What a year we’ve had in golf. Looking back at the PGA Tour season there are so many iconic moments that will certainly go down in history. How much better could it get than Bubba Watson hooking a wedge out of the trees to a Masters green jacket? Or McIlroy ending the season with five birdies at Dubai? And of course nobody is going to forget the miracle at Medinah, a Ryder Cup to remember as the Europeans came from behind to defeat a very strong US team.
There are so many great players this year, all of whom have put in some exceptional performances on the green. I could certainly only dream of playing as well as even some of the juniors who have proved they are just as worthy as a place on the Majors tour as some of the most experienced players. The only help I have at improving my game at all is using my golf GPS Rangefinder, however I think my handicap is still a little off. It’s been tough but I have selected the top five players which I believe need to go down as the best in 2012.
The top five players in 2012
5. Guan Tailing
I’ve started with the youngest and certainly one to watch next year. The Chinese star impressed everyone this year and will become the youngest ever professional golfer to play in the Masters in 2013. The fourteen year-old will tee it up at Augusta thanks to a nerveless victory at the Asia Pacific Amateur Championship. Tianlang also got to mix with the world’s best at the China open this year aged just thirteen. His sheer skill and charisma at such a young age proves he has the skill to go on to do great things in this sport and makes the top five of 2012.
4. Tiger Woods
A controversial one as Woods failed to win any majors this season, however the 14-time major winner has had a brilliant season and has pulled himself back to something we are more familiar to. Woods won three times on the PGA Tour and after languishing outside the world’s top 50, clawed his way back to number two. He’s likely to never dominate the game again as he did for over a decade. Nevertheless he’s likely to roar once again in 2013 as he chases Jack Nicklaus’s record 18 majors.
3. Ian Poulter
The most enthusiastic man on the freeway had one of the best years in his career. It was almost like Poulter had been waiting all year for the Ryder Cup to kick-start his season. One of the heroes at Medniah, and coming away with a 100 per cent winning record, it’s safe to say Poulter is Europe’s new talisman.
Ian Poulter went onto win his first victory of the year soon after at the WGC HSBC Champions. His one-man charge on the Saturday afternoon in Chicago will forever be etched on our memories forever.
2. Branden Grace
His season can only be described as amazing. Grace came through the European Qualifying Tour and went onto win four titles throughout the year. The South African earned a total of €2.5 million in one perfect season.
1. Rory McIlroy
Did you really think it was going to be anybody else? Rory has become the youngest multiple major winner since Seve Ballesteros and marched to a record-breaking US PGA Championship at Klawah Island. The Northern Irishman showed exactly what he could do winning a further four events around the world and topped both the European and US money lists in his best year on tour. Let’s not forget he was also a crucial player in Europe’s victorious Ryder Cup team and secured another ten top-10 finishes. McIlroy also gets to savour in his glory a little longer, claiming a nomination for BBC Sports Personality of the Year award in the UK as well as finishing the year as world number one.