 T11 at -1. Good showing
Justin Thomas will … Make the Cut T22 at +2
Rickie Fowler will .. Make the Cut T11 at -1
Adam Scott will … Top 10 Correct, T9 at -2
Bubba Watson will … Top 10 MC
Sergio Garcia will … Make the Cut WIN IT
Phil Mickeslon will … Top 10 T22 at +2
Bernhard Langer will … Make the cut MC, 75-78
Ian Woosnam, Mark O’Meara, Sandy Lyle, or Larry Mize–who is lowest?: All MC, I’ll go with O’Meara Larry Mize made the cut with 74-76 then took down solo-52nd at 17 over par. Yikes
Will there be a hole in one? Yes of course, 16 most likely CONGRATULATIONS MATT KUCHAR!!!
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? Tiger Woods / Rory McIlroy comparisons Definitely Sergio dropping the monkey
What is your Bold prediction? McIlroy makes 4 eagles over the weekend yea, not exactly

LG:
Winner: Bubba Watson MC
Winning Score: – 8 Close
Runner Up: Rory T7
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Adam Hadwin T36 at +6
Last Year’s Winner (Danny Willett) will … (Win, Top10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): MC correct
The US Open Champion (Dustin Johnson) will …: Top 10 Best player not in the field
The Champion Golfer of 2016 (Henrik Stenson) will …: Top 10 not exactly
PGA Champion (Jimmy Walker) will …: MC not exactly
How many prior Masters winners will be in the Top 10: 2 Correct
The Low Amateur will be…: No idea who they are. learn some golf, LG
Does the Low Amateur make the cut?: Don’t care. wasted talent
Jordan Spieth will … Top 10 close, T11
Jason Day will … Make Cut Correct, T22
Rory McIlroy will … Top 10 Correct, T7
Hideki Matsuyama will … take forever to swing, look like he hate the shot, then make an ace on 12.  Make cut. Correct, T11
Justin Thomas will … MC made cut
Rickie Fowler will .. Make cut correct
Adam Scott will … Make cut Top 10
Bubba Watson will … WIN! MC
Sergio Garcia will … Miss cut WIN!
Phil Mickeslon will … Top 10 Closure, T22
Bernhard Langer will … be old. yep
Ian Woosnam, Mark O’Meara, Sandy Lyle, or Larry Mize–who is lowest?: Woosie will be the shortest, for sure. winner
Will there be a hole in one? YES good
What will be the major storyline of the tournament? The rain, sadly. not at all
What is your Bold prediction? Jim Nantz says the word “shit” live on the air. he was fighting it back all week

While this year marks the return of golf to the summer Olympics in Rio, this event has been met with, at best, a lukewarm response from the golf community.

The professional ranks have given little attention to this event, with notables such as Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Phil Mickelson, Jason Day, Adam Scott, Dustin Johnson, and Graeme McDowell refusing to compete for their respective countries.  Indeed, Rory has gone so far as to say that:

“I didn’t get into golf to try and grow the game. I got into golf to win championships and win major championships. I’ll probably watch the Olympics, but I’m not sure golf will be one of the events I watch.’’

While I appreciate Rory’s candor, part of me feels as though this attitude marks a departure with the beautiful amateur tradition of golf.  The days of Bobby Jones and Francis Ouimet appear to be well behind us.  I find it hard to believe that if Bobby Jones were around today with an opportunity to compete for love of country and the pure love of golf that he would shy away because of the overblown threat of Zika.  Yes, golf in the Olympics does not have the history or tradition of a U.S. Amateur or British Amateur, but don’t we have to start somewhere?  Even if we hold the IOC in such low regard as to think that they would add the Olympics to get a few more viewers, shouldn’t golf be happy to take advantage of the opportunity to grow the game to countries that have no significant exposure?

In any event, I think the IOC (or whoever oversaw the competition) did the game a disservice by sticking with a monumentally boring 72-hole medal play format and not including a team component and/or a component where men and women compete in the same event.  How great would it be to have a mixed best ball event?  an alternate shot event?  I understand that the committee is just dipping a toe in the water, but come on!  Let’s make this something people want to watch!  To the format’s credit, there will be playoffs in the event of any ties, so there will not be 4-5 bronze medals given out for T-3s.

At minimum, we get some really great stories like Ben An, who’s parents were Olympians in their own right in table tennis.  When they met during the Olympics, Ben’s South Korean father told a young lady on the Chinese team that he loved her at first site.  Despite the diplomatic disaster that relationship could have caused, the two were married and had Ben.  While the parents were able to collectively capture a silver and a pair of bronze medals, neither was able to obtain the gold.  Because golf is now back in the Olympics, Ben has a chance to add to the family collection.

I understand the wider golf community’s immediate lack of interest in golf’s return to the Olympics, but I find it slightly disheartening.  I personally doubt it will ever hold the same weight as a major, but I would hope it takes on significance comparable to the Ryder cup.  I find any event where nations compete for the love the game exciting, and hope that golf can assign the same gravity to the Olympics as most other sports have in time.

*This opinion, in no way, shape, or form, is shared by JK.

Apparently, there’s another major this week?

Glory’s last shot at Baltusrol… yada yada yada…

JK:
Win: Jordan Spieth
Winning score: -6
Runner-up: Phil Mickelson
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Jason Kokrak
Low PGA Professional: Rod Perry
The US Open Winner (Dustin Johnson) will: Top 10, probably T2
The Masters Winner (Danny Willett) will: Make the cut
The Open Champion (Henrik) will: Top 10
The 2015 PGA Championship Winner (Jason Day) will: Top 10
Sergio Garcia will: Miss cut
Hideki Matsuyama will: Make Cut
Adam Scott will: Top 10
Bubba Watson will: Get caught in his jetpack
Will someone win it, or everyone else lose it: Tough rounds in the middle of the week, but Spieth lights it up on the weekend to take his third major
What will be the biggest storyline of the tournament: Jordan coming back after not showing up for most of the year
Will you watch on Sunday: Hell no…I’ll be flying somewhere golfy

LG:
Win: Rory
Winning score: -15
Runner-up: DJ
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Kevin Chappell
Low PGA Professional: Mitch Lowe (GO MITCH!)
The US Open Winner (Dustin Johnson) will: 2nd!
The Masters Winner (Danny Willett) will: MC
The Open Champion (Henrik) will: Make Cut
The 2015 PGA Championship Winner (Jason Day) will: Make Cut
Sergio Garcia will: Top 10 (sorry, Sergio)
Hideki Matsuyama will: Make Cut
Adam Scott will: Make Cut
Bubba Watson will: Miss Cut
Will someone win it, or everyone else lose it: Rory takes it down.
What will be the biggest storyline of the tournament: Classic Rory/Tigeresque win.  He’s Back!
Will you watch on Sunday: Nope – on a plane to Scotland!

Hot off the press, the PF releases its predictions for the 2016 Open Championship at Royal Troon. The 7,175 yard course in Glasgow (which JK might maybe possibly get to play in a few weeks) is one of the classic tracks in all of the old country. This will be its 9th hosting of the Open, with notable winners Bobby Locke, Arnold Palmer, Tom Weiskopf, Tom Watson, and Justin Leonard. The most recent was 2004 when Todd Hamilton edged out Ernie Els in one of the biggest upsets in major golf history. We’d be remiss to fail to mention The Postage Stamp green on at the 8th at Royal Troon, one of the most iconic shots in all of golf (http://www.royaltroon.co.uk/courses/old-course/8). Will this hole be the one to decide the Champion Golfer of the Year? We will soon find out.

JK:
Win: Jordan Spieth
Winning score: -8
Runner-up: Graeme McDowell
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Alexander Noren
The US Open Winner (Dustin Johnson) will: Top 10
The Masters Winner (Danny Willett) will: MC
The 2015 PGA Championship Winner (Jason Day) will: Make the cut
Last year’s Open Champion (Zach Johson) will: Top 10
The 2014 Open Champion (Rory McIlroy) will: Top 10
The 2013 Open Champion (Phil Mickelson) will: Make the cut
Sergio Garcia will: bounce it off a flagstick OB. MC
Hideki Matsuyama will: swing out of his shoes, which doesn’t work at Troon. MC
Adam Scott will: have a nice week. Make the cut
Henrik Stenson will: Make the cut
Bubba Watson will: post a stupid video. MC.
Will someone win it, or everyone else lose it: Combination of both–one shining star plays just well enough to outlast an embattled field
What will be the biggest storyline of the tournament: Spieth goes wire-to-wire
Will you watch on Sunday: as long as it looks something like what I’ve outlined above and not a garbage can fire of players, then yes.

LG:
Win: Jim Furyk
Winning score: -2
Runner-up: Tony Finau
Unknown in the Top 10: Tony Finau…
The US Open Winner (Dustin Johnson) will: Miss Cut
The Masters Winner (Danny Willett) will: Make Cut…possibly top 10
The 2015 PGA Championship Winner (Jason Day) will: Make cut
Last year’s Open Champion (Zach Johson) will: Make cut
The 2014 Open Champion (Rory McIlroy) will: Make Cut
The 2013 Open Champion (Phil Mickelson) will: Miss Cut
Sergio Garcia will: Top 10 – possibly playoff with Tony Finau and Jim Furyk
Hideki Matsuyama will: Miss Cut
Adam Scott will: Make cut
Henrik Stenson will: Make Cut
Bubba Watson will: Hopefully miss his flight
Will someone win it, or everyone else lose it: Furyk grinds out a huge win
What will be the biggest storyline of the tournament: the weather
Will you watch on Sunday: I’ll be playing Old MacDonald 😀

Time for the third major of The Year Of The Links Major. This one, the purest form of links golf, the Open Championship at St. Andrews. In the last three contests at St. Andrews, the winner has waltzed to victory, with no margin of victory at St. Andrews being less than 5 shots since 1995. Many story lines pervade our senses–will Jordan Spieth take home the third major in a row? Will Tiger Woods find his game at a place that he has previously been a magician? Can Louis Oosthuizen relive his major championship form when it matters in his St. Andrews defense? Can Dustin Johnson bounce back from a terrible loss at the US Open?

Without further ado, here are our predictions:

Final Leaderboard:
1 Zach Johnson -15*
T2 Louis Oosthuizen -15*
T2 Marc Leishman -15*
T4 Jason Day -14
T4 Jordan Spieth -14
T6 Justin Rose -11
T6 Sergio Garcia -11
T6 Danny Willett -11
T6 Jordan Niebrugge (a) -11
T10 Adam Scott -10

*denotes playoff

LG:

WIN: Rickie Fowler (T30, -6)
PLACE: Victor Dubuisson (MC, 74-71)
SHOW: Tiger Woods (MC, 76-75)
Winning Score: -10 (-15)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: Eddie Pepperell (T49, -4. Actual answers: Willett, Niebrugge)
Last Year’s Winner (Rors) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): Be discussed on TV, but will not tee it. (yah)
The Master’s Winner (Spieth) Will …: Make Cut (T4, one shot away from the playoff)
The US Open Win….nevermind
The current PGA Champ….nevermind
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 2 (1-Oosthuizen)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Rickie will continue his stellar play from last week and close wire to wire. (I’d say ZJ won it…big putt on 18, great score in the playoff)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Rory isn’t there, Tiger shows solid form, and Victor Dubuisson holes a miracle bunker shot on Friday from the Road Hole bunker. (ZJ, Spieth ALMOST doing it)
Will you watch on Sunday? Probably not live, but I’ll watch the replay. (I watched a ton. Great tourney)
Tiger Woods will: Top 10 – he could play this place blindfolded. (I wish)
Dustin Johnson will: Miss Cut. (leader at the cut line…fall away on the weekend. yikes DJ)
Bubba Watson will: probably not even show up. (wouldn’t that be nice? MC)
Philefty will: Make Cut. (T20, -7)
Horschel (Current Fedex Cup champion) will: Miss Cut. (T30, -6)
Jimmy Walker (second to Spieth in Fedex Cup points) will: Make Cut. (T30, -6)
Zach Johnson (LG’s favorite player) will: lol. (lol indeed)
Miguel Angel Jimenez (LG’s ACTUAL favorite player) will: Make Cut. (MC, 75-73)
Nick Faldo (1990 winner at St. Andrews) will: probably break a club during missing the cut. (83 on the first day. yeah)
John Daly (1995 winner at St. Andrews) will: sell T-shirts out of his van in the parking lot. (first outside the cut line)
Tiger Woods (2000 and 2005 winner at St. Andrews) will: Top 10.  Come on TIGER! (yeah..right)
Louis Oosthuizen (2010 winner at St. Andrews) will: Top 10. (my second of two prior champions in the top 10) (good call. T-2 in playoff)
Rickie Fowler (2015 Scottish Open Champion) will: WIN! (Dear God)
What will be the margin of victory: 2 (0.0–playoff)
Will Rory McIlroy make an appearance? Probably in some Nike commercial about overcoming adversity (adversity here being an injury during a pickup soccer game…) (yup)

JK

WIN: Tommy Fleetwood (one shot outside the cut.)
PLACE: Paul Casey (T74 at E)
SHOW: Jason Day (T4, -14–one shot out)
Winning Score: -18 (-15)
“Unknown” in the Top 10: uhm….Tommy Fleetwood (right….not exactly)
Last Year’s Winner (Rors) Will … (Win, Top 10, Make the Cut, or Miss the Cut): count his money (indeed)
The Master’s Winner (Spieth) Will …: Top 10 (yup)
The US Open Win….nevermind
The current PGA Champ….nevermind
How many prior winners will be in the Top 10: 3 (1)
Will someone win it, or will everyone else lose it? Fleetwood wins running away (ZJ won it)
What will be the biggest story of the tournament? Tommy Fking Fleetwood
Will you watch on Sunday? Tune in to watch Tommy Fleetwood run laps around the field? no thanks
Tiger Woods will: Top10. Probably T-4. (nope)
Dustin Johnson will: Top10. Probably T-6 (close enough.)
Bubba Watson will: storm off the course, proclaiming that “Scottish golf is stupid–bubba golf is rad.” (yes!)
Philefty will: Top10. The British Open is always good to philly (close)
Horschel (Current Fedex Cup champion) will: gator champ at a patron, causing said patron to throw beer at him.
Jimmy Walker (second to Spieth in Fedex Cup points) will: Top10.
Zach Johnson (LG’s favorite player) will: Top10

Miguel Angel Jimenez (LG’s ACTUAL favorite player) will: Make Cut.
Nick Faldo (1990 winner at St. Andrews) will: cheat on his wife or girlfriend. Again.
John Daly (1995 winner at St. Andrews) will: shirtless JD at St. Andrews? Can it be true?
Tiger Woods (2000 and 2005 winner at St. Andrews) will: Top10. Great showing, can’t quite get it done.
Louis Oosthuizen (2010 winner at St. Andrews) will: Just outside the Top 10. He’s doing good right now.

Rickie Fowler (2015 Scottish Open Champion) will: wear orange on sunday?
What will be the margin of victory: 8 shots
Will Rory McIlroy make an appearance? Nike, Omega, the PGA of America….yeah, he’ll be there…in recording at least.