PGA Tour Confidential: More fallout from belly ban, McDowell wins World Challenge

Tiger Woods
Stephen Dunn / Getty Images
Tiger Woods finished his 2012 season with three wins -- and no major titles.

TIGER'S REPORT CARD
Ritter: The World Challenge was also our last look at Tiger Woods for the season. Hard to believe that one year ago Woods was ranked outside the top 50 before winning this event for his first post-scandal title. How would you grade Tiger's 2012 season? Give us a letter, and tell us why.

Herre: Solid B. On the plus side, he won three times and moved up to second in the World Ranking. Minuses: Fizzled in the majors and the Ryder Cup.

Bamberger: For a normal player, A+, but for Tiger a B-. He made great strides but had weird majors.

Hanger: It's a B, but by anyone else's standards, it would have been an A+. He had three high-profile PGA Tour wins, but we all know that Tiger's seasons are judged by one thing: major championships.

Van Sickle: You have to give him an A. Three wins, and he climbed back to No. 2 in the rankings. (He would've gotten to No. 1 if Mt. McIlroy hadn't finally erupted.) A major win would've made it an A-plus, and yes, his slipshod weekend play in majors was concerning, but you can't take away the three wins.

Shipnuck: B+. No shame in being the game's second-best player. But, oh, those major championship weekends...

Van Sickle: If Tiger's a B, what is everybody else in golf who didn't win three times? That's a tough grading scale.

Bamberger: That's the point. Tiger gets judged like nobody else.

Hanger: Right. Tiger has set his own curve over the years.

Reiterman: I give him an A-. He won three times, and perhaps more importantly, played a full schedule and made it through the year without any major injuries. The minus is for being in the hunt for a couple of majors and falling apart on the weekends. I expect we'll see him in the final group at a couple of majors next year.

Godich: But does he win?

Reiterman: At least one. Book it.

Godich: I'm giving him a C. It's all about winning majors with Tiger, and he had three chances to cash in this year. Not only was he 0-for-3, he also looked vulnerable.

Dusek: I can't put Tiger in the A range because he didn't win a major, but three wins is heady stuff. That said, he was awful in the Ryder Cup, so I give him a B or B-. Hell, it's the holiday season, I'll make it a B.

Wei: B+, but I wonder what grade he'd give himself. If we're basing it on the only tournaments Tiger really cares about, then it's an F because he didn't win a major. Even if he was in the top 10, anything short of a win equates to failure for him.

Walker: I give Tiger a solid A for this year. After where he was a year ago – ranked 50-something – three wins is a phenomenal year.

Godich: I don't understand how you can dismiss his collapses in the majors. It's not like he didn't fire out of the gate. The U.S. Open, the British, the PGA: Those were all right there for him, and he struck out.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: What grade would you give Tiger for his 2012 season?

THIS OLD COURSE
Ritter: The Old Course at St. Andrews is undergoing some changes, and the reported reason for the makeover is to keep the course competitive in today's game. Golf Magazine's Joe Passov says the changes are no big deal, while architect Tom Doak says he's "horrified." What's your take on the alterations?

Godich: While they're at it, they should petition to have the basketball hoop raised to 12 feet. It's just gotten too easy to dunk. Blasphemy!

Herre: The Old Course is like a museum piece. Altering it is devaluing it.

Shipnuck: It's mind-boggling. The world's ruling bodies won't do anything about the ball, so instead they're tearing up the Old Course? Kill me now.

Walker: With today's equipment the Old Course is too easy for the pros. It all comes back to the ball. Like Alan says, it's insane they'd rather change the Old Course.

Dusek: One of the things I like most about the Open Championship is that I have never felt the R&A cared about the winning score as it related to par. When the wind is up, the Old Course is tough, rugged and a challenge for ANY golfer. Nay wind, nay golf. I hope the changes are as minor as Passov says.

Reiterman: Having never played the hallowed links, it's hard for me to say, so I'm on the wait-and-see side. It doesn't seem like the changes are that drastic, but obviously there are a lot of folks who'd say otherwise.

Van Sickle: Are they really necessary? If somebody shoots 61, somebody shoots 61. If it happens, it'll be Rory or Graeme or Tiger, not Joe Schlabotnik. Believe it or not, low scoring in majors leads to great major champions. High scoring leads to surprise winners and one-hit wonders.

Bamberger: Leave great enough alone.

Reiterman: One thing's for sure, I've never watched a British Open at the Old Course and thought, "Damn, someone needs to make that course tougher." Seems the ruling bodies like to make changes that 99% of us don't even consider necessary.

Hanger: My instinct is to be horrified. Some things you just don't mess with. But Joe has a lot of good points. People have been playing golf on that ground for centuries, and it's been modified lots of times. I think the R&A and the St. Andrews Links Trust take this stuff very seriously, and they're not going to do anything drastic, right?

Shipnuck: Virtually all of the modifications were before World War II.

Hanger: True, but that's not that long considering they've been playing golf there since 1400. Now, if it were up to me, I'd leave it alone, but I'm not sure this is a travesty.

Van Sickle: They've lengthened it in the past 15 years. When you come off a lot of tees, like No. 2, you have to make a right turn and backtrack for yards. Used to be the next tee was right off the green. Not anymore.

Tell us what you think in the comments section below: Are you horrified by the Old Course changes, or is it no big deal?

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