Altvater: Top 5 golf disappointments of 2012Written by Fred Altvater | | BackNine@toledofreepress.com
2012 was a fantastic year for golf fans.
Rory McIlroy won his second major title and is beginning to realize the potential that has been forecast. Tiger Woods is returning to form and is a factor nearly every time he tees up. Ultraconservative Augusta National admitted its first two female members and the Ryder Cup was simply the best sporting event on the planet in 2012.
There were some disappointments along the way, however.
The USGA and The R&A have decided that this belly putter thing has gone on just about long enough. They are proposing a rule change that would ban the use of “anchored strokes.”
Three of the last five majors have been won by players using anchored strokes while putting. Golf instructors are beginning to teach junior golfers to use the anchored stroke and both the USGA and The R&A are seeing a higher percentage of players using the anchored stroke in their sanctioned events.
Golfers have been using anchored strokes in putting for over 30 years. It is somewhat confusing why the ruling bodies in golf have decided to change the rules now.
Yani Tseng of Taiwan has been the No. 1 women’s golfer for 97 weeks. She had three wins in 2012, but they all came before the end of March. Yani had a terrible summer, missing three cuts and not posting a Top-10 for more than three months.
Tseng also failed to win a major in 2012 and just seemed like she was pressing too hard during her slump. She is still ranked No. 1, but Na Yeon Choi of South Korea and Stacy Lewis of the United States are poised to overtake her if she falters again in 2013.
The LPGA continues to be dominated by Asian and European players. Stacy Lewis did manage to win four events and capture the LPGA Player of the Year award. She was the first American player to win the award since Beth Daniel in 1994.
Stacy is the only American ranked in the Top 10 in the world and Asian players won all four major titles in 2012.
The LPGA has become a truly international tour, but it still needs Lexi Thompson, Michelle Wie, Paula Creamer and Christie Kerr to visit the winners circle more often.
Tiger Woods failed to win a major in 2012. He has not won a major title since the 2008 U.S. Open at Torrey Pines.
He did win three PGA Tour events last year and seems to be getting closer to regaining his world class form.
Woods failed to break par in any round on the weekend in the majors in 2012. He was in contention at the U.S. Open and the Open Championship, but was not able to seal the deal.
Team USA lost the Ryder Cup to the Europeans again. The Americans have lost seven of the last nine Ryder Cups. Davis Love had one of the strongest teams ever assembled and still could not finish at Medinah.
The Americans played nearly flawless golf over the first two days, but they could not find the 4 1/2 points needed to wrest the cup away from the Euros on Sunday.
The Ryder Cup will be held in Scotland at Gleneagles in 2014. The PGA of America has already chosen Tom Watson as the next captain. He has won five Open Championships and is beloved in Scotland. At 65 years old, he will be the oldest captain by a wide margin.