It is likely that I will be so far off of what actually happens with these 2013 Major Championship predictions that I might as well wake up my 18-month-old daughter and have her make the picks. Nonetheless, in the event that I have some kind of luck in guessing (I mean, that’s what these are after all, guesses) the 2013 Major Champions, I thought I would commit them to the record…so here goes:
The Masters, Augusta National Golf Club – Rory McIlroy
I know, I know. Total chalk! I might as well pick Duke to win the NCAA tournament and The New England Patriots to win the Super Bowl. The reason chalk picks are chalk picks is because they are obvious. To me, few things are more obvious than the match between Augusta National and Rory McIlroy. He hits a high draw, and it goes forever. He can make birdies in major championships (see 2011 U.S. Open and 2012 PGA Championship). And no, I do not believe he will have any issues with his much ballyhooed equipment change. Do not forget that in 2011, McIlroy was -12 to begin his ill-fated final round and -11 before his infamous snap hook into the cabins off the tenth tee. He can win at Augusta National, and it is my belief that he will happily accept his green jacket from Bubba Watson this April.
And now to the other events, or as I’ll call them the “Trevino Slam” because of the victories Hall of Famer Lee Trevino holds at each venue.
U.S. Open, Merion Golf Club, East Course – Luke Donald
Is this more chalk talk? Maybe. But World Number 2 Luke Donald is a Merion type of player. WHAT DOES THAT EVEN MEAN?!?!?!? It is well-known that Donald’s weakness is his driver. His 121st rank in Total Driving (combination of distance and accuracy) is evidence of that. Or is it? Donald ranked 37th on the PGA TOUR in Driving Accuracy in 2012 (up from 57th in 2011). His total driving number is hampered by a lack of distance off the tee, but we all knew that anyway. Bear in mind that Merion’s East Course measures a little more than 6800 yards and is tighter than…well, let’s just say it’s tight so finding the fairway will be at a premium, even more so than length at this U.S. Open. And while the USGA will likely have the East Course playing longer this June, it will not be a monster 7600 yard track like Torrey Pines was in 2008. With all that said, Donald’s improvement with finding the fairway combined with his All-World short game and putting makes him my pick to win the first leg of the Trevino Slam.
British Open, Muirfield Golf Links – Tiger Woods
Oh boy, this is getting ridiculous. I’ve picked the first, second and third ranked players in the world to win the first three majors. And on top of it all I’m throwing down the name of the greatest player of the last 30 years to win here. By the way, didn’t Tiger shoot an 81 at the 2002 British Open at Muirfield? Why yes, yes he did…in hurricane-like conditions. However, in rounds 1, 2 and 4 he shot three tidy rounds of 70, 68 and 65, respectively (by the way, that’s 10 under par). Before you ask, yes, this Open Championship will be contested over FOUR 18 hole rounds, not three. And I too am aware of Mr. Woods’ inability to string together 4 solid rounds in any of the 2012 Majors. But this is a new year. Confidence, swing, and body will align and
barring any freak weather occurrences (hello? this is Scotland), ASSUMING some freak weather occurrences, Tiger Woods gets back on the Major train for Part II of the Trevino Slam.
PGA Championship, Oak Hill Country Club, East Course – Brandt Snedeker
See? I broke up the pattern by choosing a guy who won $11 million at one tournament in 2012, so HA! Kidding aside, Brandt Snedeker will back up his strong performance in 2012 with his first major championship. Besides his putting prowess and recent form I have no other reason to pick Snedeker (but I think those two are good enough). While Oak Hill did produce an unknown champion in its previous PGA Championship endeavor (remember Shaun Micheel‘s 7 iron?) No one predicted that and if they did, they are either related to Shaun Micheel or lying. Brandt Snedeker closes out the Trevino Slam of 2013.
We’ll check back and see how I did…this could get ugly.