PGA Tour Confidential: 2012 season review, predictions for 2013

Bubba Watson, 2012 Masters
Kohjiro Kinno / SI
Bubba Watson's Masters victory was one of several memorable moments from the season.

Every Sunday night, the editorial staff of the SI Golf Group conducts an e-mail roundtable. Check in every week for the unfiltered opinions of our writers and editors and join the conversation in the comments section below.

EVENT OF THE YEAR
Mark Godich, senior editor, Sports Illustrated: Welcome to the final PGA Tour Confidential gathering of 2012. (We'll be back Jan. 6.) Charl Schwartzel won in a romp for the second week in a row, and Sergio Garcia won again. But let's talk big picture. What was your favorite event in 2012 and why?

Jim Herre, managing editor, SI Golf Group: For me, the Ryder Cup is always the most interesting event of every other year. This year's was epic. The Masters was a distant second.

Charlie Hanger, executive editor, Golf.com: My favorite was the Ryder Cup. For pure excitement, you can't beat team match play, and the conclusion, while tough for American fans to swallow, was amazing. The Masters was one for the ages too, with Louis making the albatross, Phil's triple at No. 4 and, of course, Bubba's circus shot to win in the playoff.

Gary Van Sickle, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: Yeah, the Ryder Cup is a slam dunk. It's always the event with the most passion and the most drama. The Masters was pretty good, too, come to think of it.

Herre: Phil's triple at 4 on Sunday at the Masters had to be the saddest moment of the year.

Van Sickle: I also enjoyed the finish at Riviera, with Keegan Bradley and Phil Mickelson making birdies on the 72nd hole to get in a playoff. It's not as if Riviera's 18th hole is a pushover. Then Bill Haas holed an unlikely birdie putt on the second extra hole. Lots of drama, lots of big names, and Riviera. A good combo platter.

Jeff Ritter, senior producer, Golf.com: From Phil's early-season hot streak to Rory's late-season dominance, it was a fantastic year for golf. But my favorite event was the Masters, where Bubba Watson not only pulled off the shot of the year to win the playoff and his first major, but also took that final step forward to join the game's elite. He basically became a folk hero off that victory. Great finish to a great event.

David Dusek, deputy editor, Golf.com: The Masters is always my favorite event of the year, and this season's was no different. Although we don't always get the biggest name winner, we get the most excitement and the most drama. Louis Oosthuizen's eagle, Phil's meltdown and Bubba Watson's amazing shot in the playoff - it was all there once again.

Michael Bamberger, senior writer, Sports Illustrated: It was a vintage year. I'm caught between the Ryder Cup and the British Open, but I'll give the nod to the Open because it so exposed the frailties every golfer goes through, whether you're a duffer trying to break a 100 or Adam Scott trying to win your first major.

Stephanie Wei, contributor, SI Golf+: PGA Tour Q-School, because it reminds me of how the other 98 percent of pros live and fight for their dreams.

Ryan Reiterman, senior producer, Golf.com: I'm biased to the Memorial because it's played in my hometown, but it was pretty special this year. Tiger hit one of the most spectacular shots of his career, and he passed Jack for second on the all-time PGA Tour wins list. Also, hearing Jack say that Tiger's flop shot was as good as he'd ever seen, with Woods sitting right next to him, was pretty cool.

Cameron Morfit, senior writer, Golf Magazine: The Masters, because it featured the best two shots of the year, from the same twosome, four hours apart: Oosthuizen's 2 on 2 and Bubba's bender on 10 in the playoff.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What was your favorite event of 2012?

COLLAPSES AND COMEBACKS
Godich: There were plenty of remarkable comebacks on the PGA Tour in 2012, especially early in the year. Which one was your favorite? Or, to put it another way: Which was the toughest collapse to stomach?

Van Sickle: Adam Scott finishing with four bogeys at the Open was tough to watch. Kyle Stanley needed only a double at 18 to win at Torrey Pines, he hit three good shots and ended up with an 8. That was really tough to watch, like a car wreck in slow motion, which made Stanley's coming through on the closing holes the next week the best comeback of the year.

Hanger: The Ryder Cup was the comeback/collapse of the year, and Ernie Els and Adam Scott were second at the British. For the PGA Tour, I'd vote for Kyle Stanley coming from eight back to win in Phoenix just a week after he tripled 18 to lose at Torrey Pines. He showed a lot of heart to wipe away that tough memory so quickly.

Godich: Agreed. That was remarkable.

Herre: The Stanley story was amazing, and inspiring.

Dusek: Seeing Spencer Levin blow that huge lead almost made me throw up. You could tell that Stanley didn't know whether to celebrate or give Levin a hug. It was just awkward all the way around.

Hanger: Phil's Sunday 64 to overcome a five-shot deficit at Pebble was a heckuva comeback too, and Tiger's 62 at the Honda was amazing, even though he didn't win.

Bamberger: I think the toughest to watch was Furyk at the U.S. Open, because he is supposed to be made for that sort of pressure, and he may never pass that way again.

Dusek: In an odd way, I was waiting for Furyk to melt down. Sure, he won at Olympia Fields in 2003, but when I think of Jim Furyk, I think of near misses in big events rather than his one major championship. Olympic joins Oakmont and Winged Foot.

Van Sickle: I thought Furyk's finish in Akron was even harder to watch. He needed only a bogey on the last hole to be in a playoff, and he made double from the middle of the fairway to lose to Bradley. That was unpleasant.

Mike Walker, senior editor, Golf Magazine: Team Europe's Ryder Cup comeback, with McIlroy's police escort to make his tee time, was the stuff of legend.

Ritter: Comeback has to go to the Euros at the Ryder Cup. For meltdowns, it was hard to watch Jim Furyk suffer not one, not two, but three epic collapses in the second half of the season. Starting with his snap-hook tee shot on the 16th hole on Sunday at the U.S. Open, continuing at the 72nd hole at Firestone, and concluding with his final holes at the Ryder Cup, those were three monster gut-punch moments. I'm not sure Furyk will ever be the same.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What was the toughest collapse for you to watch in 2012?

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