Golfing heavyweights led by McIlory, Spieth seek Major success in 2016
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | January 25, 2016
Ahead of the four Major golfing tournaments in 2016, and following the recent Abu Dhabi Championship, Coral pick out five names that have the potential to deliver on the biggest stage this year.
The Masters kicks off the Majors season, which goes on for just under four months, from April 7th-10th at Augusta National Golf Club, before the US Open (June 16th-19th), Open Championship (July 14th-17th) and PGA Championship (July 28th-31st).
Northern Irish magician McIlroy missed the The Open and PGA Championship last year due to injuring his ankle playing football, but will be determined to reclaim his world number one status and with it a couple of Majors or more.
Young pretender Jordan Spieth capitalised in his absence, taking most of the plaudits in 2015, but 26-year-old McIlroy put in a decent showing at the Abu Dhabi Championship, finishing tied-third and two shots behind winner and friend Rickie Fowler.
McIlroy is the second-favourite at 13/2 to claim The Masters this year, to complete a Career Grand Slam, while he is a highly tempting 7/1 to win two or more Majors.
American starlet Spieth, 22, crashed onto the scene in 2015 in what was perhaps the best ever breakthrough year in history as he won the first two Majors of the year, and then finished tied-fourth at The Open and runner-up at the PGA Championship.
Can the Texan match, or even better, his incredible feat this year too? Odds of 5/1 (favourite) and 7/1 respectively say he can retain his Masters and US Open crowns, while he is 11/2 to win two Majors or more in 2016 or 33/1 to go one better.
Spieth’s compatriot Fowler will be hoping to avoid being one of golf’s nearly men at majors – such as Colin Montgomerie, Lee Westwood and Sergio Garcia – having finished in the top five of all four Majors in 2014.
The Californian didn’t enjoy a successful 2015 in the top events, though did win the prestigious Players Championship in his adopted home Florida, and recent Abu Dhabi Championship, where he held off an all-star field.
After looking back to his best, Fowler is an enticing 22/1 to triumph in Augusta to become the third successive American to win The Masters, and 25/1 to lift the Claret Jug in this year’s Open Championship – the only Major he’s achieved two top five finishes at.
Australian Day managed what Fowler has not done so far, and finally claimed his first Major (in last year’s PGA Championship), after finishing in the top five on six previous occasions.
The 28-year-old is a battler and will no doubt not settle for being a one-hit wonder, so is 10/1 third-favourite to defend his title in the last Major of the year, while is 13/8 just to win any of the big four in 2016.
With 10 top 10 Major finishes during his career to date, 31-year-old Johnson is another who faces never lifting one of golf’s holy grails, and will have been especially gutted to miss out on the 2015 US Open after missing a simple putt to hand the title to Spieth.
Even elder namesake Zach Johnson managed to scoop up a second Major last season, eight years after his first, though clearly has the talent to one day taste success.
The US Open has been Dustin’s favourite Major to date, going by recent results, finishing tied-second and tied-fourth in the last two years, and so has odds of 20/1 to win at Oakmont Country Club this June.