Brown: Ten players who will win in 2014 (but didn't in 2013)text sizeDecember 03, 2013
By Clifton Brown, PGATOUR.COM
Some excellent players on the PGA TOUR failed to win in 2013. Here are 10 players who didn’t win this year that I expect to win in 2014.
Keegan Bradley -- Only 27 years old, Bradley is still growing as a player and has a knack for making clutch putts. He plays with as much passion as anyone, and he also hangs out with winners. One of his best friends on TOUR is Phil Mickelson, who Bradley has partnered with successfully at both The Presidents Cup and Ryder Cup. One of Bradley’s best friends off the course is Michael Jordan, who has given Bradley mental advice on the psychology of winning. Bradley hopes he’s a slam dunk to win in 2014.
Angel Cabrera -- Somebody should just tell Cabrera that every tournament is a major. His two wins in the United States came in the U. S. Open (2007) and the Masters (2009), and he almost won the Masters again last year, losing to Adam Scott in a memorable playoff. Nobody looks less flustered in the clutch, and Cabrera crushes the ball with that signature long swing. At age 44, he should be hungry to maximize his remaining opportunities to win. The next time he’s in contention, I wouldn’t bet against him.
Rickie Fowler -- With his commercials and his wardrobe, Fowler already knows how to get your attention. He will celebrate his 25th birthday on Dec. 13, and his best golf should be in front of him. Fowler already has the “it” factor to become a huge star. Now he needs to get himself in contention more often, particularly at major championships. Next year could be his breakout year.
Jim Furyk -- He’s still one of the game’s most consistent players. He’s still driven. He can still go low, like he proved in September when he shot 59. If you can shoot a 59 at age 43, you can win a tournament in 2014.
Sergio Garcia -- Controversy followed Garcia off the course in 2013. However, Garcia still has the game to win at anytime, and it’s hard to see him going another calendar year without a victory.
Hunter Mahan -- This guy has won two World Golf Championship events. He has six top-10 finishes in major championships. He may have won last year, but after leading the RBC Canadian Open, Mahan withdrew because his wife went into labor. Classy move. The man has his priorities in order. If you believe in karma, then it’s only fair that Mahan gets back into the winner’s circle next year.
Ian Poulter -- Another player known for his bold fashion statements. He’s also known for his clutch putting at the 2012 Ryder Cup, when he won all four of his matches. When Poulter gets hot with the flat stick, it looks like he’s putting at a cup twice the size of everyone else. Still, he didn’t win on either the PGA TOUR or European Tour in 2013. Don’t expect that to happen again.Bubba Watson
Nick Watney -- Sometimes players need a change, and Watney switched from longtime swing teacher Butch Harmon to Todd Anderson last year. As Watney feels more comfortable with whatever swing mechanics he and Anderson are working on, expect Watney’s play to improve over 2013. A two-time winner in 2012, Watney has the game to win again in 2014.
Bubba Watson -- Love his shot-making ability and imagination. He should have won the Travelers Championship in June, but a triple bogey on the 70th hole of the tournament cost him. Watson hasn’t had a victory since his 2012 Masters win, and you have to believe that will fuel him in 2014.
Lee Westwood -- He just reunited with longtime caddie Billy Foster, which should help Westwood’s comfort level. After moving from England to Florida last winter, Westwood did not have the kind of season he expected in 2013. Now firmly settled in the U. S., with Foster back on his bag, I expect Westwood to win in 2014. Maybe he’ll even capture that elusive major.
Clifton Brown is a freelance columnist for PGATOUR.COM. His views do not necessarily represent the views of the PGA TOUR.