I thought it might be a good time to check out how I did on my predictions for the 2009 PGA Tour season. Back on January 6, 2009 I made the following guesses in italics (see the 2009 Predictions Thread in the forums):
I think I can only improve from my predictions from last year - they were not good -
This is a true story. I'm awful at making predictions, but there is something fun in getting the chance to guess right every once in awhile!
AHA!!! I got this one right! Matt wins the Turning Stone Championship this year!! I've been a fan of Matt ever since I saw him play at the Masters in 1998 as an amateur (he was a sophomore at Georgia Tech at the time). What I liked most about him was that he chose to finish his college degree instead of turning pro right away. He has struggled over the past 10 or so years, but 2009 was a great season for him - besides a win, he had 5 top 10 finishes, finished 24th on the money list (just shy of $2.5 million), made 18 of 24 cuts and is currently sitting 62nd in the world golf ranking. Matt also plays Bridgestone clubs. He will definitely be in my 2010 predictions! THANK YOU MATT!!
Justin Leonard is going to have a breakout year and win a Major.
Okay. I was off on this one. Justin's year wasn't bad, but it wasn't great either...he finished 30th on the money list (just over $2.2 million), made 21 cuts in 26 events, but had no wins (although a T2 finish at the Disney should boost his confidence for 2010)...he did have 6 top 10's, including a T8 finish at the British Open, which was my only real chance to make this prediction come true. He's dropped in the OWGR since 2008 (from 23rd to 38th ) but his play at the President's Cup and at the recent Shark Shootout makes me think he's ready to make some moves in 2010!
Greg Norman will make the cut at the Masters and contend on Sunday...but Tiger or Justin Leonard will win.
Whoops. Okay, so I bought into the hype...after his great run at the '08 British Open, which gave him an invitation to the 2009 Masters, I really believed he was going to recreate some magic. He tried to downplay the expectations, but you could tell he wanted a great finish here. A solid day one got a lot of people excited, but he followed it up with a 77 and a missed cut. Tiger gave it a great run on Sunday, but a bogey-bogey finish sealed his fate and a T6 finish. Leonard didn't make the cut (whoops again!). Overall, this was one of my favorite tournaments to watch - lots of drama, and Kenny Perry almost winning!! I was glued to my TV and computer all week. I'm already looking forward to Masters week 2010!
Phil also comes back this year after a ho-hum 2008 - he wins on the west coast swing and again in Texas. He will also regain his #2 spot on the OWGR.
I'm giving myself the WIN on this one! He does win on the West Coast swing (Riviera) and he's currently sitting #2 in the OWGR - my Texas win was off, but he did win in Florida, so that's close enough! Looking at Phil's 2009 stats, he was sort of a feast or famine player this year - he made 15 of 18 cuts, but it was either a win (or 2nd), or finishing T50 or worse...but his play at the Masters was inspiring, and winning the Tour Championship was icing on his $5.3 million dollar season. Changes to his putting stroke seemed to be the key to turning things around this year. Knowing what we know, Phil is going to need a standout 2010 to keep the folks interested in the PGA tour in 2010.
Anthony Kim will win the PGA which is at Hazeltine in Minnesota!
I blame this all on Sam Johnson - he writes a few posts about Kim and I think he's the greatest thing since macaroni & cheese...after 2009, though, he's got some work to do to get to Mac & Cheese status! Anthony came out of the gate hot with a T2 finish at the limited field Mercedes, but then didn't post a Top 10 finish until July with a 3rd place finish at the AT&T National. He made the cut at the PGA (whish was better than my Masters prediction), but finished T51. Besides another T3 finish at the Canadian Open, and some good play at the President's Cup, he never really seemed in contention. I want to see Kim do well - I think he can add some spice to the Tour - now he just needs to get that spice into his game.
I'm also not giving up on Kenny Perry - he will win again this season. (maybe in Hawaii!)
Kenny wins!! Twice actually - I loved that Kenny was my first prediction to come true in 2009 - Perry won the FBR Open in Scottsdale and that was just the beginning to another career year where he ended up 5th on the money list (just over $4.4 million) and made 24 of 24 cuts...I LOVE this stat!! His Masters performance kept me glued to my couch and I loved seeing him at the President's Cup. He's indicated that he may consider scaling back a bit in 2010 and he has the opportunity to try out the Champions tour in 2010 as well...I'm feeling another PGA tour victory in 2010!!
Retief Goosen is also coming back this year and will contend in at least 2 majors.
I'm calling this one good, too!! Goosen finished 11th on the money list (compared to 72nd in 2008) and made 18 of 20 cuts which included a WIN at the Transitions Championship. He's 19th on the OWGR now, too! Goosen finished T16 at the US Open shooting a final round 74, so he was a factor, and a T5 finish at the British let's me call him a contender in 2 majors! Yes!
Steve Stricker will also have a dedicated fan this year, but has decided not to put any pressure on him by saying he's going to win (but I think he will!)
A 3 win season for my favorite player!! Actually, let's make that 4 with a win at the Shark Shootout last weekend. Another stellar season for Stricker - in contention for the Fed Ex Prize and awesome play at the President's Cup. I was bummed he missed the cut at the PGA, but he came in under the radar for a great T6 finish at the Masters. Will 2010 be the season that brings him his first Major?...someone might be predicting that! Stricks is currently 3rd on the OWGR and he finished 2nd on the money list, making just over $6.3 million. He was also ranked first in Putting for the 2009 season. I can't wait to see what he has in store for next season. Way to go Steve!
Tiger wins 4 times this year - including 1 Major...and maybe the match play again this year! (if not, it will be Ernie Els)
Well, it's not often there's a player you can underestimate, but Tiger posted 6 wins in 17 starts (amazing!), but he bowed out early in the Match Play, losing to Tim Clark in 2nd round. Tiger had his chances in all the majors but the British, but he came away with a 2nd place and 2 T6's. Once again he proved that on the golf course there is no one better.
HEY - I did WAY better than I thought I had!! Okay - a few hiccups...and underestimating Tiger, but for the most part, I was good. I realize a few were no brainers, but this review has made me think that my future may be in fortune telling! I'm going to take the rest of December to review the 2009 season and then get ready to make my 2010 predictions...although if I were smart, I'd quit right here! Thanks, PGA Tour, for another great golf season!
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Filed under: Masters, Greg Norman, Justin Leonard, Phil Mickelson, Sam Johnson, US Open, Steve Stricker, British Open, putting, PGA Championship, TIger Woods, Anthony Kim, Matt Kuchar, OWGR, 2009 Predictions, Ernie Els, Retief Goosen, Cathy Erickson