The 2012 PGA season has been one of the most exciting in the last several years. Fantasy golf is growing with each tournament, especially with fantasy sports being at an all-time high right now. The sport has really bounced back with the return of Tiger Woods and emergence of Bubba Watson and Webb Simpson. More and more people are watching the tournaments on television, only adding to the fantasy appeal on a weekly basis. Below is my first half report of the PGA season, along with some my individual awards:
Most Shocking Statistic: 3 – Three is the number of victories that Tiger Woods has grabbed already this season, by winning the AT&T National, the Memorial, and the Arnold Palmer Invitational. Even with all his off the course issues and putting problems, Woods continues to win tournaments.
Comeback Player of the Year: Tiger Woods – The last statistic lead me to my first award of the 2012 season. Woods has shown glimpses of his former self this year and his 3 wins is leading the entire PGA tour. He is getting better with each tournament and will be a huge fantasy contributor in the second half of the year.
Breakthrough Performance of the Year: Bubba Watson at the Masters – Watson was finally noticed for more then his shaggy hair, as he won the Masters with an amazing score of 10 under. Watson was able to hold off Louis Oosthuizen in a two-hole playoff and grab his first major victory of his young career.
Biggest Disappointment of the Year: Rory McIlroy – McIlroy has been the most disappointing fantasy performers week after week. With all the attention that McIlory drew from being ranked number one in the world, he has continually struggled stateside. He has missed three of the last four cuts at Yankee courses and has not won an event in the US since February this year at the Honda Classic. He may be number two in the world, but he certainly is not in the top two in fantasy terms.
Most Intriguing Storyline of the Year: Kevin Na – Na received media attention all over the world with his unusual shimmy before his swing at the Players Championship this year. Na agitated the Masters’ field all day with his antics and quickly shortened his pre-swing routine before his next tournament.
The Mickelson Meltdown: Phil Mickelson withdrew from the Memorial Tournament last month due to mental fatigue. He then followed it up by shooting a plus 16 at the U. S. Open and even missed the cut last weekend at the Greenbrier Classic. Mickelson is having his worst season in recent memory and he continues to frustrate fantasy owners week in and week out. “Lefty” will put it together at some point, but he still might be a couple weeks away.
Second Half Golfer to Watch: Webb Simpson – Simpson won the U. S. Open a couple weeks ago and placed seventh last weekend at The Greenbrier Classic. Simpson is one of the most underrated golfers on the tour and the 26-year old is just getting started.
Second Half Tournaments to Watch:
Open Championship (St. Annes, England) – July 19-22 *
PGA Championship (Kiawah Island, South Carolina) – August 9-12*
The Barclays (Farmingdale, NY) – August 23-26
World Golf Championships-HSBC Championships – November 1-4