January 3, 2023
Wishes and Predictions for 2023
First, let me wish you a healthy and prosperous New Year. Hopefully we will have a year that will be free of conflict and strife and a year that we will be able to enjoy all the pursuits, like golf, that we enjoy so much.
Golf has had a tumultuous year. Our traditional stoic game has been rocked by a rival association that wants to reinvent the world order of how tournaments are played and establish themselves as the eminent leader of professional golf. Last year's results are mixed at best and this coming year will be a pivotal deciding line if this is what the public wants. The PGA Tour was threatened and has made changes. I'm sure there will be more to come, but 2023 will certainly be interesting. I just hope we play golf and let the bickering and name calling cease. If you decided to take a lot of money and play in the rival league, great, that's your choice and good for you. The PGA Tour has rules and when players left their organization, they broke away and shouldn't have any future dealing with their former tour. It was a clear decision when they choose to leave. Play in your exhibitions and make a lot of money and be happy.
The Masters commitee has said that all that are qualified are invited to play. So we will see many LIV players at Augusta in April. The USGA and the Royal and Ancient haven't made their decision on eligibility known yet, but these are open championships, so I think the field will be open to all that meet the qualifications. The PGA Championship is run by the PGA of America and not the PGA Tour. They have already stated that LIV players will not be eligible for the Ryder Cup. Therefore I highly doubt they will be invited to play in their major. The rival tours playing together in a major should add an extra ingredient to the excitement, but ultimately it's not which tour is best, but what individual was best that week.
First prediction. The LIV Tour was a novelty last year. If it stays with 54 hole tournaments and shotgun starts, I think the interest, (if any before), will drop. They will not fold, because there is too much money behind the tour, but it could fade out after three years. The prediction is the interest will keep dropping and become a minor news story.
Second prediction. The PGA Tour will prosper. The players on the tour have never been better. Younger players like Cameron Young, Will Zalatoris, Tom Kim, Sahith Theegala, and Sungjae Im are fearless and could win numerous times including majors. Also players like Scottie Scheffler, Collin Morikawa, Viktor Hovland, and Jon Rahm are just over 25 years of age and in their prime. The 2023 PGA Tour should continue to create excitement with Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth, Justin Thomas, Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau, and Patrick Cantley as their marquee headliners. Prediction. The PGA will weather this storm and be stronger.
Third prediction. Tiger Wood will continue to make headlines, but as it is right now, even Superman couldn't overcome the damage that he did to his legs. If he could play in a cart, he would win right now, but that is not possible. If there is one person who will do everything possible to compete again, it would be Tiger. I'm sure everyone will be rooting for him, but this hill might be too steep to climb. He will play at Augusta, but will fade with fatigue. The PGA is at Oak Hill in Rochester, NY and the US Open at Los Angeles Country Club North (my college home course) are long and not that hilly, so he should be able get around them with minor discomfort. Finally the British Open at Hoylake is dead flat, so it will be his easiest test for walking. Prediction. He will challenge and be in the hunt for one of them. Best guess LA North.
The New Year is a blank canvas. It is up to us to paint the picture. May your 2023 be a masterpiece!
Happy New Year.