30 PREDICTIONS FOR 2018
We offer 30 predictions about who and what will make headlines in world golf throughout 2018.
Golf fans were treated to an exhilarating year throughout 2017. Sergio Garcia finally shook the Major monkey o his back after conquering Augusta National. While Jordan Spieth became Champion Golfer of the Year after that brilliant shot from the driving range at Royal Birkdale. Plus, Shanshan Feng ensured the South Koreans didn’t have it all their way in the women’s game.
Over the next few pages, we reflect on all the ups and downs that transpired during 2017. From Tiger Woods’ return to Lexi Thompson’s controversial loss at the ANA Inspiration. But first, we consult our crystal ball and turn our attention to 2018. Will Jordan Spieth or Rory McIlroy complete their career Grand Slams? How will Hannah Green fare on the LPGA Tour? And who will lay claim to being Australia’s highestranked player this time next year?
Here’s what we believe will happen over the next 12 months in the world of golf. Jordan Spieth will win the US PGA and 1 become the sixth player to complete the career Grand Slam (post-Masters era). The victory will come three weeks after he surrenders his title at the Open Championship but will be enough for him to return to the World No.1 ranking. The USGA and R&A will make a joint 2 announcement about a summit where organising bodies and interested parties across the entire golf industry will get together to discuss the future of the golf ball. The summit will end with both organisations not committing to anything but discussing the matter further before releasing a finding at a later date. Dustin Johnson will hit a drive over 450 3 yards and add gasoline to the fiery debate over modern equipment and balls, but nothing will change. Four Australians – Jason Day, Adam Scott, 4 Cameron Smith and Marc Leishman – will all occupy spots in the Top-20 of the world ranking at the same time … a feat that has never been achieved before. Tiger Woods will play a minimum of 15 5 events, including all four Majors, and collect five top-10 finishes. His best result will come at Firestone Country Club where he will finish runner-up to Justin Thomas at the WGCBridgestone Invitational. He will end the year in the Top-50 of the world ranking. Hannah Green will push for Rookie of the 6 Year honours on the LPGA Tour. Expect a strong performance from her at the Women’s Australian Open, before a few months of OK finishes before ending the season strong. Green’s biggest rival will be Korean LPGA 7 Tour star Jin Young Ko. The 22-year-old winner of 10 KLPGA Tour titles is a serious talent and has committed to US LPGA Tour membership in 2018. She was overrun by Inbee Park at the Women’s British Open in 2015 but has since accrued six more titles in her homeland.
Under new Chairman Fred Ridley, Augusta 8 National will play tougher than it has in recent years. In addition to a more di cult course setup, one player will be hit with a penalty for slow play in the opening two rounds. Peter Lonard will collect Australia’s only 9 Champions Tour win as Bernhard Langer dominates the over 50s again. Langer will win five times and face queries around his putting technique from the peanut gallery, while his fellow Champions Tour competitors will continue to stay quiet on the issue. Phil Mickelson will start the year with 10 brother, Tim, as his caddie but the combination won’t last out the year. The Mickelsons will have a chance to end Phil’s win drought early in the season but fail to get the job done, resulting in a caddie switch. Karrie Webb won’t add to her 41 titles on 11 the LPGA Tour, but she will go close to winning the Women’s Australian Open at Kooyonga Golf Club. Webb will hold the lead at
AT LONG ODDS, GEOFF OGILVY WILL WIN AGAIN ON THE PGA TOUR, EARNING HIMSELF A START AT THE 2019 MASTERS ...
some stage during the tournament. PGA Tour Commissioner Jay Monahan will 12 announce the 2018 World Cup of Golf to be played in November at Melbourne’s Metropolitan GC will see an American ‘Dream Team’ of Justin Thomas and Jordan Spieth compete. Adam Scott and Marc Leishman will again represent Australia. After once again dominating the LPGA 13 Tour, South Korean players will amass 15 tournament victories. But a player not from South Korea will end the year as World No.1. At long odds, Geo Ogilvy will win again on 14 the PGA Tour, earning himself a start at the 2019 Masters, where he will finish in the top-20. Marc Leishman will collect three top-10 15 finishes at the four majors, ending the year entrenched in the world’s top-10 players and securing back-to-back Greg Norman Medals. Jon Rahm and Sergio Garcia will partner up 16 to form the ‘Spanish Armada’ at the Ryder Cup at Le Golf National, going undefeated for the week. Rahm will assume a Patrick Reed-like role for Europe, leading the team to victory with his emotional style of play. Tommy Fleetwood will fail to defend his 17 Race to Dubai title and will face a dicult year. The Englishman will still win at least one event, but he will drop away in the world rankings. Among his three wins for the year, Dustin 18 Johnson will add yet another WGC title to his collection but will fail to fire in the majors. The World No.1 will continue to be hot and cold on the greens and change putters on three or more occasions.
Rory McIlroy will make it through the season without any injury interruptions.