2020 produced two first-time Major champions with a number of players knocking on the door to break the duck in the near future. ANDRE HUISAMEN identifies five players, who could win their first Major in the new year.
The world No 2 proved his resilience when he pushed Dustin Johnson all the way in the FedEx Cup playoffs, claiming a highly impressive victory at the BMW Championship. Rahm’s performance on the PGA Tour this past year showed his ever-growing development and determination to become one of the all-time greats in the game. At the age of 26, the Spaniard is poised for a massive 2021, which will include an important performance for Team Europe at the Ryder Cup, but also the possibility of claiming his first Major title.
The Norwegian experienced a breakthrough year on the PGA Tour, capped off with a second victory in ten months when he came out on top at the Mayakoba Golf Classic. Hovland leads a big batch of young players on Tour, who could have a significant impact on the outcome of the 2021 FedEx Cup, should his fine run of consistency continue. The 23-year-old is a strong player around any golf course and has proved to fight his way out of any tricky situation, which will come in handy if he finds himself in contention at any of the four Majors.
Wolff has long been tipped as a future Major winner and 2020 showed that the American has all the composure in the world to go all the way in the big events. Despite missing the cut at Augusta National in November, Wolff led the US Open, heading into the final round, while he secured a T4 finish at Harding Park when Collin Morikawa won the PGA Championship. The 21-year-old appears to favour the big moments and rises to the occasion when the opportunity comes to hand. Next year could well see him convert one of those chances into a big victory, which will make him one of the youngest Major champions ever.
In the last 24 years Justin Rose and Danny Willet have been the only English Major champions but the country poses a handful of high quality players, set to make big waves in the years to come. One of them is Hatton, who also took the past year by storm and emerged as a determined player, eyeing big things to come in the new year. The 29-year-old finished 2020 on a high with victory at Wentworth in October, adding to his triumph at the Arnold Palmer Invitational earlier this year – results that saw rise up to tenth in the world. Hatton’s ability to succeed on both the European Tour and the PGA Tour will provide him with great confidence to challenge for a Major in 2021.
Bezuidenhout could very well be South Africa’s big hope of breaking the Major drought, which has been running for eight years now. There aren’t many golfers around that play with as much calmness as Bezuidenhout and it was deserved reward when he won back to back European Tour titles in South Africa at the end of the year. The next step, though, for Bezuidenhout will be the aim higher and challenge the best in the game. The 27-year-old got the feel of what Major competitions entail in the past two years and will undoubtedly strive to be better in 2021. Not to mention the massive amount of confidence he will carry into the new year from his recent success, Bezuidenhout will certainly be a golfer worth keeping an eye on at the upcoming four Majors.