Check out this feature story on the PGA TOUR’s 20-something stars – such as Keegan Bradley, Dustin Johnson, Jason Day, Webb Simpson and reigning FedExCup champion Bill Haas -- on Forbes.com. Click for story
Our countdown of Players to Watch for 2012 continues Tuesday with five players that wouldn’t surprise anyone if they were to have huge seasons.
Jason Day and Gary Woodland are two of the TOUR’s brightest young stars, both big off the tee and capable of winning every week. Nick Watney turned 30 in 2011 and continued his high level of play, with wins at the WGC-Cadillac Championship and AT&T National.
Sergio Garcia is always intriguing but for 2012 appears to finally have his game back to the level it was a few years ago. His last win on the PGA TOUR was the 2008 PLAYERS Championship but many are expecting that drought to end very soon.
Below is a link to each of the 5 players who were revealed on Tuesday. PGATOUR.COM will countdown the players for the rest of December, with No. 1 unveiled on Dec. 30.
Be sure to check out this year’s new addition of the Three Wise Men – Chris DiMarco, Arron Oberholser and Craig Perks, who offer their takes on each of the players on the list.
Let’s us know how you think these players will perform in 2012 and whether we ranked ‘em too high, too low or just right.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- Hunter Mahan never trailed on Sunday as he beat Jason Day 5 and 3 to earn the first point for the U.S. Team. It was also the first point of a hard-fought afternoon.
Mahan sealed the victory with a 13-footer for birdie at the 15th hole. The win was his fourth in five matches this week at the Presidents Cup.
The Americans now need four more points to win the Presidents Cup. When Mahan's match was over, the U.S. led in five other matches and the Internationals in six.
Mahan won the first hole with a par and never looked back -- building a 5-up advantage through eight holes. Day had a miserable front nine, shooting 44 with five bogeys and two double bogeys.
Day did manage to cut into Mahan's lead briefly on the back nine, first with a birdie at the 11th and again when Mahan double bogeyed the 13th. But the American went back to 4 up with an 18-footer for birdie at the 14th hole and the match was dormie.
The Singles result had to feel good for Mahan, who lost the 17th hole and the deciding match at the Ryder Cup in Wales last year.
MELBOURNE, Australia -- The last time Hunter Mahan played a Singles match for the U.S. the Ryder Cup was on the line.
Mahan ended up losing the 17th hole, as well as the match to Graeme McDowell, and that turned the tide in Europe's favor. The loss was so painful Mahan broke down in the press conference after the event was over.
Mahan is having a much easier time on Sunday at the Presidents Cup with Jason Day, though. He's 5 up through 10 holes and primed to put the first U.S. point on the board.
Day has experienced what can only be called a terrible afternoon. He shot 44 on the front nine, making five bogeys, two double bogeys and just three pars.
At one point, International Captain Greg Norman came over and talked with Day. When NBC's Jimmy Roberts asked what he said, Norman just smiled and indicated he couldn't repeat it on TV.
"I just told him we all go through things like this," Norman said. "I told him to keep his focus."
Tiger Woods rolls in a 20-footer for birdie on the par-4 fourth hole.
MELBOURNE, Australia – Tiger Woods has just made his first birdie of the Presidents Cup.
The curving 24-footer at the fourth hole was more than just a morale boost – it gave Woods and Dustin Johnson a 1-up advantage over Aaron Baddeley and Jason Day. Woods celebrated by stabbing at the air with his right fist as the putt dropped.
Woods and Steve Stricker did not make a birdie during Thursday’s opening Foursomes. The Americans lost 7 and 6 -- tying for the shortest match in Presidents Cup history -- to Adam Scott and K.J. Choi.
Tiger Woods is 5 under through nine holes in his second round at the Australian Open, moving into the lead at 9 under par, two shots ahead of Presidents Cup teammate Nick Watney and Australian Jarrod Lyle.
Woods has yet to make a bogey in two days at The Lakes Golf Club in Sydney. He has five birdies in nine holes in Round 2, though he birdied only one of three par-5s.
Aussie Jason Day also has a good round going in early action, 3 under through nine holes to get to 6 under for the event.
By Brian Wacker, PGATOUR.COM
When it came to Tiger Woods being picked for the U.S. Presidents Cup team, Jason Day chose his words carefully on Wednesday.
“It’s kind of a touchy subject,” the Aussie said.
Day’s point was that whether it was Woods or Keegan Bradley, twice a winner in 2011, including at the PGA Championship, who got left off it would be a topic of conversation. In this case it was Bradley.
“Tiger has dominated the game for a good 10 years,” Day said. “It's hard not to pick him.
“Keegan had a great tournament. He's won a tournament and a major and it's his rookie year. If they picked him, it would be a great addition to the team. It's very hard not to pick Tiger Woods because of what he's done in the past. It's kind of hard to not go, ‘Okay, Tiger, you're not on the team.’”
With the Australian Open a week before The Presidents Cup and Woods and Day both in the field, it’s possible the two could be paired together. That’s something Day actually approached his agent about earlier this year and is hopeful about as the event approaches.
”I know it would be very, very fun,” Day said. “Obviously [Tiger] hasn't had the best year; knee surgery, obviously the other stuff that's gone on.
“It’s been a little disappointing to see him not play as well. I think golf obviously needs him. It would be a good warm-up for him for Presidents Cup.”
Woods has played on every Presidents Cup team since 1998 and owns a 18-11-1 record in six appearances, including a 5-0 mark in 2009 when he helped lead the U.S. to victory at TPC Harding Park.But
But whether Day, the top seed for the International team who will be playing in his first Presidents Cup, faces Woods -- or had Bradley made the U.S. team -- his focus will be the same.
“Whether it's Keegan or Tiger, we still have to beat that person,” Day said. “I think as a team, we’ve got to keep playing one shot at the same time and try to beat the person in front of us.”
The jostling atop the leaderboard at East Lake continues. Adam Scott is now the leader at 8 under after a 65 that has him one shot clear of K.J. Choi.
At one point, Choi led -- until Scott closed with back-to-back birdies. Choi wasn’t so bad himself of course with a 65 of his own. He’s trying to become just the first player to win both THE PLAYERS and the TOUR Championship in the same year.
Another shot back from Choi is Jason Day, who likewise led at one point on Friday. But he bogeyed the 17th and as a result shares third with Luke Donald.
Bubba Watson, meanwhile, had the day’s best round with a 64 to climb into a tie for fifth with three others, including Presidents Cup hopefuls Bill Haas and Keegan Bradley.