I know it seems hard to believe but we have just passed the halfway point of the 2012 PGA Tour season. The recently completed Players Championship marked the halfway point in the season. Thus far there have been 19 weeks of competition, including some alternate field events opposite the World Golf Championships. There are now only 14 weeks of competition remaining, again with a couple of alternate field events, until the FedEx Cup Playoffs begin in late August. With the four weeks of playoffs there are a total of 18 weeks of competition remaining before the Ryder Cup at Medinah.
Most sports have a mid-season review and professional golf deserves it as well. Here is part one of my review of the first half of the 2012 PGA Tour season.
First I must say that it is somewhat difficult to summarize the first half of the 2012 season. Perhaps the main reason for this is that of the four major championships in professional golf only one, the Masters, has been contested at this point in the season. There are three majors remaining to be played and it is those marque events that will ultimately define the 2012 season, but as of now where do we stand?
There have been 21 events on tour so far and there have been 20 different champions. Other players have come close, but the only winner of multiple events in 2012 is Hunter Mahan. Mahan captured the Accenture Match Play Championship in February and the Shell Houston Open at the beginning of April.
Top 3 Finishes
Northern Ireland’s Rory McIlroy leads the PGA Tour with four Top 3 finishes. McIlroy won the Honda Classic, finished second at both the Accenture Match Play Championship and the Wells Fargo Championship, and finished third at the Cadillac Championship. Carl Pettersson and Phil Mickelson each have three Top 3 finishes in 2012.
Top 10 Finishes
Top 10 finishes are important to many professional golfers with prize money being a major reason. In this category three players are tied at the top. Matt Kuchar, Kevin Na and Bo Van Pelt each have five Top 10 finishes on tour in 2012. There are 14 players that each have four Top 10 finishes. Included in this group are Steve Stricker, John Rollins and Johnson Wagner.
The 2012 season has seen its share of breakout winners. Since he won the season’s only major to date, I will begin with Bubba Watson. With his win at the Masters, Watson has validated “the Bubba way” and has a chance to establish himself as a star on tour. Another breakthrough winner is Rickie Fowler. His victory at the Wells Fargo Championship was the first of his promising career. Now that he has that first victory under his belt the sky is the limit for this young American.
As I think about it, would it be fair to include Tiger Woods in this list? A few years ago this thought would not have entered anyone’s mind. However, after his well documented personal turmoil, Woods failed to win on the PGA Tour for over two years. His victory in March at the Arnold Palmer Invitational was a big win for the world’s former number one player.
Dwight is an avid golfer. While still relatively new to the game, he plays as often as the weather and his schedule will allow.