The 2012-2013 PGA Tour season was filled with riveting moments from Phil Mickelson at the British Open to the emergence of young stars like Jordan Spieth just to name a few. But now the 2012-2013 PGA Tour season is in our rear view mirrors and the 2013-2014 season has officially begun.
However, in my opinion, the season does not really kick off until the Hyundai Tournament of Champions at the Plantation Course in Kapalua, Maui, Hawaii on January 3 2014. With that in mind it is time to take a few leaps of faith and come up with the 2014 PGA Tour season’s bold predictions.
Jason Day will win his first Major Championship in 2014
Is it shocking to claim a player with one career PGA Tour victory will win a Major Championship in 2014? Possibly, but it appears Mr. Day is ready to take the next step.
He has the game to win a Major Championship and the mental wherewithal to be there at the end. Prior to 2013 the case could be made against this idea but just take a look at how well he played in the Majors.
Jason finished third at the Masters, tied for second at the US Open, tied for 32nd at The Open Championship and tied for eighth at the PGA Championship. Not only that but his performance down the stretch during the FedExCup Playoffs bodes well for him as well with four top-25s, three top-15s and a top-5.
Another point to consider is that Jason Day is aligning his schedule to prepare and peak at golf’s biggest events. Players like Adam Scott and Phil Mickelson have done this in the past when they felt they were close to breaking through. I must believe that Jason has the same thoughts. Far be it from me do fault and disprove the logic. Expect Jason Day to win his first Major Championship in 2014 maybe as soon as April.
Graham Delaet will win multiple events in 2014
For the masses of casual golf fans Graham Delaet might be a name that is new. That will change this season. In 2013 he managed seven top-10s and climbed to 34th in the Official World Golf Rankings.
He was chosen and played in the Presidents Cup and qualified for all four FedEx Cup Playoff events. He finished tied for second in The Barclays, third in the Deutsche Bank Championship and a pair of 28ths at the BMW and Tour Championships. If you look at some of the key stats of 2013 Delaet is right there with third in Greens in Regulations, first in Total Driving and first in Ball Striking. If he can step up he putting a bit (and there is no reason that he won’t) there is no reason why he cannot win multiple events in 2014.
Billy Horschel will finish in the Top-10 of the Official World Golf Rankings in 2014
Billy Horschel broke into the winner circle in 2013 at the Zurich Classic of New Orleans with an impressive 20 under par performance and also garnered his first Major Championship top-5 at the US Open. He also finished with 10 top-25s, eight top-10s; a third and a second place finish which saw him climb to 41st in the Official World Golf Rankings.
Billy also finished in the top-10 in many PGA Tour performance stats including but not limited to Birdie Average, Total Driving and All-Around. He was also second on tour in Total Putting. Those stats are transferable and should only improve with his added confidence. I expect that confidence to transfer to steady play and another win while also be playing for the chance to join the Ryder Cup. He enters 2014 with a level of confidence he did not have entering the 2013 season. That alone should be enough see Mr. Horschel crack the top-10 by the end of 2014.
Patrick Cantlay will win the 2014 PGA Tour Rookie of the Year Award
The 2013 Web.com Tour graduate is set to make his presence known on the PGA Tour in 2014. Prior to turning professional he was ranked as the No. 1 amateur in the world. He is a Jack Nicklaus and Ben Hogan Award winner and for those that do not remembe, Mr. Cantlay, he shot a 60 as an amateur at the 2011 Travelers Championship so there is game inside the 21 year olds frame.
He did manage two top-25s, two top-10s, a second place finish and a win (Columbia Championship) in nine starts on the Web.com Tour in 2013 in limited play. Cantlay was injured in 2013 and prior to the injury was atop the Web.com money list. He also played in multiple PGA events at his young age including a ninth at the AT&T Pebble Beach Pro-Am. The stage is not too big for the youngster and this could be a breakout season for the rookie culminating in PGA Tour Rookie of the Year.
Now that I revealed my bold predictions for the 2014 PGA Tour season are you shocked? Do you agree or disagree? Let me know what you think and let’s relax and watch the 2014 PGA Tour season unfold.