The PGA Tour is underway to start the new year. A lot has happened and that’s great news, because that only means that there is more to come!
The young guns are on the rise and already have some big victories to start this season. Brooks Koepka, Marc Leishman, Kevin Tway and Cameron Champ were winners of the first several tournaments this PGA Tour season and they’ll look to ride that momentum throughout.
Cameron Champ, the 23-year-old Sacramento kid with more power than anyone on the tour is geared up for what looks to be his breakout season. If he’s able to get his control under, well, control, he’s going to be the one everyone is chasing at the top of the leaderboard.
Bringing the MAJOR Facts This Season
To kick off the 2019 majors list is the Masters Tournament on April 11 in Augusta, Georgia. To start things off right, the best way is to bring up the conversation of who the best player is without a major. First person that comes to mind…Rickie Fowler.
After finishing second at The Masters in 2018, Rickie is poised to take home his first major victory and his first green jacket. This is a conversation that has been happing for several years that still hasn’t come full-circle yet, but this should be the season when Rickie finally captures his first big win.
The PGA Championship
Once Spring officially breaks open, the PGA Championship rolls into Farmingdale, NY on May 16 should see another first major winner. He was part of the 2018 European Ryder Cup team and finished sixth at the 2018 rendition of this tournament, this man is Tommy Fleetwood.
He finished in second place at the 2018 U.S. Open and had several other respectable finishes at the other majors, but this is his year. He’s currently playing some excellent golf and he’s ryding a high after last year’s Ryder Cup win.
The U.S. Open
Rolling into some beautiful scenery and a luxurious vacation spot, the U.S. Open visits Pebble Beach on June 13. This projection is loaded with possibilities. With Phil Mickelson still playing at a high level, it’s projected that 2019 will be the beginning of the end for the famous lefty.
Age is the biggest burden to any golfer, one that’s undefeated to this day. While the buzz is around Phil struggling in 2019, it’s said that this will be his best shot at his first, and maybe only, U.S. Open victory. It’s still the one victory that he hasn’t been able to capture.
While it will be in front of what many will deem his “hometown fans”, there is one man who is also poised to capture the U.S. Open, this man is Tiger Woods.
After 2018 saw Tiger nearly come back to his old form, many are predicting Tiger to finish atop the leader board at Pebble Beach and not only win this major, but also tie Sam Snead’s record of 82 PGA Tour Wins.
The Open Championship
Capping off the 2019 majors schedule is the always important British Open. This year the classic tournament is hosted at the Royal Portrush Golf Club in Northern Ireland on July 18. This is only the second time in The Open’s 148-year history that it is hosted in Northern Ireland.
The golfer on the tour who hasn’t won a major since 2014, the one from Northern Ireland, Rory McIlroy. Playing in front of his home crowd and ready for a big year, it will be Rory that hoists the Claret Jug to be crowned the 2019 Open Champion.
2019 Storylines to Look Out For
With every season comes big storylines that really never quite live up to the hype. It’s really a crapshoot to predict who finishes where, how, when, and even why. There is no rhyme or reason, but there is just hope.
As mentioned before, the young guns group is just about ready to lead the charge. Now it might not be on a Sunday in the last grouping, but then again, it could be. Cameron Champ is again a big storyline heading into 2019. He has a lot of backers rooting for him and one projection in 2019 is that he’ll actually hit the cover off the ball!
This young man is setting driving records left and right and come time for the longest drive, his name will most likely be alone at the top.
Tony Finau, yes Tony Finau, will record several wins in 2019, maybe even a major. He finished with 11, yes 11!, top-10 finishes last season with three runner ups, that’s a lot to take in for this man. Look for 2019 to be a big year for Tony!
Bigger than any projection mentioned, Tiger Woods will break Sam Snead’s record of PGA Tour wins. Correct, Tiger Woods, the man who hasn’t seen success on the PGA Tour in many, many years will finally break the record he’s been so close to all these years.
Some Rules to Look for in 2019
Year after year there are changes to rules that take place out of necessity based on actions and results from the previous year. There are often changes that take place that won’t affect much, but there are many that can change the results going forward.
Double Hitting a Shot
Golfers will no longer be penalized for double-hitting a shot. The old rule was that they would be charged a penalty stroke, that is no longer the case.
Moving the Ball
There is no longer a penalty for accidentally moving the ball on the putting green or looking for it in the rough. A player will not be held responsible for causing a ball to move without proven intent.
The Flag Stick
Contrary to popular belief that a flag stick needs to be removed when putting, the stick no longer needs to be attended to or removed. Many players have begun practicing putting with the stick in to see if there is a drastic effect on their game.
The 2019 Player to Watch
2019 brings a lot to the table, but Cameron Champ will be that player to watch. His father and grandfather have been with him every step of the way and his success can be attributed to them.
Teaching Cameron everything he knows about the game, it’s said that he has six hands on the golf club every time he takes a cut. Two for him, two for his father and the other two are his grandfathers.
This young man has had a following since he was 14 years old and in golf academies across the country perfecting his game to get him where he is today. If there is one player you had to pick to watch in 2019, it’s this man.
With Tiger vs. Phil out of the way for this season, it’s time to look forward to the majors and for other major headlines that will be sure to pop-up. Every Sunday for the next several months will be sure to have highlight finishes and big-time drama atop the leaderboard.
This season has already seen many ups and downs for some big names and the rule changes have taken effect. Now it’s time to sit back, relax, enjoy what’s happening and watch the changes on the leaderboard. And don’t be surprised to see Cameron Champ’s name floating around the top of each tournament this year.