Hideki Matsuyama, Phil Mickelson, Jon Rahm and Collin Morikawa head into 2022 as reigning major champions; Rory McIlroy, Jordan Spieth and Mickelson all have more opportunities to complete golf’s career Grand Slam
Last Updated: 31/12/21 6:56am
The 2021 golf calendar produced historic victories, first-time winners and records broken, but what can we expect from the men’s major schedule over the year ahead?
Hideki Matsuyama will return to Augusta National as defending champion, a year on from becoming the first Asian winner of The Masters last April, while Rory McIlroy will have another chance to complete golf’s career Grand Slam.
Phil Mickelson became the oldest major winner in history with his PGA Championship victory at Kiawah Island, while world No 1 Jon Rahm secured a maiden major title with his dramatic US Open success at Torrey Pines.
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Nick Dougherty, Andrew Coltart and Paul McGinley look back at the key moments from Jon Rahm’s winning round at the US Open
The Open celebrates its 150th anniversary next summer at St Andrews, with the Old Course hosting the event for the first time since 2015 and Collin Morikawa the reigning Champion Golfer of the Year after lifting the Claret Jug at Royal St George’s.
Who will win the men’s majors in 2022? We asked Sky Sports Golf presenter Nick Dougherty to offer his predictions…
The Masters – Rory McIlroy
I’m quite an emotional person so I will continue to believe that he will win at Augusta, and there’s no reason why he won’t. I honestly believe that he has found that sweet spot of wanting to find some improvement, but also has having the perspective of knowing he has his own way of doing it.
I feel like there’s been a few years where he has been chasing trying to replicate some of the traits he likes in other players’ games, such as the strengthening of the his clubface we see in many of the top players, all in the quest to rise above them all, but I think he is starting to find his own game again.
I like what he has been saying recently about his performances and I like the work he has done with Brad Faxon. I expect that he will win again early in the season and that would take him into The Masters in great form. He has had chances there, let’s be honest. He has a good record at Augusta National, he just hasn’t got the job done yet.
PGA Championship – Viktor Hovland
His career has been phenomenal so far, with the three PGA Tour wins, a European Tour win and that Hero World Challenge victory just before Christmas. We have seen what he is capable of, so the next step is obvious.
When you look at all the tools he has, I think it’s inevitable that he’s in the mix for more big tournaments in the years ahead. Winning bigger events on the PGA Tour and a major victory are both very much in his future.
He’s edging towards Collin Morikawa with the quality of his long game and he’s phenomenal off the tee. He has the game tee-to-green and is far better around the greens than he used to be, so that we can expect him to step up and challenge in the major arena.
US Open – Xander Schauffele
The last five times Schauffele has played the US Open, he has finished fifth, sixth, third, fifth and seventh. He has won four times on the PGA Tour and has a very good CV in the majors without winning one yet, so this could be his calling.
The Open – Jordan Spieth
Spieth finished second at The Open in 2021 and played well when it was last held at St Andrews in 2015. Given the nature of his game, with his tidied-up iron play and his brilliant putting, I just feel like he is going to have a chance around that golf course.
St Andrews, for me, is still one of the most misunderstood golf courses. When you look at the calibre of players to have won around the Old Course and the way they have plotted around there, you could easily see someone with the artistry that Spieth possesses lifting the Claret Jug again.
The secret to the Old Course isn’t hitting it down the left-side to miss the bunkers, there’s times where it plays in the favour of the real thinker. Spieth will be a great fit around that layout.
Who do you think will win golf’s majors in 2022? Get in touch via @SkySportsGolf or comment below to get involved in the debate, but please adhere to our House Rules.
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