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.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
In the year of the long putters, here’s one last success story – one that literally changed a career.
Mark Anderson, a second-year Nationwide Tour player, earned his 2012 PGA TOUR card last weekend at the Nationwide Tour Championship at Daniel Island. He finished 22nd on the money list, with nearly half of his $188,550 earned in the final three events.
Just at the time he put a Titleist Kombi belly putter in the bag.
“It’s changed my life, basically,” Anderson explained in a video on the Titleist Tour blog.
Anderson finished second at the Miccosukee Championship, T7 at the Winn-Dixie Jacksonville Open presented by Planters and T29 at the season finale.
“I put it in one week, felt a little awkward with it, but I putted great. I’m still in kind of the finicky, playing with it mode, trying to figure it out. But the putter’s great.”
Sounds like it will be going to the TOUR along with Anderson.
WINNING GAMBLE: Ken Duke won the Nationwide Tour Championship, sending him back to the TOUR for the fifth time in his long career.
The 42-year-old had a Never Compromise Limited Edition Black Gambler Royal in his bag (at right), part of a limited edition of 500. The distinctive theme is executed with playing-card suits on the hosel and bottom of the putter.
SURGING: Jeff Overton put Cleveland’s 588 MB irons in play for The McGladrey Classic, where he finished T6. Then, playing as a last-minute replacement for David Duval, he finished runner-up at the CIMB Asia Pacific Classic.
WINNER’S BAG: Bo Van Pelt at the CIMB Asia
Driver: Titleist 909D2 8.5º (Mitsubishi Fubuki 73 shaft)
3-wood: Titleist 910Fd 13.5º (Mitsubishi Diamana Prototype 80 shaft)
Hybrid: Titleist 910H 17º (UST Proforce V2 104 shaft)
Irons: Titleist CB 4-iron; MB 5-P (Nippon NS Pro shaft)
Wedges: Vokey Design Spin Milled (52, 56, 60 degrees)
Putter: TaylorMade Corza Ghost
Jeff Overton hits his tee shot to within 10 feet on the short par 4 and makes the eagle putt.
By John Schwarb, PGATOUR.COM
In a wide-ranging pre-tournament interview Tuesday at the Frys.com Open more notable for his comments on Tiger Woods, Rocco Mediate also had some perspective on the long putter.
Some 20 years before today’s PGA TOUR long putter craze, there was a young Mediate, not with the yips exactly but just not putting as well as he wanted to.
“I remember Jim Ferree, who was one of my first teachers actually. I was at Long Cove in Hilton Head in 1990 … he goes, you gotta try this thing. I said all right, and I tried it. And I came out in '91 with it, and I know (Bruce) Lietzke used it then, but then I won and I had like six straight Top 10s or five straight Top 10s [actually, four in five weeks] and I won Doral.
“And I was the antichrist then in the putting world. And now look at it now. Yeah, I was the antichrist. People, I mean trust me, I had a lot of interesting comments about the putter, as you probably remember. So now, look at it now.”
Now, Mediate is going for what he calls a “triple crown” of putting mastery. He has won with a conventional-length putter (including last year’s Frys.com Open) and a long putter, and now he’s going to try to win with a belly putter. “Unprecedented,” he said.
BYRD’S DRIVER: Jonathan Byrd’s TaylorMade SuperFast 2.0 driver was a casualty of the PGA TOUR Playoffs for the FedExCup – it broke at the BMW Championship. He experimented to find a new one, and ended up putting an R11 in play at the JT Shriners.
NEW STUFF: Cleveland Golf debuted its 588 forged clubs in Las Vegas, with Jeff Overton becoming the first Cleveland staffer to use the 588 MB model. Seventeen new 588 forged wedges were in play (Woody Austin had four) and three new fairway wood “Mashies” were also used.
CALI CAMERONS: Scotty Cameron is releasing a refined look to its California putter line, featuring improved “visual flow.”
“My main objective for the new California designs was to take the visual flow to a new level,” Cameron said.
More than 30 refinements were made, including deeper milling in the putter’s face. That yields a softer sound at impact, said to be preferred by many good putters.
The model line is slightly changed, with the Monterey 1.5 model replacing the Coronado. The others – Del Mar, Fastback, Monterey and Sonoma – are mainstays in the California line.
BECK’S AID: Chip Beck, the second man to shoot 59 in a PGA TOUR event, has developed a grip training aid with his wife, Karen. Called “Grip Guides,” it features a heat-activated surface that gives feedback to whether or not you’re gripping the club correctly.
ROUGH TRIP: In case you missed it last week, Lee Janzen’s clubs took a beating on the way to Las Vegas. Wished we could have seen the two-time U.S. Open champion’s face when an airline representative suggested that he could get a rental set.