Best Golf Moments of 2012

1 of 14 Al Tielemans/SI
For Thanksgiving week, the writers and editors at Golf.com, Golf Magazine and Sports Illustrated Golf+ have compiled a list of the things we're thankful for from the world of golf in 2012. Bubba Watson's hook to win the Masters Bubba's old-school game of shaped shots is an anomaly in the modern world of forgiving drivers and irons, and it was on full display at the 2012 Masters. In a playoff against Louis Oosthuizen at Augusta, Watson swiped at his ball from atop pine straw and between trees, hooking it 40 yards and onto the green to set up a two-putt for the green jacket, making an already magical tournament even more special.
2 of 14 Al Tielemans/SI
Louis Oosthuizen's sweet swing In 2010, Oosthuizen shocked the golf world with a dominant eight-stroke victory on the Old Course at the Open Championship. In 2012, Louis proved that big victory was no fluke. He relied on one of the smoothest swings in the game to win twice on the European Tour and to make the first-ever double eagle at Augusta National's par-5 second hole on Sunday before eventually losing to Bubba Watson in a playoff.
3 of 14 Robert Beck/SI
Phil Mickelson's 64 on Sunday at Pebble Beach Mickelson's 2012 played out like much of his career, inspired brilliance that was sometimes marred by flabbergasting play. On Sunday at the Pebble Beach National Pro-Am, Phil fired a final-round 64 to win, beating playing partner Tiger Woods by 11 shots on Sunday.
4 of 14 Fred Vuich/SI
Tiger Woods is winning again After an epic struggle that lasted more than two years, Woods re-entered the winner's circle by capturing his seventh win at the Arnold Palmer Invitational. It set off a solid comeback year for Woods in which he won two more tournaments and regularly appeared on the first page of leaderboards -- right where he belongs.
5 of 14 Fred Vuich/SI
Tiger Woods's flop shot at the Memorial Woods birdied three of his last four holes to capture his second title of the year at the Memorial, but it was his birdie at the par-3 16th that will be remembered. Having hit his tee shot over the green, Woods faced a downhill chip with a lake looming on the other side of the green. It would have been an accomplishment simply to keep it on the putting surface, so of course Tiger chipped in. Jack Nicklaus called it "the most unbelievable, gutsy shot I've ever seen."
6 of 14 John Biever/SI
A West Coast major at The Olympic Club There's a major East Coast bias when it comes to hosting major championships, which is often a problem considering the high temperatures and rainy conditions that often plague Eastern summers. But once in a while a major travels West, and the U.S. Open at Olympic reminded all of us how beautiful weather, comfortable temperatures and impeccable conditions can help make a major championship even more enjoyable.
7 of 14 Robert Beck/SI
Adam's Scott's class Scott's epic collapse Sunday at Royal Lytham & St. Anne's was difficult to watch, so just imagine how it felt for the guy hitting the shots. What was supposed to be his coronation as a major champion and golf superstar quickly became a nightmare played out in front of millions of viewers. However, Scott handled the entire situation with incredible class and grace, congratulating champion Ernie Els and reminding everyone that golf is not the most important thing in life.
8 of 14 Simon Bruty/SI
Ernie Els's longevity While it was hard not to feel bad for Adam Scott at the British Open, it was also great to see 42-year-old Hall of Famer Ernie Els capture his old magic and win his fourth career major, and his first in 10 years.
9 of 14 Marc Serota/Getty Images
Peter Alliss's Hall of Fame speech At the 2012 World Golf Hall of Fame induction ceremony, inductee Peter Alliss entertained the crowd with a raucous speech that concluded with a story about an old grade school teacher of his. Alliss said he remembered a report card from the teacher that said, "Peter does have a brain, but he's rather loathe to use it. His only interests appear to be the game of golf and Violet Pretty." Alliss finished by saying, "And Mrs. Weymouth, if you're there..." and then held up his middle finger.
10 of 14 Fred Vuich/SI
Ian Poulter at the Ryder Cup Perhaps no player has ever willed himself and his team to a win as much as Ian Poulter did at Medinah in 2012. Poulter went 4-0-0 and, with his relentless competitive intensity, inspired Team Europe's historic comeback in Sunday's singles matches.
11 of 14 Kohjiro Kinno/SI
Augusta National's adding two female members In August, Augusta National Golf Club announced two new members to its exclusive group: former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice and financier Darla Moore, the club's first female members. Club Chairman Billy Payne called it a "joyous occasion," and the controversy that has marked many Masters press conferences was finally over.
12 of 14 Darren Carroll/Getty Images
Stacy Lewis Amid talk of the depressing state of American women's golf, Lewis quietly captured four victories in 2012, becoming the first American to win LPGA Player of the Year since 1994.
13 of 14 Fred Vuich/SI
Jason Dufner's waggle and saunter The modern PGA Tour has a bit of a personality problem, but the "Duff" stands out from the hordes with cookie-cutter swings and vanilla demeanors. His unique and entertaining waggle and cool, laid-back attitude have brought some much-needed color to the pro ranks.
14 of 14 Courtesy
Colorful clubs After years in which drivers and woods came only in shades of black, club manufacturers have expanded their use of color, brightening pro shops and tee boxes around the world.