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Team U.S. will blow Europe away at the Ryder Cup (and 4 other predictions for 2021)

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1. Tiger wins PGA Tour title 83

2020 wasn’t the year Tiger was looking for, primarily down to a floundering short game. However, the unpredictability of the year and the untypical state of the schedule this year would not have helped. Tiger is a man who has been prudent and wise about the events he wants to play each year, and that has only increased as the years have gone by. With a fixed schedule, Tiger will already know the events he has in mind to play, and when on it, he is still the best iron player in the world.

Woods will put himself into contention in 2021 at courses that have been kind to him all through his career, and the best closer of all time will push himself clear of the rest and confirm himself as the greatest winner in PGA Tour history.

2. Justin Thomas will end the year as World Number One

It’s as competitive as it gets up the top of the World Rankings right now, but there’s plenty of reasons to believe that JT can get to the top and stay there until the end of 2021.

JT has won 13 events on the PGA Tour, but over half of these have come at ‘off-season’ tournaments (between the Tour Championship and the Farmers Insurance). Yes he’s thrown away the odd event he should have won, but for someone as prolific as JT has been, it appears primarily to be a case of the 27-year-old just peaking at the wrong time for World Ranking points.

At the end of the 2019-20 season, Thomas said that he was “a couple rounds away in a short season from winning five or six times.” When you look at the state of his game, there isn’t a significant weakness, and it’s only a matter of time before JT turns those swing season wins into victories at the biggest events.

3. Team U.S. will blow Europe away at the 2021 Ryder Cup

The U.S. has lost seven of the last nine Ryder Cups and put them in Europe with a course set up to counter the bomb and gouge mentality, then I’d fancy Team Europe. However, there are two factors behind my belief that next year’s Ryder Cup will be a blowout. 

Firstly, the caliber of players. The U.S. simply has a far superior pool of players, backed up by the World Rankings, with double the number of men currently inside the top-20 in the world. Secondly, course setup. When you have better players and the ability to tailor a course to suit their strengths, it’s akin to stacking the deck.

Forget the records over the last 20 years and look at the last time the U.S. hosted the Ryder Cup back in 2016 winning 17-11, and expect a similar scoreline at Whistling Straits.

4. Rickie Fowler will return to form

Rickie Fowler’s World Ranking has been in freefall after a shocking 2020, which saw him miss a plethora of cuts along with a failure to record a top-10 finish since January.

The 32-year-old now sits outside the top-50, thanks in part to seemingly suffering one blowup hole per round. However, watching him closely at this year’s Masters tournament, Fowler is nearer to putting a run of form together than people think and has the advantage of possessing perhaps the purest putting stroke on tour. 

Fowler finished T60 in 2020 for Strokes Gained: Putting – the first time he finished outside the top-50 in this department since 2016. This year has been an outlier, and a return to his best on the greens in 2021 will see Rickie get back inside the world top-25.

5. Abraham Ancer wins at least once on the PGA Tour

Only English duo Matthew Fitzpatrick and Tommy Fleetwood rank higher in the world without winning on the PGA Tour than Abraham Ancer.

What many people overlook with Ancer, is that despite no wins yet on the PGA Tour, he did win the prestigious Australian Open back in 2018. Since then, the Mexican has excelled at the Presidents Cup in 2019 winning as many points as anyone and backed it up with a stellar year on tour where he came close on numerous occasions to winning his first PGA Tour title.

With another year of experience logged on tour (at 29, 2021 will be just Ancer’s fourth season on tour), his progression will result in victories. If he plays as heavy a schedule as he did in 2020, then multiple wins await the Mexican in 2021.

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Gianni is the Assistant Editor at GolfWRX. He can be contacted at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @giannimosquito

4 Comments

4 Comments

  1. Paulo

    Dec 31, 2020 at 1:38 pm

    I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again Gianni is a bot. Perhaps even an early form of skynet

    • Some other Italian name

      Dec 31, 2020 at 8:26 pm

      Would explain why he’s such a bad journo…

  2. Robert Fitton Scott

    Dec 31, 2020 at 11:39 am

    Pointless Journalism at its worst.

  3. PSG

    Dec 31, 2020 at 11:29 am

    Wow, what incredible predictions!

    1. The best golfer of all time will win another tournament, somewhere (where and when not specified).

    2. One of the best golfers in the world who has flirted with #1 for three years will get there (for some stretch of time, how long and when not specified).

    3. The team with the much better players and home field will win the Ryder Cup.

    4. A guy who had a bad year but has an eleven year history of solid play on tour will bounce back (how much of a bounce back, when and why not specified). Bonus points for the really solid use of “as much as people think” which is a go-to for authors who do zero research as it actually means nothing.

    5. The top-ranked guy in the world without a win has a good chance at getting a win.

    Man, people have mailed it in on this site before, but this is a new bar.

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