Can Tiger Woods get back on track in his major chase? Will we see a Canadian win a PGA Tour title? Those are just some of the burning questions that lie ahead for the upcoming year in golf.
Will Tiger Woods win a major?
Although 2012 saw Tiger Woods win three events, we all know the only kind of wins he really wants are majors.
Still four behind Jack Nicklaus’ record of 18, Tiger has plenty of time to catch the Golden Bear. At 37 years of age though, his window is starting to shrink and finishing another year without adding at least one major to his resume would really hurt his chances.
With Rory McIlroy now appearing to be the dominant force on the Tour, the lingering question will be whether Tiger can regain his form down the stretch in big tournaments, or if we will never see that same Sunday Tiger we grew so accustomed to.
Will golfers switch back to conventional putters?
With the banning of anchored putters being announced in late November, PGA Tour golfers now have until 2016 to get rid of them and go back to the conventional methods. Whether or not they do it, sooner rather than later, will be interesting to watch.
Three of the past five major champions have used anchored putters, so whether guys choose to conform to regulations or stick to what’s working is one of the major things to look out for this upcoming season.
Who will be No. 1 at the end of 2013?
Will it be Rory still?
Will it be Tiger?
How about Luke Donald or Adam Scott?
Only time will tell, but it should definitely be an interesting battle for No. 1. It appears as though Rory is hitting his stride and Tiger seems confident 2013 will be a big year for him. So will we finally get to see the Rory/Tiger rivalry heat up, or will a different name step into the spotlight as we’ve seen so many times in the last few years?
Will a Canadian golfer win an event?
It’s now been three full seasons since we’ve seen a Canuck take home a PGA Tour title. As lucky as we were to see Mike Weir’s dominance in the early 2000s, it’s time for someone else to step up and grab hold of the reigns. Our best chance looks to be David Hearn or Graham DeLaet — two guys with enough game and experience to come through with a big win. Don’t write off rookie Brad Fritsch, either.
Without a star on the Tour, the interest level in the sport has dropped over the last few years, but that could all change with one big week for a Canadian golfer.
Can the Americans bounce back?
Whether you believe the Europeans staged a great comeback or the Americans collapsed, the way the Ryder Cup went down ended the year on a sour note for everyone involved on the American side.
Can guys like Jim Furyk, who blew more than one event last season before bogeying the final two holes to give Sergio Garcia their singles match, Steve Stricker, who after losing his grasp on his match had to watch Martin Kaymer make the winning putt, and Phil Mickelson, who had his match stolen by some unbelievable play by Justin Rose, bounce back this season, or will the bitter taste of defeat weigh them down?
The next time these guys are in contention, especially Furyk, you can bet that collapse will creep into their minds. How they deal with it will be a compelling storyline.
Sportsnet.ca off-the-wall prediction
Dustin Johnson will win a major in 2013.
One of the longest hitters on the PGA Tour, DJ has been around the top of the leader board several times in majors. If not for a controversial rules violation at the 2010 PGA Championship, he would have been in a playoff with Bubba Watson and Martin Kaymer. Instead, it was deemed he grounded his club in a hazard and he was forced to watch from the sidelines.
This guy is one of, if not the, best athletes on the Tour. His distance, touch and good mental approach will push him to a breakout year in 2013, and I’d pencil him in for his first major title, most likely at the US Open at Merion Golf Club.
Who will lead the PGA Tour in victories in 2013?