Punch shot: How many majors will Woods win in 2013?

By Golf Channel DigitalMarch 11, 2013, 2:20 pm

Tiger Woods has two PGA Tour victories in four starts this season. But he hasn't won a major championship since 2008. Will his good form in 2013 end that drought and revive his quest to break Jack Nicklaus' major-victory record? GolfChannel.com writers weigh in with their predictions on how many majors Woods will win this season.


By RYAN LAVNER

One.

Tiger Woods looked concrete-solid, and frightening familiar, at Doral. Power fades off the tee. Dialed-in irons and wedges. An improved putting stroke. Such a commanding performance always leads to hyperbole, and for good reason.

Tiger is the favorite to win a major each time he tees it up. And he should win a major this season, if only because of the superb form we’ve seen in four PGA Tour starts. At Doral, he topped names like Stricker, Scott, Garcia, Mickelson, G-Mac, Bradley and McIlroy.

But there are four majors each year. There are 50 to 75 players who have a legitimate chance to win. As easy as he made it look in 2000-01, the math isn’t in Woods’ favor.

Think about it this way: If McIlroy won the Masters, Brandt Snedeker the U.S. Open, Lee Westwood the British, and Bradley the PGA, would anyone be surprised? Probably not.

No one in the world is playing as well as Woods right now. But that doesn’t mean he’s a lock to add to his major haul.


By JASON SOBEL

I had Tiger Woods winning one major before the year started and I'm not changing now.

When it comes to ranking players or predicting future success directly after a victory, I try not to suffer from SMS – an affliction which has nothing to do with text messages.

Instead, it stands for Short-term Memory Syndrome and too often we suffer from its effects. I've written this before, but it's already happened numerous times this year. When Dustin Johnson won at Kapalua, he was 'primed to win a major'; when Russell Henley won one week later, he was a 'Ryder Cup hopeful.'

All of which brings me to Woods. His wins at Torrey Pines and this past weekend at Doral were vintage TW. That means methodical with a side of boring. Sure, we all remember Woods winning tournaments punctuated by energetic fist pumps, but just as often he cruised into the winner's circle.

These wins should prove he's on top of his game, but at its very core professional golf is a cyclical game, with ups and downs and ebbs and flows on a weekly basis. To watch Tiger win twice already and instantly claim he's prepared to pile up majors is to forget recent history, when his ups came prior to the big ones and his downs came during them.

I'll keep Woods at my original season-opening prediction of one major. I may be wrong, but at least I won't have to be treated for a bad case of SMS. 


By RANDALL MELL

Two.

Tiger Woods is enjoying bursts of brilliance again.

The first 54 holes at Torrey Pines in his Farmers Insurance Open victory in January featured some of the best driving we’ve ever seen from him. His victory this past week at the WGC-Cadillac Championship was a showcase of classic Tiger putting with some terrific iron play. His short game was sharp in both victories.

These give us reasons to believe we could see another major championship masterpiece in the making, with the possibility Woods puts all those pieces together, in another dominant runaway at next month’s Masters. If he drives it like he did at Torrey Pines and putts like he did at Doral, he’ll blow away the field at Augusta National. The confidence that comes with that could easily lead to two or even three major championship titles this year.

The way Tiger closed out at Torrey Pines and Doral, however, leaves room for skeptics to still wonder how he’ll close a major. Woods gave back four shots over the final six holes at Torrey Pines. He gave back two shots over the final three holes at Doral. The combination of his weekend fades at the U.S. Open and PGA Championship last year feed anyone who still has doubt about Woods winning majors. If Tiger fades on yet another major weekend in this year’s Masters, he might not win one this year.

The bet here is it all comes together well enough at the Masters to give him his 15th major triumph and at the U.S. Open at Merion for his 16th.


By REX HOGGARD

Tiger Woods will win one major in 2013, a clinical rout similar to the textbook walkover he enjoyed last week at Doral when all of the cylinders cascade into place flawlessly and the field is reduced to playing the consolation match long before Sunday’s final turn.

Said triumph will occur at Oak Hill, site of this year’s PGA Championship and the type of ballpark that Woods dominated when he was winning majors at a regular clip.

It’s simple math.

Although Woods has a Grand Slam of green jackets, he hasn’t won the Masters since 2005 and if the club didn’t exactly “Tiger-proof” the venerable Georgia gem in the early 2000s they undoubtedly made it “Tiger tougher.”

Merion Golf Club may also be a less-than-perfect fit for Woods at this year’s U.S. Open. The classic layout will play to just under 7,000 yards with a focus on precision not power, which will expand the field of potential champions and effectively narrow Woods’ chances.

And Muirfield, site of this year’s British Open, is always a great unknown that demands a bit of luck as well as copious amounts of skill (Woods shot a third-round 81 at Muirfield at the 2002 Open in a horrific gale).

Which brings us to Oak Hill, where, it should be pointed out, Jack Nicklaus collected major No. 17 in 1980 and where Woods will land No. 15.


By JAY COFFIN

Two.

I’ll jump on the humongous bandwagon, and won’t think twice about it.

Woods said himself last week that he doesn’t want to be as good as he was in 2000; he wants to be better. I don’t believe it’s possible for him to be better than he was 13 years ago, but he’s closer to that now than he has been at any point over the past four years. That type of form is easily good enough to win two majors.

Another comment Woods made Sunday after winning the WGC-Cadillac Championship was that he last played this well at the Farmers Insurance Open. I know such thoughts are in his competitive DNA, but he played better at Doral. Much better. The 27 birdies and 100 total putts show Woods was in complete control of his game.

The Masters is the obvious choice for Woods to pick up one major this year, especially since his putting seems to be in top shape. Many are saying Merion’s layout will not suit Woods’ pursuit of another U.S. Open. I don’t necessarily agree. After all, he has won a major by hitting 4-iron off the tee. But let’s say he doesn’t win.

The British Open is the second major Woods will win. He finished six back when the Open was at Muirfield in 2002 – Ernie Els won in a four-way playoff. That week’s performance didn’t please Woods, but he’s returning to a place he admires and believes is a fair test.

Woods will collect his first claret jug since 2006 and the major tally will be 16 by year’s end.

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Lexi (wrist) WDs from Diamond Resorts Invitational

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 11:27 pm

Lexi Thompson on Friday withdrew from the Diamond Resorts Invitational, citing inflammation in her wrist. Thompson, who teamed with Tony Finau to finish tied for fourth place in last week's QBE Shootout, said she is under strict doctor's order not to hit golf balls until mid-January.

The Diamond Resorts Invitational is scheduled Jan. 12-14 at Tranquilo Golf Club in Orlando, Fla. The field for te 54-hole event includes LPGA and PGA Tour Champions players, as well as celebrities from the worlds or sports and entertainment.

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Rose leads Indonesian Masters; Snedeker WDs

By Associated PressDecember 15, 2017, 2:04 pm

JAKARTA, Indonesia - Justin Rose completed the final two holes of his second round early Saturday for a 3-under 69 and a one-stroke lead at the Indonesian Masters.

Rose, who had a first-round 62, was among a quarter of the field forced off the Royale Jakarta Golf Club course after weather delays on Friday.

The Englishman, who bogeyed his last hole, had a two-round total of 13-under 131.

Kiradech Aphibarnrat, who completed his 64 on Friday, was in second place.

Brandt Snedeker withdrew with apparent heat exhaustion on Friday on the 11th hole of the second round. Ranked 51st in the world, he flew to Jakarta looking to move inside the top 50 by the end of the year and ensure a spot in next year's Masters. He has been affected by a rib-sternum injury for most of the season.

Newsmaker of the Year: No. 2, Donald Trump

By Golf Channel DigitalDecember 15, 2017, 1:00 pm

Even away from the White House, President Donald Trump generated plenty of headlines this year.

Trump’s first year in office didn’t dim his enthusiasm for the game, as he made splashy appearances at two big events, tweeted about golf to his more than 44 million followers, teed it up with some of the sport’s biggest stars, including Tiger Woods, Rory McIlroy and Lexi Thompson, and fired a few eyebrow-raising scores. Logging more than 75 rounds since his inauguration, the 3-handicap has only bolstered his reputation as the best golfing president, particularly after his alleged 73 with Sen. Lindsey Graham.

None of his appearances created a bigger stir than when he attended the U.S. Women’s Open. Despite protests and calls for the USGA to move its premier women’s event from Trump Bedminster – the president reportedly threatened to sue – his weekend there went off without incident, as Trump watched the action and hosted players in his private box near the 15th green.


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Despite his controversial rhetoric on a variety of national issues, Trump has remained a staunch supporter of women’s golf, and he became the first sitting president to attend the U.S. Women’s Open.

An honorary chairman of the Presidents Cup, Trump also flew to Liberty National for the biennial team event, where he presented the trophy to the U.S. team and dedicated the victory to the hurricane victims in Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico.

In late November, amid tweets about the national anthem, Turkey, Egypt and Time Magazine, Trump announced that he was playing a round in South Florida with Woods and world No. 1 Dustin Johnson.

Yes, that too became a headline, just like everything else Trump did in 2017.


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