With both college football and NFL seasons still going on and with the return of the NBA and college basketball, the 2012 PGA Tour season is pretty much in our rear view mirror, even though there are still tournaments going on. With the tour season coming to a close, I felt it was a good time to review and talk about Tiger Woods’s season and I feel that it doesn’t matter how you look at it and what postive and negative things came out of it, he made some significant process this year.
The biggest question going into the 2012 season was could this be the year that Woods finally wins again, that question was answered back in March, when he won the 2012 Arnold Palmer invitational, a tournament that he has dominated over the years and has won 6 other times. Woods not only won once, he won two other times this year, the Memorial classic and AT&T National, that’s three wins, it’s so hard to just win one once, just ask Phil Mickelson or Sergio Garcia, who both had disappointing seasons.
Even though Woods was able to win a few times this season and was in contention more often, he had some setbacks and the biggest one was probably his performance at the majors. Tiger’s showing at the majors this year wasn’t too bad, there were just some up’s and down’s and was alittle disappointing, since his game was getting better and the competition wasn’t at a all-time high. It seemed like Tiger’s game at the majors weren’t up to par or to the standard as were used to seeing from him and he wasn’t able to produce a consistent four rounds in any of the majors this year, wish could have helped him win one this season.
The Masters was probably Woods’s worse major performance this year and it might have been his worse Masters showing ever, as he played horribly and wasn’t able to get anything going during that whole week. Tiger’s performance at the Masters was so bad that he didn’t even finish in the top 30, he tied for 40th, it just seemed like everything went wrong for him in that tournament right from the get go. After his disastrous play at Augusta, Woods was able to play better and was more competitive in the next three majors. In both the U.S. Open and the PGA Championship, Tiger was able to play well in the first two rounds and was either tied or had the overall lead after the second round, but then in the third round of both majors, he would collapse and play very badly and wasn’t able to produce a Tiger charge or get anything going again, it just went downhill after that. In the British Open, Tiger was able to not only play good, he was able to get into the mix in the final round and had a chance to win it, but sadly, he wasn’t able to make a charge or produce a solid round, that could have given him the victory.
Although Woods’s performance at the majors was not the best that we’ve seen from him, there were a few bright spots. He was able to make the cut in all four of them, he was more competitive and was in the mix in a few of them, and he was able to either tie or get the overall lead at somepoint in two of the majors this season.
The other setback that Woods had this season was his showing at this year’s Ryder Cup, in Medinah, where the Europe team was able to pull off one of the biggest comebacks in Ryder Cup history to win it. Woods didn’t have a good week at Medinah, as he not only didn’t win a single match during the whole cup, he struggled and couldn’t get anything going to help the U.S team. Although Woods performed badly at the Ryder Cup, are we surprose to be surprise by this, since he was never a good Ryder Cup player and has always struggled in these events, even when he was in his prime, I think not. You gotta believe if Tiger would’ve played better and could have won a few matches, not only it would’ve been a positive result for him personally, but he might have given the U.S. team a great chance to reclaim the cup.
Even with Woods’s struggles this season, I still feel that he had a good season and had made some great strides along the way. The biggest stride Tiger made this season was of course winning again and he was able to win an astonishing three times, that’s three more than he had in the last three seasons, that’s pretty good for him, based on what he had to overcome the last couple of years. He also should feel good about the fact that not only he made the cut in all four majors this year, but made more of them in tournaments and was able to have some quality finishes in them.
If there was one more setback that Tiger had during season, it would have been golf mechanic’s, especially his hitting and putting. It seemed like throughout the whole season that Tiger’s hitting and putting were inconsistent and sometimes out of sync and at times this season, may have caused him a few victories, including a few majors. Even with his inconsistently in that department, Woods was able to hit and putt well enough throughout the year to help him win a few times and contend in some of the majors and he is still trying to figure out his swing and is approving on his putting.
I was so happy for Tiger this year, it was great seeing him win again, let alone three times, and It was just great to see him make some noise at the majors again and I feel that he could have a big 2013 season, if he can just do a couple of things. One, Tiger needs to continue to approve on his swing and putting and be more consistent on his play and two, he just needs to be able to produce a few more solid rounds, especially in the majors. I believe if Woods is able to do those things and continues to approve, 2013 could be a big year for Tiger, but it’s only early speculation.
I believe that Woods can have a productive season next year, but it’s going to be difficult alitlle bit as he is improving still and the competition is actually good again. With the rising star and popularity of Rory Mcliroy, the veterans playing well again like Ernie Els, who won this year’s British Open, and Vijay Singh, and the new generation of golfers finally stepping up and winning, Tiger will have a challenge on his hand and may struggle alittle. Although he is no longer in his prime and is beatable, Woods can still beat the odds, he’s still the man to beat on the tour, and he can still win, like he proved this season, maybe that’s why I think he’ll have a good 2013 season.
If Tiger can continue to improve and contend in tournaments and majors and being able to win some of them, he could become an dominant force on the tour again and if that happens, the rest of tour should be ready for, “the return of the Tiger.”