The Golf Guy and Birdie Bailey Mosier come out swinging in the opening week of the golf season, offering up thoughts on some of the top players in the game in this edition of He Said/She Said:
By THE GOLF GUY
Geoff Ogilvy: Yes, he has a major to his name. And yes, it was completely gift-wrapped from Phil Mickelson and Colin Montgomerie. That said, Aussie Ogilvy should have another major to his name. If not two or three more. Stop with the mustache musings and get back to being the most talented golfer on the planet not named Tiger or Rory.
Robert Garrigus: Another PGA Tour victory would be nice, but what I want is more Hunter S. Thompson-esque stories from the Tour back in the '80s and '90s.
Jason Day: He is currently ranked eighth in the world. He will be in the top three by year's end. I'm using this moment to proclaim him the 'Official Golf Guy ... Golf Guy.' I hope he can handle that kind of pressure.
Michael Whan: Hopefully wishing that the LPGA commissioner can squeeze out every last ounce of momentum the LPGA has to offer. I don't care where the great players come from – Taiwan, South Korea, the United States – the LPGA is a great product and needs to figure out its niche.
Ian Poulter: Love him or hate him, the game is more interesting if he becomes a major player. A major with him in the mix – and a possible win – will make Darren Clarke's post-British Open win look like a kid's party.
Phil Mickelson: I have no idea when it will happen, but it looks like there will be only one major a year when Lefty will contend. Hopefully two. Well, hopefully three. I'd love four, however. Mickelson in the hunt at a major is like having cake and ice cream for your birthday dinner.
By BIRDIE BAILEY MOSIER
Adam Scott: Here’s hoping 2012 brings Adam Scott’s first major victory. Scott added the WGC-Bridgestone Invitational to his previous seven PGA Tour victories and had seven top-10 finishes in 2011 – the most since his 10 in 2006. With a swing that looks like Tiger circa 2000 and with Woods’ former caddie on the bag, my New Year’s forecast is that Scott has just the right recipe to get the job done.
Sergio Garcia: It’s no new news that Sergio Garcia is one of the best players without a major. After two near misses in 2007 (Open Championship) and 2008 (PGA Championship) followed by his two-year slump, the Spaniard resurfaced late in 2011 and won back-to-back titles in his home country at the Castello Masters and the Andalucia Masters. This momentum is definitely an ego boost and he may finally convert in 2012, but there is one thing that could give him a slight edge. His New Year’s wish? Golf’s governing bodies move a major championship to Spain.
Bubba Watson: The big hitter struck out in 2011 when he lamented about rowdy fans at the French Open and spouted off his layman's descriptions of Paris’ most celebrated landmarks. Bubba recounted visiting 'that big tower' (the Eiffel Tower), the 'building starting with an L' (the Louvre) and 'this arch I drove round in a circle' (the Arc de Triomphe). The resolution I hope he’s made for 2012? A backpack tour through Europe that includes overnight stays in hostels, drinking cheap beer, sneaking rides on the Eurostar train and days without showering. No Ritz, no filet, no complaints. He may come out a more cultured man when it's all said and done.
Rory McIlroy: McIlroy roared onto golf’s main stage in 2011 with his Sunday Masters meltdown, record-shattering U.S. Open victory, courtship with female tennis world No. 1 Caroline Wozniacki, split with manager Chubby Chandler and public Twitter spat with on-air analyst Jay Townsend … to name a few. At the mere age of 22, McIlroy exudes maturity, confidence and talent unparalleled by his peers. This kid’s future is bright and 2012 will undoubtedly bring more pressure, greater expectations and a brighter spotlight. My New Year’s advice? Remember your roots. Remember where you came from, Rory. In case you don’t know that’s Holywood – the town in Northern Ireland – and not the celebrity-packed, appearance-obsessed, La La land nestled in the heart of Southern California.
Luke Donald: Come Feb. 2 every year, groves of people populate Punxsutawney, Pa., festival grounds waiting for a groundhog to emerge and tell them whether spring will come early or if they should expect six more weeks of winter. After a record-setting 2011 where Luke Donald ascended to world No. 1, won both the PGA Tour and European money titles and his wife gave birth to the couple’s second child, it’s safe to say Luke Donald wouldn’t be opposed to a few more weeks of win-ter. My New Year’s advice? Luke should rent the 1993 Bill Murray flick “Groundhog Day” and envision himself repeating many things about 2011 ... over and over and over again. And then follow it up with another popular Murray favorite – Caddyshack – because, well, does one ever need to justify that?
Tiger Woods: For Mr. Woods I’m going to offer bad habits I hope he breaks in 2012 (in no particular order).
1. Be nicer to the media. Give us interviews and thoughtful, respectful, well-crafted answers. You know what we want. Please just give it to us. Thank you.
2. Break your winless streak (I’m not counting his victory at the 18-man Chevron field as an official win).
3. Take care of your body and your health. A very large majority of people want to see you break Jack Nicklaus’ record, but with every year you age and every injury you incur, the task becomes less and less attainable.
4. Quit searching and find peace. In your golf game, your confidence, your personal life, your decision-making. In every realm of your life, I hope 2012 is the calm after the long and tumultuous storm.