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19th Hole

Rory McIlroy will fail to break major drought due to pressure (and 4 other predictions for 2023)



1. Viktor Hovland will rise to world No. 1

Although he’s yet to turn his enormous potential into a major championship as of yet, Viktor Hovland has all of the tools to become the best golfer in the world. Since his win at the 2018 U.S. Amateur, the Norwegian has been racking up the accomplishments. Since 2020, he’s had three PGA Tour wins, two DP World Tour wins, and two wins at the Hero World Challenge.

Hovland’s biggest weakness remains his around the green game. However, he’s shown some signs of improvement and there have been plenty of courses that he’s been able to excel at when it comes to chipping. I have no doubt that he will eventually figure that aspect of the game out, and when he does, it will be a dangerous total package. At still only 23-years-old, Hovland is an elite player off the tee and with his iron play. If he’s able to reel off a few big wins in 2023 he undoubtedly can grab the top spot in the OWGR.

2. The European Team will win the 2023 Ryder Cup

After the last Ryder Cup blowout at Whistling Straits and last year’s Presiden’s Cup at Quail Hollow, the United States team looks almost unbeatable. The depth and star power on the team will make them pretty sizable favorites by the time we get to Italy.

With past European Cup players like Sergio Garcia, Paul Casey, Lee Westwood, Ian Poulter and Bernd Weisberger now with LIV and most likely ineligible to compete, the Europeans will need to depend on young and inexperienced players to step up.  Rasmus Hojgaard, Nicolai Hojgaard and Thomas Pieters will likely find their way onto the team, and it wouldn’t be a surprise if Italians Guido Migliozzi and Francesco Molinari played their way onto the roster to compete in their home country. No matter how you slice it, the depth on the European Team pales in comparison to the United States Roster.

However, let’s not forget how difficult it is for the U.S. to win a Ryder Cup on European soil. The European team has won the past six Ryder Cups on their home turf and will be able to set the course up to their liking. Rory McIlroy and Jon Rahm are still two of the best players on either team and can do much of the heavy lifting with help from Viktor Hovland, Tommy Fleetwood and Matt Fitzpatrick who should all be good course fits for Marco Simone Golf and Country Club.

3. Dustin Johnson will win a major championship

Dustin Johnson will turn 39 in June and will inevitably put his best golf behind him at some point in the near future. His decision to join LIV Golf have lefty plenty of people wondering how much competitive drive he has left at this point in his career now that he’s really cashed in.

I believe he has another elite season of golf left in him. The insistence that he only cares about money and not about legacy will drive him to be in peak form come major championship season. At this point, the only thing that can really impact DJ’s on-course legacy is majors, and I’m of the opinion that he needs one more for his career to not be viewed as a slight underachievement.

The major championship venues should suit Johnson very well this year. Los Angeles Country Club for the U.S. Open should be a favorable layout for the former U.S. Open Champion, as he still hits it far and straight which is always the recipe for success on a tough track. His U.S. Open history speaks for itself as he’s had five top-six finishes in his past nine tries. Augusta National is always a great fit for DJ and the PGA Championship will be in the Northeast (New York) where he already has a handful of wins.

If Johnson is able to win another major championship, he’d join notable golfers such as Payne Stewart, Padraig Harrington, Jordan Spieth and Vijay Singh as players who’ve captured three majors in their career.

4. The Masters will see a drastic uptick in TV ratings

In 2020, The Masters had the least number of viewers since 1993. In 2021, much more people tuned in, but it still fell 13% short of the 2019 Masters where Tiger Woods emerged as the surprise winner. Even then, ratings from the final round were a good deal less than they were back in 2010-2013.

While the emergence of LIV Golf has seemingly fractured golf fans as a whole, I believe it will make the Masters (and to an extent the other majors) appointment television. With Masters Chairman Fred Ridley saying that LIV players with already existing exemptions have gotten their invites compete at The Masters, there’s a good chance that we get a prominent PGA Tour member going head-to-head with a LIV golf representative down the stretch on Sunday.

The addition of LIV to the golf landscape has had a negative impact on the depth of the PGA Tour, but it should make Sunday at Augusta National even better.

5 Rory McIlroy will remain stuck at 4 major championships

We head into 2023 with Rory McIlroy once again the favorite at The Masters, U.S. Open and Open Championship and sits behind only Jon Rahm on the odds board of the PGA Championship. He won’t win any of them.

The common theme for those who’ve followed McIlroy since his last major championship victory in 2014 is: “this is the year”. He’s such a dynamic all-around golfer that it’s almost shocking he’s come up empty in his past 30 attempts at the four majors. There appears to be a mental hurdle for the 33-year-old, as he’s either started slow or finished shaky in all of the majors where he’s had high finishes.

He enters the season in arguably the best form we’ve seen him in in three plus years and is the current number one player in the world. The major venues will once again be favorable to the Northern Irishman, and the Open Championship will be at Royal Liverpool, where he won in 2014.

As each year passes, the pressure for McIlroy to win another major championship continues to increase. That intense pressure is precisely the reason why he’ll come up short for the 9th consecutive season.

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  1. Gordy

    Jan 4, 2023 at 1:28 pm

    Rory not winning a major really isn’t a step out. His best golf is behind him because he is a head case and has no drive.

  2. Siuuuu

    Jan 3, 2023 at 2:17 pm

    Solid predictions

  3. Greg

    Jan 3, 2023 at 2:07 pm

    Rory should be White House secretary

  4. Pingback: ‘Sh*t, let’s go to the bar’ – John Daly takes on podcasters with epic rapid-fire wager – GolfWRX

  5. Pingback: Joaquin Niemann ‘doing everything possible’ to convince PGA Tour pro to join LIV – GolfWRX

  6. Pingback: 54-hole tour granted Official World Golf Ranking points…but it isn’t LIV – GolfWRX

  7. michael w moody

    Jan 1, 2023 at 7:43 pm

    I don’t think any of those predictions are going to happen. I also think the masters is going to make changes for the 2024 tournament, which might exclude some or all of the LIV players.

    If DJ is going to win a major, if might have to be the Masters or the British because the powers to be for the US Open just might have some changes of their own.

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19th Hole

Why Nelly Korda thinks that PGA Tour pros ‘should watch more women’s golf’



Nelly Korda is a superstar in women’s golf, and has received praise from some of the most prominent figure in the men’s game.

Korda competed in December’s QBE and PNC Championship, which was a PGA/LPGA mixed event. Among those who were impressed with her game was world number 16, Max Homa.

“We talked about it all day,” Homa said. “It was a little bit outrageous. She drove it down the middle on every hole, she almost hit the pin three times, hit it to like two inches on one par 4, then from way too far that next one, she almost hit the pin. And chipped it great, so I don’t know how she does not win every week. It’s a testament to these other ladies that anyone can even sniff beating her because that was wildly impressive.”

Four-time PGA Tour winner Kevin Kisner agreed and sang Korda’s praise.

“I think I called her the Tiger Woods of the LPGA Tour at one point,” he said. “And then through about seven or eight holes I said she’s hit every shot just like she wants to for eight holes. Like does she hit a bad shot? I have no idea, I’ve never seen her hit a bad shot. We were laughing all day.”

In response to all of the praise she’s received, Korda this week suggested that the men should watch more women’s golf.

“They should watch more women’s golf. I think if they watched a lot of players out here, they would come away equally impressed.”

Korda, who is the number 2 ranked player in the world, will be kicking off her season this week in hopes of claiming the number one spot.

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19th Hole

Study shows how using a push cart or electric trolly can help lower scores



Golfers love a stat.

Apart from keeping score, there are more than a handful of devices available to measure ball speed, plane, stance, putting stroke and on and on.

Even non-players are involved in numbers, with golf bettors using the likes of and datagolf to crunch the figures and sort out which player’s best attribute suits that week’s course.

So, even though it may seem fairly obvious that walking and pushing a golf cart is more beneficial to your health than riding a cart, the latest study by the Colorado Center for Health and Sports Science adds the oft-sought science to the belief.

The study was carried out by lead researcher Neil Wolkodoff, PhD and backed by Europe’s number 1 golf bag and push cart brand BIG MAX. It also set out to find out how energy expenditure varies in golf based on the mode of transport, as well as recording data on participants’ reported mental focus and their scores across a round of nine holes.

Researches used a VO2 Master metabolic analyzer and a standard Hans-Rudolph mask to test energy expenditure on the course, finding that golfers burned most Kcal per hour using a pushcart, a significant 36% increase on motorized cart use.

Both using a push cart and electric trolley reached the threshold for being recognized as moderate intensity exercise and would have a positive impact on the health of users, while golf using a motorized cart constitutes a health improvement activity.

Wolkodoff commented, “It is clear that if you walk the course, you will experience the same health benefits as other moderate exercises, possibly better. Particularly noting that improvement when using a pushcart, and certainly more than when taking part in recreational or leisure walking.”

“Previous studies I’ve worked on demonstrated that using a pushcart had performance benefits over other types of course transport. The walking modes in this study had a clear improvement in reported mental focus of participants when walking compared to a motor cart.”

The health benefits were pretty much a given, but how does this affect your actual performance? Will walking gain you that vital shot for your weekend $50 scramble?

In reporting mental focus and overall score to par, the studies concluded that pushcart and electric trolley usage came out with very similar results.

For reported mental focus, manual cart use averaged a score of 5.67 while the electric versions scored 6.63, both outscoring an average of 5.01 for the motorised aid. Scores to par fared similarly, with the two manual carts scoring 10.4 and 10.2 above par respectively with the motor over a shot behind over 9 holes at 11.5.

Rick Oldach, CEO of Big Max USA, the company that supplied all the carts and bags for the experiment, was pleased with the end results.

“Neil and the team have done a fantastic job,” he said enthusiastically. “The methodology for testing energy expenditure delivers undisputed evidence for the health benefits of walking the course. The results that particularly please me though are around mental focus and scores. I’ve long suspected that having time to think between shots, to decompress after each shot and to have time to prepare for the next shot is of real benefit, and this study proves that walking improves performance.”

So, not only for your health, but to also beat your buddies for that free round of beers, go manual!


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19th Hole

‘Grip it and trim it, baby!’ – John Daly and his son feature in hilarious new Manscaped commercial



Even at 56 years old, former PGA Tour superstar John Daly continues to move the needle in the sport.

We’ve most recently seen Daly playing in the PNC Championship with his son, John Daly II (Little John), going head-to-head with Tiger Woods and his son, Charlie. The Daly duo won the event in 2021, which put the golf world on notice to the talent of “Little John”, who is currently a Sophomore at Arkansas University where his old man played college golf.

The Daly’s are once again in the spotlight, as a commercial from “manscaped” has recently aired.

Thanks to the NCAA changing its NIL rules, college athletes can now be paid for their image and likeness. That has resulted in Daly II being able to follow in his father’s footsteps to sign an endorsement deal with Hooters. Daly II has taken further advantage of the new rules by being in the commercial with his dad.

The commercial is hilarious and starts with the elder Daly looking to use his beard trimmer for some grooming below the belt.

“Whoa, whoa, whoa, whoa! It’s not for down there.” says Little John.

Daly then responds by slightly modifying his catch phrase, “grip it and rip it”.

“Grip it and trim it, baby!” Daly says right before unleashing a big swing with his driver.

The commercial will be aired during the broadcast of the Farmers Insurance Open Jan. 25-28.

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