Rory McIlroy, Bubba Watson, Martin Kaymer and Jim Furyk are teeing up for the Grand Slam of Golf in Port Royal, Bermuda, with the latter in by virtue of his 2013 US PGA Championship win.
Having won the last two Majors and besting all comers with ease this year, the PGA tour high-ups may have to go back even further to find challengers for McIlroy if he continues to improve. It’s Tiger Woods all over again.
Here’s where we think golf’s four main trinkets will end up landing in 2015.
US Masters – Rory McIlroy @ 7/2
At this stage, after three months during which McIlroy swept up two Majors and proved without a shadow of a doubt his status as world number one at the Ryder Cup, it seems all the Northern Irishman has to do is decide to complete a career Grand Slam with the Green Jacket and it will be so.
The odds might look a little slight, but they’ll feel a lot bigger if McIlroy is in the Augusta clubhouse at 12-under-par on Masters Saturday, four shots clear of the field, as he was aged 22 back in 2011, before a stunning final day capitulation.
If such an eventuality were to occur again you could confidently start spending the winnings early.
US Open – Graeme McDowell @ 50/1
McIlroy’s Ulster compatriot, who, lest we forget, joined the elite club of Major winners a year before his younger friend when claiming the 2010 US Open title, has been a consistent competitor on the main stage since his Pebble Beach triumph.
Six top-12 finishes in Majors over the last three years, including when second in the 2012 US Open, suggests McDowell’s Major winning isn’t over and if the 35-year-old’s immense three-from-three form at Gleneagles doesn’t serve notice, nothing will.
The Open Championship – Rory McIlroy @ 9/2
This looks the best bet of the bunch, as the Open at St Andrews consistently goes to the biggest hitters, with thumping trio Woods (twice), Louis Oosthuizen and John Daly taking the laurels at the home of golf over the past 20 years.
Sergio Garcia, who has eight top-ten finishes at Opens, including two at St Andrews, is McIlroy’s man danger at 25/1, but the Spaniard is yet to win a Major, so you’re miles better off on the favourite.
US PGA Championship – Matt Kuchar @ 33/1
Martin Kaymer won this the last time it was held at Whistling Straits four years ago and the 2014 US Open winner looks huge at 28/1 to do so again, while favourite and defending champion McIlroy, who also took the title in 2012 and came third in 2009, will still have his backers at 4/1.
However, Kuchar led after the first round and the half-way cut in 2010, before falling behind with a +1 round on Saturday and eventually finishing tied for tenth.
The world number nine had a decent 2014 season and a by-no-means shameful Ryder Cup, beating Thomas Bjorn in the singles. He could be a danger in Wisconsin.