Golf Winners and Losers From 2012

1 of 21

Winners and Losers From the 2012 Golf Season

1
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Since we are on the cusp of the beginning of yet another season on the PGA Tour, I figured that now is as good of a time as any to take a look back at the winners and losers of the 2012 season. Last year was definitely an interesting and exciting year in professional golf. There were some monumental accomplishments as well as epic collapses.

In 2012 we saw some wily veterans pull off almost unthinkable victories while a few golfers looking to make a name for themselves did just that, as others continued to come up just short.

2012 was also a time of equipment changes. Some of the biggest names in the sport completely changed their equipment (and subsequent endorsement deals). In addition, a very controversial piece of equipment was given the ax, despite the threat of potential litigation.

Last year was a great year to be a golf fan. Every time you turned around, it seemed like there was something exciting happening; sometimes you just had to look a little closer to find it. In my opinion, the epitome of golf in 2012 was the Ryder Cup. It just does not get much better than that. No matter what side you were rooting for, that tournament had the golf world on the edge of its collective seats for a few days. It also gave us plenty of fodder to discuss for a while afterwards, which I appreciate.

I can only hope that 2013 is filled with as much intense and exciting competition. I’ll also be curious to see which of my winners and losers from 2012 repeat on next year’s list.

You can view all of Carl’s RantSports articles here and follow him on Twitter @CarlConradRS.

2 of 21

Loser: Luke Donald

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Donald isn’t on this so much for what he did as for what Rory McIlroy took away from him. Last year Donald led both the PGA and European tour money lists and was number one in the world. This year all three of those honors belong to McIlroy.

3 of 21

Winner: Sergio Garcia

1
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Garcia was able to record a win in 2012 on the PGA Tour, and for the most part, had a consistently solid season. His confidence clearly built throughout the year. It looks as if he may be on track to finally bring home a major

4 of 21

Loser: Lee Westwood

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a long time since Westwood won on the PGA Tour, but the renewal of his PGA Tour card may change that. He’s still looking to get rid of the title of “one of the best golfers never to win a major”.

5 of 21

Winner: Ian Poulter

1
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Poulter is a master when it comes to match play competition, and he showcased his talents at the Ryder Cup. A win at the World Golf Championship - HSBC Champions tournament isn’t too shabby, either.

6 of 21

Loser: Hunter Mahan

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Even with two wins in 2012, the year has to be disappointing for Mahan. The sting of his failure to earn a spot on the Ryder Cup team may linger for quite some time.

7 of 21

Winner: Jason Dufner

1
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at his expression, you’d never know that Dufner had eight top 10 finishes and two wins in 2012 and currently sits at ninth in the world.

8 of 21

Loser: Kevin Na

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately for Na, his pre-shot routine received more attention this year than his actual performance. Shooting 76 in the final round of the Players Championship to blow the lead doesn’t help him much, either.

9 of 21

Winner: Tiger Woods

1
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Even though he failed to win a major championship, Tiger’s three wins in 2012 are a sign that he is back and ready to contend, as long as he stays healthy.

10 of 21

Loser: Camilo Villegas

1
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Finishing the season outside of the top 100 in scoring average is a recipe for disaster. Villegas, who finished 2012 at 122, knows this all too well.

11 of 21

Winner: Ernie Els

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The man who couldn’t even get into The Masters wins the Open Championship. Sounds like the tag line to a pretty solid golf movie, huh? Nope, it just sums up the 2012 season for “The Big Easy”.

12 of 21

Loser: Graeme McDowell

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

He missed three cuts in 16 PGA tournaments last year and only finished in the 25 eight times. Still ranked 15th in the world, McDowell has a lot more potential than what he has shown.

13 of 21

Winner: Keegan Bradley

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley built on a strong 2011 campaign with five top 10 finishes and one win in 2012. The real fireworks came at the Ryder Cup, however, where he was a force to be reckoned with.

14 of 21

Loser: Jim Furyk

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Not far behind Scott’s collapse at the British Open is Furyk’s failure at the U.S. Open. Furyk gave back three strokes in the final six holes and blew the one shot lead he was desperately trying to cling to.

15 of 21

Winner: Branden Grace

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Simply put, Grace was an absolute monster on the European Tour in 2012, where he won four times and finished sixth on the money list after re-completing Q-School just last year. He also moved himself up to 34th in the official world golf rankings.

16 of 21

Loser: Adam Scott

1
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Scott is on this list solely because of his monumental collapse at the British Open, where he finished his Sunday round with 4 consecutive bogeys to lose by one shot.

17 of 21

Winner: Bubba Watson

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Masters champion not only had an incredible 2012 season, but he did it with class and dignity. Not to mention he took several weeks off to spend with his wife and newly adopted son. After he came back he also posted top 25 finishes at the British Open and PGA Championship. Truly one of the good guys in the game.

18 of 21

Loser: Davis Love III

1
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team has to take a great deal of responsibility for setting an incredibly poor lineup that went a long way in costing the team the title.

19 of 21

Winner: Brandt Snedeker

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Snedeker had a magnificent 2012 campaign that culminated with a hefty $10 million bonus as the FedEx Cup champion and the number 10 spot in the world.

20 of 21

Loser: Belly Putters

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The belly putter will be going the way of the dodo bird, much to the dismay of many tour pros and the delight of others.

21 of 21

Winner: Rory McIlroy

1
Bruce Chapman-USA TODAY Sports

What can be said about McIlroy that hasn’t been said a hundred times already? Number one in the world, number one on both the PGA and European Tour money lists, several golfer of the year awards, another major championship. He’s pretty good.

1 of 21

Winners and Losers From the 2012 Golf Season

1
Allan Henry-USA TODAY Sports

Since we are on the cusp of the beginning of yet another season on the PGA Tour, I figured that now is as good of a time as any to take a look back at the winners and losers of the 2012 season. Last year was definitely an interesting and exciting year in professional golf. There were some monumental accomplishments as well as epic collapses.

In 2012 we saw some wily veterans pull off almost unthinkable victories while a few golfers looking to make a name for themselves did just that, as others continued to come up just short.

2012 was also a time of equipment changes. Some of the biggest names in the sport completely changed their equipment (and subsequent endorsement deals). In addition, a very controversial piece of equipment was given the ax, despite the threat of potential litigation.

Last year was a great year to be a golf fan. Every time you turned around, it seemed like there was something exciting happening; sometimes you just had to look a little closer to find it. In my opinion, the epitome of golf in 2012 was the Ryder Cup. It just does not get much better than that. No matter what side you were rooting for, that tournament had the golf world on the edge of its collective seats for a few days. It also gave us plenty of fodder to discuss for a while afterwards, which I appreciate.

I can only hope that 2013 is filled with as much intense and exciting competition. I’ll also be curious to see which of my winners and losers from 2012 repeat on next year’s list.

You can view all of Carl’s RantSports articles here and follow him on Twitter @CarlConradRS.

2 of 21

Loser: Luke Donald

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Donald isn’t on this so much for what he did as for what Rory McIlroy took away from him. Last year Donald led both the PGA and European tour money lists and was number one in the world. This year all three of those honors belong to McIlroy.

3 of 21

Winner: Sergio Garcia

1
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

Garcia was able to record a win in 2012 on the PGA Tour, and for the most part, had a consistently solid season. His confidence clearly built throughout the year. It looks as if he may be on track to finally bring home a major

4 of 21

Loser: Lee Westwood

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

It has been a long time since Westwood won on the PGA Tour, but the renewal of his PGA Tour card may change that. He’s still looking to get rid of the title of “one of the best golfers never to win a major”.

5 of 21

Winner: Ian Poulter

1
Anne-Marie Sorvin-USA TODAY Sports

Poulter is a master when it comes to match play competition, and he showcased his talents at the Ryder Cup. A win at the World Golf Championship - HSBC Champions tournament isn’t too shabby, either.

6 of 21

Loser: Hunter Mahan

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Even with two wins in 2012, the year has to be disappointing for Mahan. The sting of his failure to earn a spot on the Ryder Cup team may linger for quite some time.

7 of 21

Winner: Jason Dufner

1
Jim Cowsert-USA TODAY Sports

Looking at his expression, you’d never know that Dufner had eight top 10 finishes and two wins in 2012 and currently sits at ninth in the world.

8 of 21

Loser: Kevin Na

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

Unfortunately for Na, his pre-shot routine received more attention this year than his actual performance. Shooting 76 in the final round of the Players Championship to blow the lead doesn’t help him much, either.

9 of 21

Winner: Tiger Woods

1
Kevin Liles-USA TODAY Sports

Even though he failed to win a major championship, Tiger’s three wins in 2012 are a sign that he is back and ready to contend, as long as he stays healthy.

10 of 21

Loser: Camilo Villegas

1
Crystal LoGiudice-USA TODAY Sports

Finishing the season outside of the top 100 in scoring average is a recipe for disaster. Villegas, who finished 2012 at 122, knows this all too well.

11 of 21

Winner: Ernie Els

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The man who couldn’t even get into The Masters wins the Open Championship. Sounds like the tag line to a pretty solid golf movie, huh? Nope, it just sums up the 2012 season for “The Big Easy”.

12 of 21

Loser: Graeme McDowell

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

He missed three cuts in 16 PGA tournaments last year and only finished in the 25 eight times. Still ranked 15th in the world, McDowell has a lot more potential than what he has shown.

13 of 21

Winner: Keegan Bradley

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Bradley built on a strong 2011 campaign with five top 10 finishes and one win in 2012. The real fireworks came at the Ryder Cup, however, where he was a force to be reckoned with.

14 of 21

Loser: Jim Furyk

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Not far behind Scott’s collapse at the British Open is Furyk’s failure at the U.S. Open. Furyk gave back three strokes in the final six holes and blew the one shot lead he was desperately trying to cling to.

15 of 21

Winner: Branden Grace

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Simply put, Grace was an absolute monster on the European Tour in 2012, where he won four times and finished sixth on the money list after re-completing Q-School just last year. He also moved himself up to 34th in the official world golf rankings.

16 of 21

Loser: Adam Scott

1
Kevin Jairaj-USA TODAY Sports

Scott is on this list solely because of his monumental collapse at the British Open, where he finished his Sunday round with 4 consecutive bogeys to lose by one shot.

17 of 21

Winner: Bubba Watson

1
Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

The Masters champion not only had an incredible 2012 season, but he did it with class and dignity. Not to mention he took several weeks off to spend with his wife and newly adopted son. After he came back he also posted top 25 finishes at the British Open and PGA Championship. Truly one of the good guys in the game.

18 of 21

Loser: Davis Love III

1
Brian Spurlock-USA TODAY Sports

The captain of the U.S. Ryder Cup team has to take a great deal of responsibility for setting an incredibly poor lineup that went a long way in costing the team the title.

19 of 21

Winner: Brandt Snedeker

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

Snedeker had a magnificent 2012 campaign that culminated with a hefty $10 million bonus as the FedEx Cup champion and the number 10 spot in the world.

20 of 21

Loser: Belly Putters

1
Debby Wong-USA TODAY Sports

The belly putter will be going the way of the dodo bird, much to the dismay of many tour pros and the delight of others.

21 of 21

Winner: Rory McIlroy

1
Bruce Chapman-USA TODAY Sports

What can be said about McIlroy that hasn’t been said a hundred times already? Number one in the world, number one on both the PGA and European Tour money lists, several golfer of the year awards, another major championship. He’s pretty good.


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