To preview the 2013 PGA TOUR season, PGATOUR.COM is counting down the Top 100 Players to Watch in 2013. For an archive page with the top 100 players and for an explanation on how the list was compiled, click here .
MORE TOP 100: Back to No. 92 | Forward to No. 90 | Top 100 archive
2013 PREVIEW: George McNeill won for the second time and snapped a five-year victory drought at the Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com. But it was his only top-10 of the season after a career-high four in 2011, so the Florida State product will be looking to put himself in the hunt more often this year.
2012 DEFINING MOMENT: McNeill closed with a 69 in Puerto Rico to hold off Japanese phenom Ryo Ishikawa -- winning for the second time in three tries when he held the third-round lead. The win snapped a string of six runner-up finishes since his inaugural TOUR victory in 2007. –- Helen Ross, PGATOUR.COM
ALBERS’ QUICK TAKE: Here's a man who was folding sweaters in a pro shop not all that long ago and is now a multi-tournament winner on the PGA TOUR. George had one big week and turned it into a victory at the Puerto Rico Open. Otherwise, he struggled with his iron play, hitting just 63 percent of his greens in regulation. That ranks 148th on TOUR.-- Fred Albers, SiriusXM PGA TOUR Radio
BOLTON’S FANTASY OUTLOOK: Except for the hiccup that was 2010, he's been a serviceable investment deep in rosters. That said, he failed to post a top 35 in his last 13 starts this year, but he had suffered from a back injury in late July. When healthy, he's sneaky, so toss him onto your flier pile. -- Rob Bolton, PGATOUR.COM Fantasy expert
2012 QUICK REVIEW
Regular Season ranking
Final Playoffs ranking
|Best finish||1st||Puerto Rico Open presented by seepuertorico.com|
|By the Numbers
Starts: 25 Cuts made: 18 Rounds played: 85 Top-10 finishes: 1 Money List rank: 91st
Driving distance: 105th Driving accuracy: 99th Greens in regulation: 148th Strokes gained-putting: 56th Scoring average: 113th
NOW IT’S YOUR TURN What is your prediction for George McNeill in 2013? Fill out the form below and let us know
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
Bubba Watson came up just short in his bid to win the World Golf Championships-Cadillac Championship, but that’s about the only way to get “Bubba Watson” and “short” in the same breath.
Watson is leading the PGA TOUR in driving distance through the first 10 weeks of the season, and there’s not a close second. Watson is averaging 316.1 yards per drive, nearly nine yards ahead of Robert Garrigus (check out the full list here ).
At Doral, Watson and his all-pink G20 were, well, monstrous at TPC Blue Monster, with 37 drives of 300 yards or longer and a field-leading average of 318.4 yards. For the season, more than 62 percent of Watson’s drives have sailed more than 300 yards.
Should the Florida panhandle native hold on to his top spot, it would be the first time he’s led the stat since a three-year run as the TOUR’s longest driver from 2006-08. He was second in 2009 and 2010 to Robert Garrigus, and second to J.B. Holmes last season.
BELLYING UP: Thomas Bjorn used a belly putter for the first time in his career at WGC-Cadillac, an Odyssey White Hot XG No. 1 Protype Blade. He opened with two 68s before a 75-71 weekend left him in a tie for 24th.
Darren Clarke also had a belly in competition for the first time, a TaylorMade Ghost Spider.
TWEAKS: Phil Mickelson had new shafts, Mitsubishi Rayon Diamana a’hina 70x, in his Callaway Razr Fit driver and Big Bertha Diablo 3-wood. … Noted hybrid fan Y.E. Yang had a TaylorMade RBZ 3-wood in the bag at Doral, a 13-degree model to try to stay under the strong winds. … After switching to TaylorMade’s Tour Preferred MC irons in the offseason, Dustin Johnson returned to Tour Preferred MB irons – his 2011 sticks – at WGC-Cadillac.
HOOP IT UP: Think you’ve got the NCAA Tournament figured out? Golfweek has a contest awarding golf gear like a Rickie Fowler-signed hat to the best bracket. Check it out here .
WINNERS’ BAGS: Justin Rose at the
Driver: TaylorMade R11, 8 degrees
3-wood: TaylorMade RBZ, 15 degrees
Hybrid: TaylorMade Rescue 11, 19 degrees
Irons: TaylorMade MB 4-PW
Wedges: TaylorMade ATV, 52, 56 degrees; Cleveland 588, 60 degrees
Putter: TaylorMade Ghost Tour Corza
Ball: TaylorMade Penta TP5
George McNeill at the Puerto Rico Open:
Driver: Cleveland Launcher Ultralite TL 310, 9.5 degrees
Fairway woods: Titleist 906F2 3-wood, 15 degrees; 5-wood, 18 degrees
Irons: Cleveland 588 Forged MB, 3-PW
Wedges: Cleveland 588 Forged, 54, 60 degrees
Putter: Nike Method 001
Ball: Srixon Z-Star XV
Three players who won PGA TOUR events in 2011 are among the names ranked No. 81-90 that were unveiled Friday on PGATOUR.COM’s Top 100 Players to Watch in 2012.
Below is a link to each of the 10 players who were revealed on Friday. 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.
George McNeill just gave Webb Simpson a score to beat -- and it's 15 under. The one-time PGA TOUR winner fired a closing 64 -- including a gritty par on the 72nd hole.
Interesting stat about McNeill: He's already finished second five times on TOUR.