Saturday, January 7, 2012

Players To Watch For in 2012

With the PGA Tour season starting this week, here are my players returning to the Tour who I think may have a big year in 2012.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 94
Money Rank: 149

Clubhead Speed: 107.7 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 40

Birdie Zone: 64
Safe Zone: 25
Danger Zone: 35

Overall Zone Play: 24
ATD & Zone Play: 21

Putts Gained: 57

Short Game: 64

Curtis was a streaky player as he started off the year hitting the ball very well and putting very poorly by his standards. Then as he started to get his putting back, his ballstiking dipped. I think he’s a player that turns it on and off, like a faucet. And I think he’ll likely put it all together for stretches at a time this year. I could see perhaps him playing the role that Mark Wilson played last year, the Tour veteran who comes out and gets a couple of early wins and becomes the talk of the Tour and then comes back down to reality, with a good finish or two in the Majors.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 91
Money Rank: 115

Clubhead Speed: 109.7 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 153

Birdie Zone: 143
Safe Zone: 40
Danger Zone: 14

Overall Zone Play: 41
ATD & Zone Play: 112

Putts Gained: 40

Short Game: 35

Poulter’s game is a bit like a poor man’s Luke Donald. He has never hit the driver well, but generally hits the irons very well and has a good short game and putter. He claimed he was not focused last year due to construction of his home in Orlando. Perhaps that is the case, but I can’t imagine Eli Manning claiming he had a poor year due to house construction. Still, I think he has the tools to return to his old form and he’s a player who is a fringe Major Championship winner.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 44
Money Rank: 76

Clubhead Speed: 114.2 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 86

Birdie Zone: 116
Safe Zone: 15
Danger Zone: 73

Overall Zone Play: 49
ATD & Zone Play: 62

Putts Gained: 42

Short Game: 94

De Jonge is a very underrated player who should finally start getting into more big events and has the game for success on Tour as he really doesn’t do anything poorly. I would like to see him improve his fairway wood play and be a little more aggressive on par-5’s.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 43
Money Rank: 119

Clubhead Speed: 110.5 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 2

Birdie Zone: 59
Safe Zone: 156
Danger Zone: 142

Overall Zone Play: 136
ATD & Zone Play: 13

Putts Gained: 89

Short Game: 119

Merrick actually putted better for most of the year than what his Putts Gained ranking wound up being at the end of the year. He led the Tour in Advanced Total Driving for a long period of time in 2011. He hits it a good ways and hits it high. If he can straighten out his Safe And Danger Zone play, I could see a victory coming from hin in 2012.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 35th
Money Rank: 55th

Clubhead Speed: 117.6 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 26th

Birdie Zone: 53th
Safe Zone: 70th
Danger Zone: 21st

Overall Zone Play: 27th
ATD & Zone Play: 17th

Putts Gained: 129th

Short Game: 107th

I think Stanley has gone very unnoticed for a young player with his skills. His putting held him back last year, but he started off the year as one of the worst putters on Tour and made a significant climb in that area as the season progressed. If he can putt, then I think he has all of the tools to become a superstar.


Adjusted Scoring Avg: 118
Money Rank: 41

Clubhead Speed: 119.3 mph
Advanced Total Driving: 72

Birdie Zone: 158
Safe Zone: 98
Danger Zone: 11

Overall Zone Play: 71
ATD & Zone Play: 66

Putts Gained: 136

Short Game: 173

I could see Stalling makings a big splash early because he’s a powerful player who is still accurate and precise with his irons. Get him on some of the more wide open courses early in the year and he could make a big splash in 2012.


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