2019 Golf Predictions

By Bradley W. Smith
January 2, 2019

2019 Golf Predictions: What Might Happen in the New Year

With the year about to tap-in it’s final putt on 18, it’s time to turn our attention to 2019.  Yes, technically the 2019 golf season began a few months ago, but for a golf purist like myself, the real season doesn’t begin until the calendar turns and the palm trees of Kapalua are splashed across my TV screen.

5 Things I think Will Happen in 2019

This past year saw the emergence of Brooks Koepka into elite status, a return to the winner’s circle for Tiger, spring wins and summer swoons for Rory and Phil, major breakthroughs for Patrick Reed and Francesco Molinari, plus a red, white and blue beatdown in Paris. 

I could go on and on, but you get the point.  2018 was a great year for golf and 2019 figures to be even better.  With that in mind, I’ve peered into my crystal ball for five things I think will happen in 2019 and a few things that won’t.  You’ve been warned…

1.  Brooks Koepka Steps on the Gas

The guy won three majors in the span of 13 months, but he would barely raise an eyebrow if he showed up at your local course.  DJ, Rory, Jordan, Rickie, Bubba, all of them get way more love from the media and the gallery than Brooks Koepka does and that’s too bad.  Koepka is on his way to being the alpha dog of the PGA Tour for the next five or more years while Tiger and Phil gracefully fade away from the spotlight.  He won’t win two majors in 2019, but he’s going to add to his trophy collection in a big way.  

2.  Tommy Fleetwood Captures a Major

If Koepka doesn’t three-peat at the U.S. Open it could be Fleetwood taking the trophy from him.  He was fourth at Erin Hills and solo second at Shinnecock.  He also finished T-17th in just his second start at Augusta.  He’s got the game to win anywhere, anytime and he thrives on Sunday pressure.  The PGA at Bethpage Black feels like a perfect fit for him.

3. The PGA Championship Gets its Mojo Back (somewhat)

Moving to May will prove to be a great thing for the tournament and golf fans. Although I would like to see the PGA establish their own course rota instead of going to U.S. Open hopefuls like Bethpage or Hazeltine, the New York fans will bring energy and passion to the tournament. 

Don’t get me wrong, it will still be the 4th major in terms of relevance, but instead of being overshadowed by pre-season football games and having players wilting in triple digit August heat, the PGA will quickly settle into a great spot in the sporting calendar. 

4. Team USA Also Gets Their Mojo Back

It won’t entirely wash away the stink from their Ryder Cup shellacking. But they will easily beat the International Team in the President’s Cup at Royal Melbourne. There’s still a long way to go before the teams are decided, but the depth of the American squad will be too strong for the home team.  Half of the International Team could be rookies while half of Team USA could be major champions.  With Tiger serving as captain, it feels like all signs point to a one-sided win.

5. Business Will Be Booming for the PGA Tour

This time last year nobody knew what to expect from Tiger when or if he returned to the tour. Now we know, and the lead up to the Masters should be among the most-hyped in quite a while. That alone will make the suits in Ponte Vedra happy, but when you factor in four straight months of majors from April to July, a condensed PGA Tour schedule with the Players moving back to March, new tour stops in Detroit and Minnesota and one less FedEx Cup event, the PGA Tour is well-poised to the headlines all spring and summer long.

But here’s what won’t happen in 2019 (cue sad trombone): 

Tiger wins a major.

Remember 2010 when the Pebble Beach hosted the U.S. Open and St. Andrews hosted the Open and Tiger was sure to end his major drought of two years?  Didn’t happen. Sure he played well at Augusta and Pebble, but he didn’t win.  Three of the four majors in 2019 will be at courses Tiger has dominated before including Pebble.

It would be an amazing story if Tiger returned to Pebble Beach or Bethpage and bagged another major, but it’s not happening. The fields are too deep and the mileage on Tiger is too great. In the old days, Molinari or Koepka would have wilted when they saw Tiger move up the leaderboard. Now they barely notice.

I could definitely see Tiger winning somewhere next year, but a major seems too much to ask at this stage.

Lefty wins the U.S. Open.

He’ll be 49 in June. If he was going to win the U.S. Open it would’ve happened by now. Don’t despair though, he’ll be eligible to win the U.S. Senior Open soon.

What Do You Think?

Do you have any 2019 golf predictions of your own?  Let us know in the comments!

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