By: Evan Lachnit
With 2015 coming to a close, it is now time to look forward to the coming year in 2016. The PGA Tour is already in the midst of the 2016 season due to their year round schedule, with big names already winning this year (Graeme McDowell, Kevin Kisner and Bubba Watson to name a few).
To look ahead, here are just a few of my predictions for the “rest” of the 2016 schedule:
- Rory Mcilroy wins the Masters and completes the career grand slam in golf.
It feels as if it was ages ago that Mcilroy was sitting behind a cabin in the final round of the 2011 Masters. A for sure win for Mcilroy on the front nine turned into a disaster on the back nine in what was one of the most epic collapses in major history. That now seems like it happened over 20 years ago with the success that Mcilroy has had since then. Winning four majors (2011 U.S. Open, 2012 and 2014 PGA Championship, and the 2014 Open Championship) and two World Golf Championships, Mcilroy has showed he is in a class with only a few players that will hold the torch into the post-Tiger era. Mcilroy shows up when it matters the most, of his 11 PGA Tour victories, eight came in either major championships, World Golf Championships, or the FedEx Cup playoffs. WIth the competition Mcilroy will face in 2016 getting better and better every day, it will be no small task, but Mcilroy will win the Masters tournament, maybe even running away.
- Dustin Johnson finally wins a major championship.
Dustin Johnson’s struggles have been well documented, on and off of the course, but I feel that this year is the year Johnson fights off the demons and wins a major. To make it even more specific, it will be at the Open Championship. Most would guess that if Johnson would ever win a major it would be at the U.S. Open, but I feel that this years U.S. Open venue (Oakmont Country Club) does not suite Johnson the best. The Open Championship however, can be one of the most difficult tournaments all year, not due to the course, but the weather. The weather can be a major x-factor in this tournament, making it so hard to predict, especially over seven months away from the tournament, but if there is a course in the Open Championship rotation that Johnson can overpower and use his long drives the best, it is at Royal Troon.
- Jordan Spieth does not win a major in 2016.
It is hard to comprehend the greatness that Jordan Spieth showed this past year at the young age of 22. With two major championships, top five finishes in the other two majors, and FedEx Cup Tour title, Spieth won over 22 million dollars this past year. It would be almost impossible for Spieth to duplicate this production in 2016, but with his talent it would be no surprise to anyone. Saying that, I believe that Spieth will have a down year this year (that being in Spieth standards). I think that there’s so much talent in the tour right now, that it will be difficult for Spieth to win a major this year. He will still win tournaments and probably top the money list, but I do not see a major for him this year. But a gold medal from Rio might be in his future.
2016 Major Championship Predictions:
Masters: Rory McIlroy
U.S. Open: Bubba Watson
Open Championship: Dustin Johnson
PGA Championship: Billy Horschel