2012 has been a very fast paced year with a lot of great golf and some controversy. First, the great golf started out on the PGA Tour with first time winners and veterans taking the West Coast swing. Steve Stricker wins the Tournament of Champions and youngster Kyle Stanley comes up short one week and then wins the Waste Management Phoenix Open. Next up, PGA Tour Rookie (probably Rookie of the Year), John Huh wins in Mexico. Hunter Mahan wins the WGC Accenture Match Play over future World #1 Rory Mcllroy and the excitement begins to build. Rory would win the following week at the Honda and a new World #1 is crowned.
Tiger Woods wins a full field PGA Tour, Arnold Palmer Invitational, event for the first time since his fall from grace; answering the burning question of whether he would ever win again. Tiger would then add a couple of more victories on his way to the Trifecta of tournaments winning the Memorial and then his tournament (so to speak the AT&T National. But, no Majors for Tiger. So, then questions arose, will Tiger win a major again or break Jack Nicklaus’s majors record?
The Tour marched into the first major. An unexpected and exciting victory came to Bubba Watson. Bubba hit the greatest shot for 2012 with his 40-yard hook shot with his sand wedge to 10 feet and two putted for the win.
Webb Simpson and the Belly Putter would win the next major. Ernie Els wins the British Open (as I refer to it), with the Belly Putter and now the debate begins to rage onward and upward.
Next up the PGA Championship is won by Rory. Who knew this would be the only European Tour victory he would have on his way to winning the money titles of the USA and Europe? By the way, Brandon Grace won 4 times on the European Tour and he won’t be the Player of the Year. That title will go to Rory, too.
The Meltdown at Medinah, which was chronicled here last month, happened in September followed by the Tour Championship and a new FedEx champion was crowned. Brandt Snedeker took down both trophies. The FedEx Champion has never returned back to the event the following year. Will Sneds be the first?
One truly unheralded note to mark, the LPGA Player of the Year was American, Stacy Lewis. This was the first American to win since Beth Daniel in 1994. The future of the LPGA is definitely bright for all of the women. This is truly global.
Controversy on the horizon, Belly and Long Putters have been the hot topic for 2012. The R&A and the USGA are bound and determined to get this change to the game wrong. Look what happened when they thought the best thing for the game was when they changed the grooves on irons. Have they lost sight of the fact that they should be promoting the Growth of the Game not discouraging it? One thing for sure, this will carry forward into 2013.
The Final Chapter will be written for the PGA Tour Qualifying this month and the PGA Tour will be changed forever in the future. No more Tour School, after this year, to make it to the “Big Show.” Who will come out of this final fray? Stay tuned.
Although all of the stories are yet to be written for 2012, these are just a few snippets that highlighted a fast and furious season in the world of golf. What are your highlights?
On behalf of the Ellis Family, the team at the Trilogy Golf Club at Vistancia and the Bunker to Bunker Golf show, we wish you a Merry Christmas and a Happy and healthy New Year.