By Jeff Skinner
The latest issue of Golf World hit the web (and the mailboxes) yesterday. This is their “Newsmakers of the Year Issue” and the boys at Golf World delivered a magazine full of interesting characters and perspectives.
With all the debate about the “Anchoring Issue” you may think that took the top spot on the list but Jaime Diaz and his cohorts had the biggest debate of the year in the sixth slot. In their view the top newsmaker was “Crash Landings”. “Losing was contagious on the PGA Tour in 2012, particularly during a stretch of nine straight where the 54-hole leaders failed to close out victory. That dubious streak was capped by Adam Scott giving away the British Open in a collapse indicative that there was no such thing as a comfortable lead this year.”
There were many monumental meltdowns in golf last season as I.K. Kim missed a one foot putt at the Kraft Nabisco. With nine holes left Kyle Stanley lost a six stroke lead at Torrey Pines. Tiger Woods was beaten by Robert Rock, the 117th player in the world at Abu Dhabi. Jim Furyk may be the poster boy for the crashes of 2012 as he lost his chance at the U.S. Open on the sixteenth hole, blew the WGC Bridgestone and played horribly at the Ryder Cup.
Golf World names Furyk’s season as the most disappointing of the year but my pick is Adam Scott. Scott’s disaster at the Open Championship was the single most painful moment of the season for any player. Making four straight bogeys to finish with your first major win at stake is as devastating as it gets. Credit Scott for the classy way he handled it but in my book that was the meltdown of the year.
Rory McIlroy and his five win, up and down and very up again season came in at number two. In third was the Ryder Cup with the European comeback going down as one for the ages. The bounce back year of Tiger Woods occupies the fourth spot. Woods broke his winless streak with three PGA Tour wins and moved to second in the world. The Women of Augusta National, now that’s a strange phrase, came in at the fifth spot.
Anchoring and the USGA’s and R&A’s announcement to ban it came in at a lowly sixth on the list. Personally I would have had that in the top spot. The men at Golf World are more creative than I as they have shown by wrapping all the “crashes” into one category.
Rory and Tiger had great seasons. The Ryder Cup may have been the best in the modern era. Augusta welcoming two women members, while newsworthy will have zero effect on the everyday golfer and the professional for that matter.
With all due respect to Golf World, the anchoring ban is a historic decision in golf. With more and more golfers, professional and amateur, using long putters and anchored strokes this decision will have massive ramifications. From my perspective, in a great season of golf with many noteworthy shots, events and characters the ban on anchoring was the biggest news of the year.