Monday, December 19, 2011

2012 PGA Tour Predictions Part 3

Ahh, the middle of the summer swing on the PGA Tour.  These are the events where the majors are on everybody's mind.  There are four strong events between the US Open and the Open Championship.  Many of the top players play at least 2 of these, if not 3.

Travelers Championship
The first event after the US Open is the Travelers Championship.  Defending champion Freddy Jacobson returns to seek his second win on the PGA tour.  Other players who will probably play in the event are the likes of YE Yang, Webb Simpson, Bud Cauley, and others.

Winner: Bud Cauley:  The youngster who earned his tour card without going to Q School earns his first win on the PGA Tour here in Connecticut.  I believe he will contend for a spot on the Ryder Cup team and is the most promising young player in the US outside of some of the Amateurs.  I believe the US has some strong golf ahead.

Contenders: YE Yang, Fredrik Jacobson:  These are two of the best putters on the PGA Tour.  If Freddy has his irons going, he is a strong contender for the win, and if YE can get the ball close, he will be in it for the long haul.

AT&T National
The AT&T National returns to Congressional after a one-year hiatus due to the US Open.  "Tiger's Tournament" as it was once called still draws a monster field.  Defending champ Nick Watney returns to the site of his best win to date.  And look for Rory McIroy to return to the site of his first major championship victory.  And you can never count out a healthy Tiger at Congressional.  This event will probably be his only between the US and Open Championships.

Winner: Rory McIlroy:  Rory returns to the site of his record-breaking US Open victory and slams the field again.  His strong play will carry over into the Open Championship and the week before in England where he probably will be playing.

Contenders: Tiger Woods, Lee Westwood:  Two of the strongest competetors in the game, both players look to fine-tune their game for the year's third major.

The Greenbrier Classic
One of the newest tournaments on the PGA Tour has started to draw some of the big names in golf.  Look for Phil Mickelson, Aaron Baddeley, and Adam Scott to all play well here.  I also expect Rickie Fowler to compete.  And you can never count out the venerable Tom Watson, at the tournament that sponsors him.

Winner: Aaron Baddeley: If Baddeley plays in this event, I have no reason for him not to win.  He is the best putter on tour and strikes the ball as well as anyone.  And on this short course he should not be in trouble off the tee.  Look for this to catapult him into a strong Open Championship.

Contenders: Phil Mickelson, Kenny Perry: I believe Perry will play in this event and will have a strong showing.  I think he wants to win on the PGA tour before he retires from golf.  And this may be his last good season to do so.  And Phil returns to this course looking for a better result than last time.

John Deere Classic
The only name that should come to mind when thinking of the John Deere Classic is Steve Stricker.  He seems to play his best golf at this tournament every year.  I fully expect him to run away with it again this year

Winner: Steve Stricker: No explanation needed

Contenders: Bud Cauley, Louis Oosthuizen
Bud will continue his strong play at this tournament.  And Louis returns to his "non-major" major, because of his family ties to farming.  He would love more than anything(except another major) to win this event.  And he will be right up there when the weekend ends.

That's it for now, more predictions to come later, and then a wrap-up post.

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