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Vincenzi: DeChambeau will win his 2nd major championship (and 4 other predictions for 2024)

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Last year, I wrote “5 Predictions for 2023.” Here’s how they turned out:

1.) Viktor Hovland will rise to world No. 1: This prediction didn’t quite come true. However, Hovland had the biggest improvement of any player in the world in terms of strokes gained.

His star rose exponentially, and he climbed to 4th in the OWGR from 10th at the start of 2023.

2.) The European Team will win the 2023 Ryder Cup: This prediction came true in dominating fashion. At the time of writing it, the European team were +200 to win the Ryder Cup.

3.) Dustin Johnson will win a major championship: This prediction was the worst of the five. Although DJ did finish 10th at the U.S. Open, he underachieved in the majors in their entirety during the 2023 season.

4.) The Masters will see a drastic uptick in TV ratings: This prediction passed with flying colors, as the 2023 Masters was the most-watched edition of the tournament in five years.

5.) Rory McIlroy will remain stuck at 4 major championships: Rory came close at the U.S. Open, finishing 2nd to Wyndham Clark, however, he remained stuck at four majors and will now officially go at least a full decade between major championship victories.

Now, on to the predictions for 2024.

1. Bryson DeChambeau will win a major championship

Contrary to what many believed heading into the 2023 season, LIV golfers performed admirably at the major championships. Brooks Koepka was in the final pairing with Jon Rahm at the Masters and finished in a tie for 2nd alongside fellow LIV player Phil Mickelson. LIV Golfers have also been on a recent hot streak, winning five of the past six DP World Tour events. Regardless of how people feel about the LIV Golf product, it’s been proven that the players remain motivated in majors and other events that feature players from other tours.

DeChambeau took some time to begin playing up to his standards, but once he got going, he finished the season strong. After finishing 4th at the PGA Championship (he was also the first-round leader), he went on to finish 2nd at LIV Valderrama and won both LIV Greenbrier and LIV Chicago.

After a few years of substandard play, it finally seems as if DeChambeau is once again becoming the player that won the U.S. Open in 2020 and was one of the best players in the world. I can see Valhalla (PGA Championship) and Pinehurst N0. 2 (U.S. Open) as excellent course fits for the 30-year-old.

2. Justin Thomas will win 3 times

After a dismal 2023, Justin Thomas has slipped all the way to 26th in the OWGR. The two-time major champion missed six cuts in twenty starts on the year and finished better than 10th just twice.

Peaks and valleys in the careers of top professional golfers have been a constant throughout the history of the sport, and Thomas is no exception. In terms of talent, JT is still one of the best players in the world, and I have no doubts that after an off-season of work, he will return in good form for 2024.

I expect Thomas to win three times in 2024 and return to the upper echelon of golfers on the PGA Tour.

3. The Presidents Cup will allow LIV golfers to participate

In 2022, LIV golfers were not allowed to play in the Presidents Cup. Unlike the Ryder Cup, the International players on the Presidents Cup team make up a large portion of the potential best players on the team. The LIV threat was new at the time, so it wasn’t a major surprise that the defectors were banned from the event. However, some players still were shocked by the decision, including South African Louis Oosthuizen.

“There’s no rule that says I need to be a PGA Tour member to play the Presidents Cup, especially as an International team player,” Oosthuizen said after he was banned at the press conference for LIV Golf Chicago. “I didn’t think I did anything wrong. I made my decision where I am playing golf. But I didn’t do anything wrong while I was a PGA Tour member.”

In addition to Oosthuizen, Cameron Smith, Joaquin Niemann, Marc Leishman, Abraham Ancer were also banned from the event. The result was predictable. Despite a valiant effort from Trevor Immelman’s International side, the United States won convincingly, 17.5-12.5.

Since 2022, the golf landscape has changed significantly. Jon Rahm has signed with LIV and that means there will likely be a change in the qualifying system for Ryder Cup. Rory McIlroy, who’s been one of the most outspoken anti-LIV voices, has called for a change to allow for Rahm to play at Bethpage Black in 2025. I expect his wishes to be accommodated and for the Presidents Cup to tweak the language allowing LIV players to participate in 2024.

4. Michael Thorbjornsen will emerge as a star

Towards the end of the 2022-2023 season, the golf world became mesmerized by the emergence of the young Swede, Ludvig Aberg. In a time where the emergence of a star was greatly needed, the now 24-year-old won the Omega European Masters and followed the victory up with a sensational debut in the European Ryder Cup victory.

Towards the back half of the season, I expect Michael Thorbjornsen to flash a similar trajectory. The Stanford senior is currently No. 1 in PGA Tour University’s first ranking for 2024 and should earn a PGA Tour card if he continues to play well until through the NCAA Championship. Once he begins to earn consistent starts on Tour, he has the game to make an immediate impact.

Thorbjornsen has the look, swing, and pedigree to win immediately at the highest level, and I believe he will do so in 2024.

5. Tommy Fleetwood will earn his first PGA Tour victory

Last season, Tommy Fleetwood came torturously close to victory on multiple occasions. The Englishman lost the RBC Canadian Open to Nick Taylor with a nearly 70-foot bomb on the 4th playoff hole and he had five total finishes of T5 or better in 2023.

It’s been a long time coming for Fleetwood, who has six DP World Tour victories, but always seems to come up short on the PGA Tour. In 2024, a handful of the world’s top 15 players will be playing on LIV, including their newest signing, Jon Rahm. The lack of depth on the PGA Tour in conjunction with Tommy’s continuous improvement on the PGA Tour should result in the fan-favorite finally notching a win on United States soil.

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7 Comments

7 Comments

  1. Jbone

    Jan 3, 2024 at 7:20 am

    Think about how much media props up Max Homas top 10 at this years British Open. Now he’s primed to win a major lol. Compared that to Brysons top 10 at the British Open last year… they ignored it and acted like he was finished as a pro golfer and that it wasn’t a good sign of him coming back into form.

  2. Popye

    Jan 3, 2024 at 3:00 am

    Bryson TheShambo ain’t winnin’ no majors on ANY platform!

  3. Andrew J

    Jan 1, 2024 at 10:12 am

    Bryson wins another Major only if engages a P&SI-EGOS and becomes the best putter on Tour. on ebay

  4. Geno

    Dec 30, 2023 at 12:50 pm

    Damn, James. Why don’t you tell us how you really feel…..sheesh

  5. james

    Dec 29, 2023 at 9:27 pm

    Who really cares what your predictions are….You have never been much besides a wind bag who really doesn’t know anything more than your readers.

    • Jbone

      Jan 3, 2024 at 7:13 am

      Here you are commenting… if he picked Rory to win the masters you’d probably drop your pants and be typing one handed.

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19th Hole

TaylorMade signs 15-year-old AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year to an NIL contract

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This week, TaylorMade Golf announced that they’ve signed AJGA Rolex Junior Player of the Year, Miles Russell, to an NIL contract.

In a statement, TaylorMade called Russell “nothing short of remarkable”.

“Miles’ record setting success at his young age is nothing short of remarkable and we are excited he chose us to support him in his growth as a golfer to continue to accomplish his career goals. Identifying and developing the top junior talent in the world has always been a priority for us at TaylorMade. Miles and his family epitomize the type of athlete and human being we are looking to add to Team TaylorMade.”

Russell has broken plenty of records in recent months. This season, he was named American Junior Golf Association’s Rolex Boys Player of the Year, making him the youngest male player to receive the award. The record was previously held by Tiger Woods who was about 10 months older than Russell at the time he received the award.

At age 14, J he became the youngest player ever to win the Junior PLAYERS Championship at TPC Sawgrass at age 14.

The 15-year-old also played in his first Korn Ferry Tour event on Thursday, the LECOM Suncoast Classic, and shot a first-round 68.

In the aftermath of the agreement, Russell released a statement.

“I have had a great relationship with the team at TaylorMade for years now and couldn’t be more excited to continue to work with them in the future. TaylorMade has a history of developing the top junior talent in the world to help reach their goals of becoming PGA TOUR and major championship winners. I am looking forward to working with the team to reach those and other goals I have laid out for my career.”

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19th Hole

Group of PGA Tour caddies sign endorsement deal with underwear company

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In an interesting turn of events, a group of PGA Tour caddies have signed an endorsement deal with an underwear company.

Geno Bonnalie (Joel Dahmen), Aaron Flener (J.T. Poston), John Limanti (Akshay Bhatia) and Joel Stock (Will Zalatoris) and John Ellis (Wyndham Clark) have signed a deal with the underwear brand, SAXX.

Here are some details about the endorsement deal:

  • The deal eclipses six figures in total value, extending what last year marked the first significant apparel agreement with a group of pro caddies. Of note, Geno and John Ellis appeared in the Netflix docuseries, Full Swing.
  • The caddies will wear SAXX underwear, shorts and polos on and off the course.
  • SAXX will donate $100 to the Testicular Cancer Foundation for every birdie made by the caddies’ players for the rest of the season.
  • SAXX will bring the Ball Masters to the masses at the Travelers Championship, hosting a fan activation with underwear giveaways, photo opportunities, appearances from the Ball Masters and more.
  • Fans can become an honorary Ball Master, which includes a year’s worth of underwear, among other things. Go to SAXX.com/ball-master-application from now until June 15 to enter.

The partnership is great for the caddies and also represents a great cause.

Check out the video they shared on YouTube:

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19th Hole

Man charged with stealing millions of dollars worth of memorabilia from Augusta National

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Augusta National

According to a report from the Chicago Tribune, a man has been charged in Chicago with stealing millions of dollars’ worth of memorabilia from Augusta National.

The man, Robert Globensky, was charged with transporting the memorabilia across state lines.

The report states that between 2009 and 2022, Globensky allegedly transported “millions of dollars’ worth of Masters golf tournament merchandise and historical memorabilia” from Augusta National “and transported to Tampa, Florida, knowing the same had been stolen, converted and taken by fraud.”

The document was filed Tuesday in the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Illinois.

Per the court records there is no mention that Globensky worked for the golf club.

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