By David Dusek
Tuesday, January 03, 2012

Over the past few days, as sports talk radio stations have started to focus on 2012, I've been asked a lot of questions about what I foresee happening next season. Here is my take on five questions that are dominating golf conversations as we head into a new season.
  
1. Will Tiger Woods win a full-field PGA Tour event in 2012?
Tiger's win at the Chevron World Challenge in December wasn't major, but his fist pump on the 18th green showed how meaningful it was to Woods. It had been more than two years since his last victory, at the 2009 Australian Masters, and in that time he’d been divorced, changed coaches and caddies, and lost (and gained) several sponsors. But he still needs to win a full-field tournament to complete his comeback.
 
Charl Schwartzel's amazing four-birdie finish and Rory McIlroy's back-nine implosion made it easy to forget that when Tiger made an eagle on the eighth hole at Augusta National on Sunday, more than a few people thought he just might win the 2011 Masters. (He tied for fourth.)

Tiger eagles the eighth on Sunday
Fred Vuich/SI
Tiger Woods makes eagle on the eighth hole Sunday at Augusta.









2. Is Luke Donald going to win a major championship in 2012?
2011 Player of the Year

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Luke Donald
Kohjiro Kinno/SI
Luke Donald







  1. 3. Can Rory McIlroy exorcise some demons and win at Augusta National?




Rory McIlroy Sunday at 2011 Masters
Robert Beck/SI
Rory McIlroy visited the cottages beside the 10th hole on Sunday at Augusta.







4. Is 41-year-old Phil Mickelson going to be a contender in 2012, or was last season a preview of things to come
gain!

Phil Mickelson putting
Simon Bruty/SI
Phil Mickelson needs more holes to drop instead of lip out.

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Stat
Mickelson's 2011
PGA Tour Rank
Strokes Gained – Putting
134th
Total Putting
108th
Putting from inside 5'
122nd
Putting from 5-10'
91st
Putting from 10-15'
169th
Putting from 15-20'
157th
Putting from 20-25'
66th
Putting from > 25'
139th
Putting from 5-15'
150th
Putting from 15-25'
122nd
Putting from 3-5'
68th

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5. The United States will likely be an underdog once again at the Ryder Cup. Can the Americans win?

















 

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