The PGA Tour is continuing its season this spring and competition is ramping up. Last year was full of storylines with Brooks Koepka dominating at Bethpage Black, Gary Woodland and Shane Lowry winning their first-ever majors at the U.S. Open and the Open Championship and the return of Tiger Woods.
Controversy swirled around Patrick Reed in December when he clearly cheated by moving sand from behind his ball and improving his lie in a bunker at the Hero World Challenge, creating drama in the golf world that included comments by Koepka.
“I don’t know what he was doing, building sand castles,” Koepka said.
Many golfers sounded off on Reed and fans even let him have it at a contentious Presidents Cup in Melbourne, Australia where Reed’s caddie got in a physical altercation with a fan who berated him about the incident. Reed’s caddie was suspended the rest of the event and the incident brought even more attention to Reed. His win on Sunday at the WGC Mexico Championship cooled the heat a little bit for him.
Eyes may be on Koepka this year to see if he can continue his major run, winning four out of the last 10 including back to back PGA Championships.
Eyes will be on Tiger Woods as he looks to make history this year. With one more PGA Tour win, Woods can pass Sam Snead on the all-time win list. People tune-in just to see him if he is Sunday’s hunt to win, and he draws plenty of fans to the sport. He won twice last year, including the Masters Tournament, and seems to be back in good physical form after his back fusion.
Last year saw two first-time major winners on the PGA Tour, and some young players this year are looking to make the same thing happen.
Cal Leising, a former high school golfer who follows the sport year-round, believes one golfer in particular has a good shot at winning their first major.
“I believe Tony Finau will win a major this year because he is a good ball striker and has been in contention on the weekend in a few majors the last couple years,” Leising said. “I think he learns from those experiences and can get it done.”
Interestingly, local golf fan Jerin Tekolste too thinks that a first-time major winner could have a pretty good shot this year.
“I think Rickie Fowler can definitely win his first major this year,” Tekolste said. “He’s a guy who has never been able to finish a major tournament to win one, but I think this is his year to break through.”
This year could be interesting because the sport has its heavyweights like Rory Mcilroy, Dustin Johnson, Koepka and Woods. But it also has its rising stars like Xander Schauffele, Tony Finau and Viktor Hovland. Anyone can win on any given weekend and it can shape up for some down-to-the-wire action on Sunday.