Predicting 2006 The Future is Now


The New Year will be upon us quicker than Reggie Bushs first step.
So its that time again. Time to fearlessly predict the future. Or, at least, to fearlessly predict what will transpire in 2006 in the world of golf.
Im going way out on a limb and predicting that in 2006:
  • Aussies Greg Norman and Mark Hensby wont play any practice rounds together. They wont go fishing together. They wont be invited to any of the same parties. The latter means, by the way, that Hensbys going to miss a lot of good parties.
  • The U.S. will win the 36th Ryder Cup matches, scheduled for Ireland in September, in a rout. You have to go all the way back to 1981 in England to find a Ryder Cup the Americans won by more than two points. That makes this a contrarian pick.
  • Tiger Woods will announce on his website that his wife, Elin, is great with child. This is a prediction, by the way, not a news item.
  • Kevin Na will win on the PGA Tour at the tender age of 22. Big deal. Gene Sarazen won three times, including two majors, when he was 20 years old.
  • Sean OHair and his father will not reconcile. But the media will get past the idea that it must re-write the details of their fractured relationship every time OHair gets to another city.
  • Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer and Morgan Pressel, whose combined ages equal that of Jay Haas, will all win on the LPGA Tour.
  • Jay Haas will win on the Champions Tour. His son, Bill, will contend in a major.
  • Left-handed rookie Bubba Watson, from Bagdad, Fl., will lead the PGA Tour in driving distance. He will lead the Tour in oohs. He will lead the Tour in aahs. And he will, if he is lucky, get an education in course management while keeping his card.
  • Ben Crane will speed up his pace of play. But not enough to satisfy all his lodge brothers on Tour.
  • Other PGA Tour players you shouldnt be surprised to see win again include Bart Bryant, Lucas Glover and Jason Gore.
  • Nor should you be surprised to see Colin Montgomerie win for the first time, officially, in the States.
  • Swedens Henrik Stenson, the best player almost nobodys ever heard of, will make (and star on) Europes Ryder Cup team.
  • Ernie Els will win the Masters. But nobody will ask him to do a calendar.
  • An over par score will win the U.S. Open at Winged Foot. And somewhere, a retired Tom Meeks will smile.
  • The Beatles, and their Liverpudlian roots, will be the most tortured feature story of the year when the media arrives at Royal Liverpool in England for the Open Championship. Beatlemania and Tigermania will reach a frothy head when a photo-opping Woods hits drivers off the deck of a ferry crossing the Mersey while Gerry and the Pacemakers croon in the background.
    And then, when December 31, 2006 rolls around, I will saw off that limb behind me.
    Email your thoughts to Brian Hewitt