Sunday, January 1, 2012

The 2012 Major Champions will be ...

Tiger has won the Masters four times and seems to be in contention at Augusta even when he doesn't have his A game. He finished in the top five the past two years despite injuries, swing changes, and the scandal. This year he appears to be healthy, his swing changes have become more ingrained, he's coming off a win at Chevron, and he'll have at least 4-5 tournaments to play prior to Augusta to prepare. Look for Woods to get his 15th major victory this April and get back on track to breaking Jack's record of 18.

Mickelson has finished runner-up five times in the U.S. Open and he wants this tournament more than any other. He's approaching his mid-forties so his window of opportunity to win is closing. No one knows if Phil will show up with one driver, two drivers, no driver, a regular putter, or a belly putter. Regardless, he will be gearing up and trying to peak this summer to try and win his first U.S. Open. He still has a good chance to win the career grand slam.

Well on his way to becoming the number one player in the world, McILroy is the most talented golfer to hit the scene since Woods. Injuries aside, he will no doubt be a top ten player in the world for the next decade. He should have won the Masters last year and won the U.S. Open in a runaway.  He grew up in Northern Ireland playing links style courses and there's no question he will eventually win the Open Championship. Other than Woods, McILroy is the only player with the potential in winning the calendar year Grand Slam. Look for him to earn his second career major in 2012.

Now in his 30s, it doesn't seem possible that a player with his talent could go a career without winning a major championship. After a self-imposed hiatus from golf, he came back last year looking sharp and winning back to back tournaments on the European Tour. Of course, he also made news for slinging his 4 iron into a lake after a bad shot. Garcia is definitely a wild card, but if he gets his putter rolling and keeps his head in check, he could finally win his first major championship in 2012.