Happy Holidays! While I'm waiting for the first winter storm of the season to hit Minnesota tonight, I started thinking about how much I miss golf. Even though I hit golf balls on Thanksgiving day when it was 57 degrees, golf isn't the same after the pins are pulled and the greens covered for the winter.
I'm also mourning the loss of Q-school as the last dreamers competed for a chance to play on the PGA Tour this past week. From this year on, dreamers will only be playing for a chance to get a card on the Web.com Tour. I'm excited for Minnesotan Donald Constable who did get is card and will be in the big show next season.
But before we get to 2013 (which I am excited for!), I need to check back in on my predictions for 2012 that I wrote back in January. As you know, this can be a very humbling review...sometimes my heart can't stop me from dreaming about some magical finishes! Let's see how I did...
Well, letting my heart take this one wasn't my best move, Stricker finished T47 (but at least he made the cut!). A 2nd round 77 put him back in the pack, but when the weather was challenging he moved within 5 strokes of the lead on Saturday....but as often happens with Stricker at Augusta, he rode the birdie bogey roller coaster and just couldn't make a move. But it was a great tournament and Bubba Watson donned a green jacket that Sunday.
The US Open will be played at the Olympic Club in 2012 and it seems like the right stage for Phil Mickelson to get this Major.
Hmmm, another bad call on my part...Mickelson made the cut, but finished T65. This was a tournament that almost felt like... who doesn't want to win...Webb Simpson came in under the radar, and the leaders just couldn't finish. Webb's 68 (-2) was enough to win by 1 stroke.
The British will be at St. Anne's and I'm thinking this is where Lee Westwood gets his first Major win.
If you read PGA news, you probably know Lee Westwood is still Major-less, so I'm 0-3 on predictions so far. Westwood made the cut, but finished T45. But another emotional Major for fans to watch...I know my heart ached for Adam Scott but at the same time was so happy for Ernie Els, who never gave up even though he seemed to be playing for 2nd place. Great golf again.
The PGA Championship might be where we see Tiger Woods add another Major to his win list...this gives him plenty of time to get his game back into top notch shape.
It's official - I'm 0-4 in Majors, but at least Tiger had a T11 that made it somewhat respectable. (Stricker had a T7!) This was lesson in golf from the world #1 player Rory McIlory. Winning by 8 strokes (with a 2nd round 75) might have seemed boring for the golf fan, but I loved watching every hole on that Sunday. I'm a huge fan (and I'm sorry I didn't pick him to win a major!)
Luke Donald will win the Players Championship along with 2 other tournaments.
In this case, I couldn't be happier that I was wrong about this prediction when Matt Kuchar took the Players Championship trophy in May. Donald did finish in solo 6th, with a nice 66 in the final round. Donald didn't quite perform like I thought he would in 2012 - he did have 1 win and 8 top 10's in 18 events, but I guess I was just expecting more.
Rory McIlroy will win 2 times, will be in the top 10 in all Majors but will not win one.
Sorry, Rory, for my doubt about the Majors! Although, besides the PGA win, his major record in the other 3 events was miserable - T40, CUT, T60. But something clicked in August and he reminded us why he should be the #1 player in the world with 3 more wins after the PGA.
Webb Simpson will have another fantastic year and will win 2 tournaments and will have the most top 10s in the season.
Besides the terrific win at the US Open, Simpson's year would probably be described as Ho-hum...he did have 7 top Ten's but that didn't match McIlry and Bo Van Pelt who both had 10.
Bubba Watson will win again in 2012 and will earn more than $4 million in official winnings.
FINALLY! Our 2012 Masters Champion did only have 1 win, but with 2 second place finishes as well, he was able to earn over $4.6 million - THANK YOU AGAIN Bubba for giving me at least 1 correct prediction (so far!)
Matt Kuchar will win in 2012 and will be in the Top 10 on the money list.
Matt's win at the Players brought tears to my eyes. Such a great win for one of my favorite players. Mr. Consistency had a solid year, winning over $3.9 million, but DANG IT, he finished 11th on the Money List. Here's hoping 2013 might bring a Major!
Stricker and Mickelson will also have 2 win seasons. Besides a Major, Tiger will also win at least 1 other time.
Stricker and Mickelson were only able to pull out 1 win in 2012, but Tiger takes 3 wins in 2012 so he helps my average just a bit!
Erik Compton, who made his way to the PGA Tour via the Nationwide Tour, will have a consistent year on Tour, posting at least 5 top 10 finishes and will earn more than $1.2 million.
Compton struggled in 2012, making 16 of 26 cuts and only 1 top 25 finish. He had to head back to Q-school at the beginning of the month, and I'm excited to report we'll be seeing him again on Tour in 2013! Here's hoping for a great year.
Sam's favorite, Dustin Johnson, will have a solid year, with a win and at least 3 top 5 finishes.
YES!! Thank you DJ! Johnson got his one win at the FedEx St. Jude Classic and had 3 other top 5 finishes this year.
Bill Haas will have a good year, with a win and another run at the FedEx Cup money list. But with his commitment to the Tour in '12, Lee Westwood will win the FedEx Cup.
I'll take the credit for the 1 win prediction, but other than that, Haas just had a marginal year. My Westwood prediction for the FedEx Cup, was just, well, awful...51st.
Rickie Fowler and Hunter Mahan will win, and Keegan Bradley will only find runner up status in 2012.
YES! Fowler and Mahan both had wins (Mahan had 2), but Keegan did pull out a win at the WGC Bridgestone.
I'd love to see Stricker win right out of the gate at the Hyundai, but if not Stricker we might see KJ Choi win it.
SAY WHAT??!! OH YES - who wins the Hyundai? STEVE STRICKER! That made this whole generally painful review totally worth it. THANK YOU STEVE!
I'll be back in a few weeks with my thoughts and dreams for 2013.
PS...if you don't play Fantasy Golf...you should!! I had another super fun year over at Kerplookee and will probably play Yahoo again in '13. Join in on the fun!