PGA Tour Confidential: 2012 season review, predictions for 2013

Sergio Garcia
John Biever / SI
Sergio Garcia will turn 33 in early January ... is he on the verge of a breakout?

DUF'S HEIR APPARENT
Godich: Jason Dufner went from nice PGA Tour player to rock star in 2012. Which player over the age of 30 is primed for a Dufner-like year in 2013?

Bamberger: His idol, Vijay.

Dusek: Sergio Garcia turns 33 in January, and I think he is primed to finally get back into the top 10 and become a major force - except in the majors. If Garcia is too big a name, I also think Bo Van Pelt, 37, has all the makings of a guy who could win multiple times on the PGA Tour.

Herre: Van Pelt. The guy should have been on the Ryder Cup team. He's a terrific ballstriker and was on the leaderboard a lot in 2012.

Van Sickle: Van Pelt. He can actually putt a bit, which is the key skill Tour pros need.

Hanger: Adam Scott is already kind of a rock star, but I think he'll have a big year as he gets everything out of the long wand that he can before the ban kicks in.

Van Sickle: I wouldn't be surprised if David Toms, after his Ryder Cup snub, doesn't bounce back and win twice in his mid-40s.

Ritter: I could see Ian Poulter using the Ryder Cup as a springboard to a big year and maybe even a major title, although not at Augusta.

Walker: I agree about Poulter. At 36, he looks like he's finally coming into his own. I think he's going to win a couple of times and get into the mix at the majors.

Godich: Nah. We've seen this out of players at the Ryder Cup, Poulter included. It just doesn't always translate. Must be something about the team format.

Van Sickle: It's match play vs. stroke play. In match play, you don't finish out your 7, you just pick up and lose one hole. In stroke play, you count 'em all. It's a different game, really. Also, Poulter just doesn't have the ballstriking consistency to win more than once in a while. He's 39th in driving accuracy and 168th in greens in regulation.

Godich: There's also the comfort in knowing you've got a partner at your side. It's a lot easier to roll those putts when you know you don't have to make the four-footer coming back.

Walker: Still, Poulter won the HSBC Champions in China a month after the Cup. Maybe he's going to worry more about how he plays next year and less about what he wears.

Ritter: Also, Poulter has always been a good putter. It's a hunch, but I could see it finally coming together for him in a major next year.

Van Sickle: We were saying the same thing after Poulter won the Match Play a few years back.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Which player over age 30 is most ready to have a breakout year in 2013?

THREE PREDICTIONS
Godich: Finally, name three things you'd like to see happen in 2013 that would make it a special year in golf.

Herre: A major for Tiger. Two for Rory. A dominating year for Michelle Wie.

Walker: I want Tiger to win a major, just so we can all stop asking when/if he's going to win another major. I want Mickelson, Woods, Bubba, and McIlroy to be in the hunt on Sunday at the Masters. I want good weather at the U.S. majors - especially Merion -and Scottish summer at Muirfield.

Van Sickle: All four majors are won by players wielding anchored putters. Michelle Wie dominating would be great, I agree, but I'll say Lexi Thompson winning two majors and four other events. The R&A admits women members before it turns into a controversy like the one that hit Augusta National.

Walker: You're right about the R&A and women members. They need to get on the right side of this issue before the Open, or it's all people are going to talk about.

Dusek: I would love to see the USGA reverse its decision on anchored putters, Phil Mickelson win the Masters, and Michelle Wie win the U.S Women's Open.

Godich: Why does Mickelson have to win another Masters? How about a U.S. Open?

Dusek: Because the Masters is cooler and winning four would be amazing.

Godich: Fair enough. But I bet Phil would be the first to say that if he could be gifted one more major, he'd take the U.S. Open. At Bethpage, of course.

Bamberger: I'd like to see the governing bodies talk about a Tour ball. I'd like to see women's golf put on such a show that we can't not watch. I'd like to see Olympic golf reject the current system and reinvent itself as an amateur event.

Morfit: I'd like to see Bubba validate with another major. I'd like to see Tiger get one. I'd like to see more of the Keegan fire that was so much fun at the Ryder Cup.

Reiterman: Tiger wins the Masters, Phil wins the U.S. Open, Rory wins the British.

Hanger: Tiger wins the Masters, Phil wins his first U.S. Open, and Sean O'Hair and Kenny Perry repeat at the Franklin Templeton Shootout. (Sorry, couldn't think of a third.)

Morfit: Bubba wins the PGA, Harrington the Open, G-Mac the U.S. Open and Rory the Masters.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Name three things you'd like to see happen in 2013 that would make it a special season.

 

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