One prediction: No kiss for Cup

KAPALUA, Hawaii --- To listen to Zach Johnson and Paul Goydos is to be reminded that golf always holds a few surprises.


Johnson was asked to go back one year and rank the majors in order of which he was most likely to win. He would have put the Masters Tournament last on his list, and it still seems surreal to have a green jacket in his closet.

Goydos won the Bay Hill Invitational in 1996 and didn't win another PGA Tour event until the Sony Open last year. He returned to the winners-only Mercedes-Benz Championship for the first time in 11 years, during which time Tiger Woods turned pro and won 61 times.

"If you would have told me when I won that from '97 through '07 that some guy was going to win 60 times, I would say that you're out of your mind," Goydos said. "There's just no way. That's not going to happen."

Gazing into the crystal ball, here's one timeline of what might happen in 2008:

JAN. 6: Stephen Ames, feeling right at home after buying a time share at Kapalua, wins the Mercedes-Benz Championship for his second consecutive PGA Tour victory, leaving him nine short of Byron Nelson's record.

JAN. 15: Roger Clemens attends a voluntary meeting at the Bob Hope Chrysler Classic on the tour's anti-doping policy and is relieved to learn drug testing doesn't start until July 8: and then only for golfers.

JAN. 27: For the fourth consecutive year, Woods opens his season with a win in the Buick Invitational. He wins by 15 shots in a tune-up for the U.S. Open.

JAN. 28: The PGA Tour runs its first FedEx Cup commercial, sticking with the theme, "Who will be the first to kiss the cup?"

April 6: Davis Love III birdies the last two holes to win the Shell Houston Open and qualify for the Masters.

APRIL 13: Woods wins the Masters by one shot over Love.

APRIL 14: The PGA Tour runs its second FedEx Cup commercial, noting the cup still hasn't been kissed.

APRIL 20: Ernie Els wins the Verizon Heritage at Hilton Head, his first PGA Tour victory on U.S. soil in nearly four years.

MAY 11: Phil Mickelson becomes the first player to win back-to-back years at The Players Championship. He calls for a tour vote to make The Players a major, but the vote against is 241-2. Mickelson and Love cast the only votes in favor.

JUNE 12: The first round of the U.S. Open is postponed by fog.

JUNE 13: Half the field doesn't start the first round of the U.S. Open, which again is delayed because of fog.

JUNE 14: Vijay Singh is disqualified from the U.S. Open after getting stuck in traffic and missing his tee time.

JUNE 18: The U.S. Open concludes on Wednesday when Woods beats Steve Stricker by 15 shots in an 18-hole playoff.

JULY 6: Rory Sabbatini wins the AT&T National at Congressional, then announces he is donating the $1.08 million winner's check to help build the new Tiger Woods Learning Center.

JULY 7: Sabbatini is the first player tested for drugs.

Aug. 7: Mickelson, who already has won a career-high five times on tour, is disqualified from the PGA Championship when he shows up Thursday on the first tee of the other course at Oakland Hills.

Sept. 21: Motivated by the Americans having four captain's picks, Europe wins the Ryder Cup, 181/2-91/2.

SEPT. 28: Woods wins the FedEx Cup in a final-round duel over Stricker. Tour commissioner Tim Finchem again reminds Woods that the cup has never been kissed. And it still isn't.

SEPT. 29: Finchem is tested for drugs

Dec. 16: Stricker finishes the year at No. 2 in the world and is voted the tour's Comeback Player of the Year for the third consecutive time.


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