8 Major Golf Predictions For 2022
With the launch of the DP World Tour and the 150th Open Championship at St Andrews, 2022 is destined to be an intriguing year in the men's game. Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa are competing at the summit of the world rankings, Rory McIlroy is seeking that fifth major, and many golf fans are simply wondering just when Tiger Woods will return to the PGA Tour.
Considering what may happen and gazing into the future, Golfshake Ambassador Matt Holbrook takes on Digital Editor Kieran Clark in a battle of wits, a meeting of minds, a contest of judgement, or quite simply a fruitless journey into the realm of failed predictions.
Winner of The Masters?
(Matt): "Cameron Smith. And not just because he has already won in 2022. I watch this guy every year for the past few at Augusta and I think he just 'gets it' and don't forget, he is the only player to ever score four rounds in the 60s at The Masters."
(Kieran): "Jon Rahm. The Spaniard is destined to join his legendary compatriots, Ballesteros, Olazabal, Garcia, and claim the Green Jacket. He has the complete game, a blend of the old and the new, the power of the modern player, but also the creativity and touch of a classic Augusta National winner. With the validation of that US Open success behind him, Rahm will build on his last four Masters appearances in which he has finished inside the top ten."
Winner of The PGA?
(Matt): "Rory McIlroy. I'm picking Rory here because I can't make 2022 major predictions without picking Rory to win one. I really want him to win The Masters, but if I predict that it won't come true, so this is some kind of weird reverse psychology prediction."
(Kieran): "Hideki Matsuyama had to wait for his first major title to come at the Masters and I see him progressing in that direction this year, already with the Zozo Championship and Sony Open behind him this season. His brilliant iron play should match up well to Southern Hills."
Winner of The US Open?
(Matt): "Bryson DeChambeau. Bryson is going to absolutely muscle his way to another major title. The End."
(Kieran): "The Country Club at Brookline has rich history, so it's great to see America's national championship back here, and I think it may just crown a former champion in Dustin Johnson, who I believe has another major in him yet. And it could be this one."
Winner of The Open?
(Matt): "Tyrrell Hatton. I'd like to see an English winner this year. I think Tyrrell has a great record at St Andrews having won the Dunhill Links back-to-back. That's with two of four rounds at St Andrews, so giving him four rounds there he could be one to watch."
(Kieran): "Louis Oosthuizen. The South African ran away with the Claret Jug at the Home of Golf in 2010 and came agonisingly close to repeating that triumph five years later. He has finished runner-up in six major championships, has knocked on that door more than most, and I think it will once again open for him at St Andrews, joining Tiger Woods and Jack Nicklaus as double winners on the Old Course."
Who'll End 2022 as Men's World Number One?
(Matt): "You can't look past Morikawa and Rahm at the moment, however, to try and not go with the easy options, and this is golf and golf moves quickly. Viktor Hovland is going to be world number one on 31st December 2022."
(Kieran): "It's going to be a battle with potentially a few switches through the year, but I believe that Jon Rahm is the best player in the world, and he will validate that standing in 2022 and will end the season in that position."
Will Tiger Woods Returns to Tour Golf (And Where)?
(Matt): "The romantic in me says Tiger returns at the 150th Open at St Andrews, but I think he may come back before then, just to get some competitive golf under his belt. I can't say when or where - but I have a sneaky suspicion we may see him at the Arnold Palmer Invitational in March."
(Kieran): "Watching Tiger at the PNC Championship, he can hit the shots but can't walk great distances, so I would be stunned if he participated in the Masters this year, with Augusta a notoriously hilly course. Months later, the Open is back at St Andrews, which holds special significance to him, a championship that he would be loath to miss. And I don't think he will. I believe Tiger will next play at the Open in July."
Will Rory McIlroy Have a Great Year?
(Matt); "Yes, absolutely. I think he 'found himself' again last year and we will see that Rory bounce back in 2022 for sure."
(Kieran): "It depends how one defines great; can it be so if Rory doesn't win a major? I don't believe he will taste glory this year in the biggest championships, but I see this as being a more consistent campaign for McIlroy, potentially securing three or four wins across the season. However, I think he will come up just short again in the majors. That will come another year."
Who'll Be The Next American & European Ryder Cup Captains?
(Matt): "For Team USA, I don't know, and to be honest I'm not that bothered. Maybe they give it to Phil Mickelson. For Team Europe, I think it's slightly more complicated. I'm going (almost with a process of elimination) that I think the following won't be captain - Donald, Garcia, Westwood, Poulter and Rose. So maybe Robert Karlsson gets a go?"
(Kieran): "I expect to see the blockbuster appointments for Bethpage in 2025 - Phil Mickelson and Ian Poulter - and see the next Ryder Cup in Italy as being headed by more measured personalities, two men who have been stalwart players but more recently regulars behind the scenes. And that will be Luke Donald and Zach Johnson."
So, there you have eight key predictions for the men's game in 2022. Do you agree with Matt or Kieran's selections? Naturally, most of these choices will likely prove to be way off the mark, so feel free to ridicule them both!
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